Community outreach is about building partnerships locally and nationally that help prevent crime and protect our diverse nation.
Read about the FBI’s latest outreach initiatives, notable outreach activities and successes by Bureau partners and personnel, advice for staying safe from emerging threats and scams, career opportunities, and more.
The FBI, in partnership with Homeland Security Investigations and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is issuing a national public safety alert regarding an explosion in incidents of children and teens being coerced into sending explicit images online and extorted for money—a crime known as financial sextortion.
Over the past year, law enforcement has received over 7,000 reports of online financial sextortion of minors, involving at least 3,000 victims, primarily boys, and leading to more than a dozen suicides. A large percentage of these sextortion schemes originate outside of the United States and primarily in West African countries such as Nigeria and Ivory Coast. The FBI and our partners implore parents and caregivers to engage with their kids about financial sextortion schemes to prevent them in the first place.
The FBI and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to acknowledge their relationship and to encourage more cooperative activities between the two organizations.
HACU represents more than 500 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and U.S. school districts. The FBI is an intelligence-driven and threat-focused national security organization with both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities. The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.
“I am honored to sign this agreement on behalf of the FBI and to acknowledge the vital work of the HACU on behalf of Hispanic students,” said Cathy L. Milhoan, the assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs. “We are striving to be more representative of the people we serve, which we can only do through a more diverse workforce. Our employees will be enriched through exposure to the broad cultural spectrum these students represent. Hopefully, these students will see the benefits and appeal of joining our dedicated ranks.”
“HACU is pleased to enter into this agreement to help provide career opportunities within the FBI to students from Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” said Antonio R. Flores, president and CEO of HACU. “It’s vital that we build a strong talent pool to fill critical roles within the federal government and that reflect the future workforce of this nation.”
Under the MOU, the FBI will share information with HACU about a variety of FBI internships and programs open to college students, as well as hiring opportunities for seniors and recent graduates. In addition, the FBI will provide more in-depth information to HACU institutions about FBI careers, the application process, eligibility requirements, and the FBI’s mission. The FBI will also participate in job fairs with HACU.
HACU will promote information about the FBI’s mission and careers and invite the FBI to participate in public policy forums, lectures, presentations, conferences, and other events.
The 15 FBI representatives sported matching FBIJobs x AfroTech polos to distinguish themselves at the AfroTech Conference, which was held November 13-17, in Austin, Texas.
AfroTech is the largest Black technology conference that connects the global community of emerging and established Black technology innovators. The FBI was the only government agency at the 2022 conference held in November in Austin, Texas. With over 25,000 participants at AfroTech, the FBI recognized the conference would be invaluable for recruiting technical and cyber talent.
The FBI was represented by 13 employees who are Black technology and cyber subject matter experts, including cyber agents, computer scientists, and IT professionals from across the Bureau. For the first time, two Honors interns also attended. The conference demonstrated how Black technology intersects with national security and enabled conference goers to see the Bureau as a place where they would be valued and appreciated for their skills and perspectives.
The FBI hosted the FBI x AfroTech: Major Case event to challenge attendees to apply their knowledge in cyber scenarios they might encounter in a career with the FBI. The challenge gave participants an opportunity to experience how they could use their cyber and technology skills at the FBI to solve cases and advance our mission. Over 700 AfroTech attendees expressed interest in learning about FBI careers, of which 8% were intern level, 25% were early career, 45% were mid-career, and 22% were senior career.
The FBI’s Employer Marketing and Strategic Recruitment team will use the Let’s Keep in Touch campaign, which uses innovative engagement opportunities to convert attendees to employees and FBIJobs enthusiasts.
The Bureau continues to secure its future by focusing on purposeful, thoughtful, and interactive ways to engage with diverse communities.
AfroTech attendees challenged themselves with three case scenarios and learned about FBI trivia. Participants also discussed the 100 years of African American special agent history.
Jessica Moore, a Management and Program Analyst in the FBI’s Information Technology Applications and Data Division, shared how her experience as a Black woman in tech led her to choose a career with the Bureau.
The FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association recently convened a task force of national and chapter board leaders to create a comprehensive blueprint for developing outreach programs that support the FBI in fighting human trafficking.
Phase one of the Stop Human Trafficking toolkit, which will be released in the first quarter of 2023, provides information, planning guides, case studies, templates, and other resources to help FBI Citizens Academy program alumni plan, organize, and launch outreach programs.
“Human trafficking is a horrific crime. Traffickers target and illegally exploit vulnerable children and adults from all walks of life. They use violence, coercion, and fraud to manipulate and control victims. No community is immune from its consequences,” said Karen Corrigan, president of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association. “Our goal is to support the FBI in its efforts to recover victims, investigate the traffickers, and bring them to justice.”
The Stop Human Trafficking program will show members how they can support the FBI in fighting human trafficking and provide them with tools to rapidly organize outreach, education, and survivor recovery events in their communities.
Components of the toolkit include:
- Human trafficking outreach workbook: The workbook provides a summary overview of human trafficking crimes in the U.S., addressing the scope of the problem, types of trafficking, statistics, and FBI priorities and initiatives. It also includes a planning guide for developing outreach programs in partnership with FBI field offices. Case studies will showcase successful human trafficking outreach initiatives and facilitate sharing of best practices across chapters. The workbook will also include a directory of human trafficking publications, websites, organizations, and other resources.
- Customizable communications templates: These sample media alerts, social media posts, blog posts, email communications content, and customizable artwork for posters, flyers, billboards, and digital content will help chapters more rapidly craft and bring to market target messaging for core audiences.
- Fundraising and grants: The toolkit will also include guidance for developing sponsorships, seeking grants, and organizing fundraising events to support human trafficking awareness and prevention programs. As nonprofit organizations, local chapters will use the funds to cover the cost of event venues and program expenses, as well as to support organizations that help human trafficking survivors.
- Education for chapter leaders: Beyond the material components of the toolkit, this program will deliver continuing education for chapter leaders, including a national FBI briefing on human trafficking crimes in the U.S., a human trafficking workshop at the FBINCAAA 2023 National Leadership Conference in Boston (June 28-30), and webinars on best practices in human trafficking community outreach.
“Development of the national Stop Human Trafficking program was made possible by Rami Fakhoury, founder and managing director of Fakhoury Global Immigration, who provided a grant for its development,” Corrigan said. “Mr. Fakhoury is a 2014 graduate of the FBI Detroit Citizen Academy program and an active civic leader. We are grateful for his vision and commitment to helping trafficking victims.”
About the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association
The FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBINCAAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that works in partnership with the FBI to promote public safety and security through community engagement, education, and outreach initiatives. Founded in 2005, the national organization provides training, resources, and governance oversight for nearly 60 local FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association chapters representing more than 53,000 business, civic, religious, and community leaders across the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico.
For the past 21 years, the Victim Services Division has served its mission to inform, support, and assist victims in navigating the aftermath of crime and the criminal justice process with dignity and resilience. Formerly known as the Office for Victim Assistance, VSD’s workforce of over 260 professionals works tirelessly to ensure a sense of empowerment, dignity, and justice for all victims. VSD has provided direct services to over two million victims since 2001.
VSD offers several deployable resources that work in and with communities following a crisis or mass causality event.
The FBI’s victim assistance program workforce includes victim specialists, child/adolescent forensic interviewers, victim services coordinators, operational psychologists, and staff that manages the administrative functions of the team.
The Victim Services Response Team, for example, has responded to 36 mass casualty incidents since 2005, including the recent Tops Market shooting in Buffalo, New York; the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas; and the Fourth of July Parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. The team provides direct services to victims and offers aid to local law enforcement. The assistant director of the VSD deploys the team immediately after a crisis at the request of the special agents in charge of field offices. VSD’s Crisis Response Canines is another deployable resource that supports victims, often by helping them engage with law enforcement and in prosecutorial processes.
Wally and Gio, two English Labrador Retrievers, are the FBI’s crisis response canines. Since 2015, the pair have been working steadily by visiting hospitals and supporting command posts by helping to console victims and first responders.
VSD also offers specialized resources to federal, state, local, and tribal partners. For example, VSD manages the Child Pornography Victim Assistance program, through which new victims are identified and subsequently contacted by victim specialists and offered services. VSD also provides trauma notification training for local law enforcement and first responders, providing instruction on how to conduct death notifications.
The most important resource VSD provides, however, is the expertise of its employees. All VSD victim service providers—victim specialists, child and adolescent forensic interviewers, victim services coordinators, child victim program advisors, operational psychologists, and CRC handlers—have experience working with people of various cultures and backgrounds and have a minimum of three years’ experience working with victims prior to joining the FBI. They are strategically located throughout the country and supported by an exceptional team of professional staff, program managers, and supervisors who ensure they receive the guidance, resources, and oversight needed to accomplish the mission.
Staff from FBI Richmond shared information on the different career pathways available to Bureau employees.
“Our students left with professional contacts, hands-on experience, and broad exposure to careers within the FBI—not to mention a renewed sense of excitement about their majors and their forthcoming careers.”
Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D.,
professor and chair of the Department of Forensic Science
Fifty students from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) recently graduated from FBI Richmond’s Collegiate Academy. Hosted by VCU’s Forensic Science Department, this was the FBI’s first-ever academy program with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math.
The four-week program featured multiple FBI briefings, hands-on activities, roundtable discussions, and one-on-one conversations with Bureau personnel. The academy culminated with a graduation ceremony on November 8—National STEM Day.
Many VCU students were surprised to learn about the array of job opportunities available at the FBI. One student noted on the post-event survey that attending the event “was a transformative experience to see what other career pathways were available.”
Students came from a variety of backgrounds and diverse communities. Over the summer, the U.S. Department of Education granted VCU with Minority Serving Institution eligibility based on a focus of students who are from Asian American and Pacific Islander backgrounds.
FBI Richmond and VCU are talking about bringing additional community outreach programs to the campus in the future.
In September, FBI Columbia launched its first mentoring program inspired by the FBI’s Beacon Program. FBI staff will serve as mentors to 22 students from Benedict College, Allen University, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, and Morris College.
Each student was strategically matched with an FBI employee based on similar interests and common areas of study. Bureau personnel at all levels are participating in this program, including senior leaders of FBI Columbia.
The pairs will meet periodically to discuss short- and long-term goals, explore professional development opportunities, and share feedback on the program. Students will also learn more about the FBI, potential career pathways, and will receive guidance designed to help them succeed during and after college. Additionally, FBI Columbia plans to host a tactical training day with SWAT and the Evidence Response Team, a day of service, and a career expo day for participating students.
The program is expected to run through May and will conclude with a wrap-up celebration at the end of the school year.
The mentoring program provides a formal, one-on-one structure to foster a culture of development and learning for growing professionals.
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