Robert Benz

Co-Founder, Executive VP at Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

Robert J. Benz​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Co-Founder​ ​and​ ​Executive​ ​Vice-President​ ​of​ ​Frederick​ ​Douglass​ ​Family​ ​Initiatives,​ ​a​ ​Rochester, NY-based​ ​public​ ​charity.​ ​He​'s​​responsible​ ​for programs, policies, and​ ​strategies.​ ​Robert​ ​created​ ​and​ ​led​ ​the​ ​development​ of ​FDFI’s​ ​core​ ​philosophy​ ​of​ ​a​ ​preventive​ ​approach​ ​to​ ​human​ ​trafficking​ ​manifest​ ​today​ ​as​ ​the ​nation’s​ ​premier​ ​prevention education program,​ ​PROTECT.​ ​He​ ​leads​ ​the​ ​organization’s​ ​Racial​ ​Equity​ ​initiative.​ ​

In​ ​2017,​ ​Robert​ ​developed​ ​FDFI’s​ ​Bicentennial​ ​Edition​ ​of​ ​Narrative​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Life​ ​of​ ​Frederick Douglass, an American slave.​ ​As​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​One​ ​Million​ ​Abolitionists project,​ ​FDFI​ ​will​ ​give away​ ​one​ ​million​ ​copies​ ​of​ ​the​ ​book​ ​to​ ​young​ ​people​ ​across​ ​the​ ​country​ ​to​ ​help​ ​fulfill​ ​its​ ​mission​ ​to​ ​build​ ​strong​ ​children.​ ​Robert​ ​was the book’s​ ​Editor.

From​ ​2016​ ​through​ ​2018,​ ​Rober​​t​ ​led​ ​FDFI’s​ ​effort​ ​in​ ​proposing,​ ​drafting​ ​and​ ​promoting​ ​changes​ ​to​ ​the​ ​existing​ ​Trafficking​ ​Victims​ ​Protection​ ​Act,​ ​the​ ​most​ ​important​ ​human​ ​trafficking​ ​legislation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​US.​ ​The​ results​​ ​of those​ ​efforts​ ​were​ ​signed​ ​into​ ​law​ ​as​ ​the​ ​Frederick​ ​DouglassTrafficking​ ​Victims​ ​Prevention​ ​&​ ​Protection​ ​Reauthorization​ ​Act​ ​of​ ​2018.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​that​ ​language​ ​and​ ​funding​ ​were​ ​included​ ​in​ ​the​ ​law​ ​specifically​ ​for-prevention education.

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