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'sresponsible 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, Robert 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.