Felicitas Brugo Onetti is the Anti-Trafficking Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Migration and Refugee Services Department at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Felicitas always wanted to work with immigrant populations. She volunteered extensively with Guatemalan and Mexican migrant and refugee families while growing up in Miami, Florida, and attended several mission trips while earning her social work degree at the Catholic University of America. During her academic studies, she worked as a school social worker, providing access to services, resources, and treatment to migrant children and families seeking refuge in the United States.
Felicitas worked with the Institute for Family Violence Studies housed at the Florida State University College of Social Work as the lead graphic designer for the latest Student Resilience Toolkit created by the Institute. Felicitas also helped to translate the toolkit from English to Spanish. In this role, she helped develop training for the Department of Children and Families in Florida while simultaneously earning a professional certification in Human Trafficking and Prevention. Furthermore, Felicitas worked in a Women’s Residential Program with female clients seeking substance use treatment. As a student, she also worked at the FSU College of Social Work on a pilot study involving the Gadsden Correctional Facility, working with female inmates focusing on a holistic approach to re-entry into society.
At USCCB, Felicitas works to highlight the intersections of social justice issues such as foster care, substance use, online exploitation, young adults, child welfare issues, and other adverse health and social effects. One of the prominent programs at USCCB is the Amistad Movement, an initiative inspired by the captives aboard the Amistad slave ship who revolted and won their freedom. The initiative empowers immigrant populations in at-risk communities to prevent them from falling victim to human trafficking. With the Become a Shepherd Program, which works to educate priests, nuns, lay religious individuals, and other church members on human trafficking education and resources, Felicitas is working to recreate and expand these programs for vulnerable populations such as Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Black individuals to address the needs of each unique community better.