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First-Year Experience program presents seminar on human trafficking

Loyola press release - October 3, 2011

Loyola University New Orleans’ Office of Academic Affairs presents Shamere McKenzie, a survivor of human trafficking in the U.S., in a lecture about her experience and the issue of modern day slavery on Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 114 of Miller Hall.

The event is a feature of the First-Year Experience course, Bought and Sold: 21st Century Slavery and Abolition, which examines the problem of modern slavery and explores opportunities for students to participate in its eradication. According to course instructor and English professor Laura Murphy, Ph.D., there are more than 27 million people enslaved around the world today, despite vigorous efforts of activists to stamp out this practice. Her course focuses on the accounts of survivors and activists, both in texts and in virtual classroom visits.

“McKenzie’s message is one that is relevant to both academics and community members alike. She helps us think about the nature of slavery in the 21st century and the injustice of the justice system,” Murphy said. “At the same time, her life story is a warning to us that even strong-willed, intelligent, educated young women can be the targets of deceptive and exploitative traffickers.”

McKenzie was a college track star who was approached by a trafficker and lured into sex slavery. Today, she tells audiences throughout the country about her experience in the hopes that she can protect others from her fate. She currently works for two organizations that provide shelter and resources for sex trafficking victims as well as women and children.

The event is free and open to the public. The seminar is co-sponsored in part by the Women's Resource Center, Co-Curricular Programs and African and African-American Studies.

For more information, contact Laura Murphy at lmurphy@loyno.edu or 504-865-2152.