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Human Trafficking Expert Kevin Bales to Give Talk at Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - December 18, 2015

Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J. and Modern Slavery Research Project co-host talk slated for 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2016

Loyola University New Orleans’ Modern Slavery Research Project announced today that Dr. Kevin Bales, the world’s leading expert and scholar on modern slavery, will speak at the university next month. The talk, co-hosted by Dr. Laura Murphy, director of the Modern Research Slavery Project at Loyola, and Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 in Nunemaker Hall, located in the newly renovated Monroe Hall on Loyola’s main campus, 6363 St Charles Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.

While in New Orleans, Dr. Bales will present his newest book, Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World, and share his gripping examination of two entwined global crises: environmental destruction and human trafficking. In his talk, Bales will share his hopeful and inspiring solutions we can all employ to help save humanity and ultimately our planet. Blood and Earth will be published by Spiegel & Grau in hardcover on Jan. 19, 2016. Copies will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

“Loyola University New Orleans is honored to host esteemed human trafficking author and activist Kevin Bales, as he launches his critically important new book, Blood and Earth,” said Loyola University New Orleans President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J. “Human trafficking is a global issue. Here at Loyola, our own Modern Slavery Research Project is leading cutting-edge research on the issue of trafficking in New Orleans, the United States and the world.”

Bales’ new book, Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide and the Secret to Saving the World is the product of seven years of travel and research to the world’s most dangerous places where human trafficking exists. Bale’s Blood and Earth brings us dramatic stories of modern slavery from some of the most beautiful and tragic places on earth, and exposes the environmental and human-rights hotspots where some of the most common household products we all consume — from computers to shrimp to jewelry to the cell phones in our pocket — are made using slave labor. Blood and Earth calls on readers to recognize the grievous harm we have done to one another, put an end to it, and recommit to repairing the planet we share.

Critics’ praise for Kevin Bales’ new book, Blood and Earth:

“This [Blood and Earth] is a remarkable book, demonstrating once more the deep links between the ongoing degradation of the planet and the ongoing degradation of its most vulnerable people. It’s a bracing reminder that a mentality that allows throwaway people also allows a throwaway earth.”

- Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

A heart-wrenching narrative… Weaving together interviews, history, and statistics, the author shines a light on how the poverty, chaos, wars and government corruption create the perfect storm where slavery flourishes and environmental destruction follows…A clear-eyed account of man’s inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action.”

-Kirkus Reviews

Dr. Kevin Bales is the co-founder of Free the Slaves, the largest abolitionist organization in the world, and the lead author of The Global Slavery Index. He is currently professor of contemporary slavery at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull UK and is a visiting professor this year at University of Chicago’s Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. As a social scientist, human rights activist and journalist based in Brighton, England, Bales writes extensively on modern slavery, and is the author of the acclaimed, Disposable People, New Slavery in the Global Economy, a compelling firsthand analysis of the operations of five slave-based businesses in Thailand, Mauritania, Pakistan, Brazil and India. Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Disposable People, “a well researched, scholarly, and deeply disturbing expose of modern-day slavery.”

New Orleans’ own, Modern Slavery Research Project (MSRP) works to make escape possible for victims of human trafficking in Louisiana, the U.S., and around the world through data-driven, community based research that better serves survivors and supports advocates who are on the front lines of identifying and assisting those held captive in modern slavery. For more information on MSRP, please visit www.modernslaveryresearch.org or email Dr. Laura T. Murphy, lmurphy@loyno.edu.

Listen to Kevin Bales' recent interview with NPR's "Fresh Air"