Campus events to draw awareness to human trafficking issue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville will have two new January campus events and offer its 10th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Conference to draw attention to the issue and to help victims receive aid during Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Research announced this week in Frankfort by UofL’s Human Trafficking Research Institute indicates human trafficking, particularly of children and vulnerable youth, occurs at high rates across Kentucky, according to Jennifer Middleton, institute director and associate social work professor. “These findings serve as a call to action and highlight the need for improved community education and awareness. To respond to this call, we are joining Gov. Andy Beshear, trafficking survivors and our university partners to elevate the conversation here on campus,” she said. “UofL students, staff and faculty can play an important role in preventing and addressing human trafficking in our community.”

--A Jan. 11 free film screening and state premiere of “California’s Forgotten Children,” a documentary about child sex trafficking, and panel discussion afterward will be 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium. Donations will be accepted to fight human trafficking in the community. Reservations are requested at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lmhttf-californias-lost-children-screening-panel-discussion-tickets-87177350803. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the School of Music and North Information Center lots. UofL’s Kent School of Social Work, UofL’s Women’s Center, Louisville Metro Human Trafficking Task Force and Louisville Metro Office for Women are sponsors.

--A Jan. 14 Human Trafficking Awareness Resource Fair and discussion will be in the Student Activities Center Ballroom. Featuring numerous agencies, the fair will be 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; stickers and survivor-designed postcards will be provided as part of a national #EndIt campaign. The fair leads into a 1:30-2:30 p.m. Critical Cardinal Conversation on Trafficking and Missing Women of Color by panelists including a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children representative, a parent and former police officer. Sponsors are the Human Trafficking Research Initiative, Project STAAR, Women’s Center, Cultural Center, Office of Diversity Education and Inclusive Excellence and Women 4 Women Student Board.

--The 10th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Conference will be 5:30-8 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Student Activities Center Ballroom. Doors open earlier at 4:30 p.m. for a resource fair and light refreshments. Sponsors are the Women’s Center and the Women 4 Women Student Board.

For more information, contact Middleton at 502-852-3651 or Jennifer.middleton@louisville.edu.