On Monday, January 30, University of Dayton professor Dr. Tony Talbott will present “The Business of Human Trafficking” in the CJ auditorium at 7 p.m. The discussion was organized by the Senior Capstone group of Sebastian Araya, Vincent Dang, Noah Mussin Phillips, Tyler Noble and Noah Walusis.
“I tend to be a very empathetic person, and the idea of slaves in 2017 did not sit well with me at all,” said Walusis. “I can't imagine the kind of pain that victims of human trafficking go through, and after hearing about the issue I felt like I had to do something to help. It has been over one hundred years since the Emancipation Proclamation, and the complete eradication of slavery is long overdue.”
“I've learned that trafficking victims are sometimes not aware that they are being trafficked,” shared Araya. “They are coerced in a way that makes them think that they still have the power to make their own choices.”
In November, the Capstone group attended the Sweet Freedom Trafficking event at Second Street Market. The event, which served as an anti-trafficking fundraiser, is where the group became connected with Dr. Talbott. University of Dayton students who are members of Abolition Ohio, which Dr. Talbott is the president of, were also at the event.
In addition to Dr. Talbott’s presentation, the Senior Capstone group is planning additional events to continue the conversation about human trafficking.
“We are hosting the S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) event in March,” explained Mussin-Phillips. “We are also working with Abolition Ohio to come to CJ and do a presentation/simulation for juniors.”
During the S.O.A.P. event, participants will put a label with the national human trafficking hotline number on bars of soap. The labeled soap bars will then be distributed to local hotel and motels.
“We're trying to make a difference and combat a very real injustice that´s found all over Ohio, so any kind of help and support would be appreciated,” Mussin-Phillips emphasized regarding the S.O.A.P. event. “This isn´t a ‘fun’ topic to discuss, but I'm glad that our Capstone is focusing on it because this is an actual evil that really needs to be addressed and defeated.”
More details about volunteering at the S.O.A.P. event will be published on the CJ website in early March.
“The group has a strong passion for addressing the issue and raising awareness in others,” the group’s mentor, Molly Bardine, noted. “They are keenly aware of the important role awareness, advocacy and action all play in making an impact on human trafficking.”
“I hope that the community is made to realize how close trafficking is to our very homes, and is inspired to take action in the fight against trafficking,” Araya reflected.
Walusis added, “Worldwide, only 1-2% of human trafficking victims are ever rescued. When I learned this it completely broke my heart, and it made me even more determined to try and help those who are suffering from modern day slavery.”
(Photo Courtesy: University of Dayton)
Posted January 27, 2017