Newman University ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Week’ April 11-16 will feature international, local experts

Mar 31, 2016

Although exact statistics are difficult to obtain, it is estimated that 21 million people around the world are victims of human trafficking and forced labor. Approximately 5.5 million of those victims are children.

According to a report by the United States Department of State, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. Between 14,500 and 17,500 are trafficked into the United States. Worldwide, 80 percent of the victims are female, and half are children.

Human trafficking is considered the fastest growing and the third largest criminal industry in the world today (after drug trafficking and illegal arms), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It generates an estimated profit of $32 billion every year.

To help draw attention to this growing epidemic that touches every part of the globe – including Kansas – Newman University will present “Shut Out Human Trafficking Awareness Week,” April 11-16, 2016. The week will include activities, events, meals, video presentations and speakers, including international human rights activist Richard Lapchick Ph.D., UNICEF representatives and state and local human trafficking authorities.

Shut Out Human Trafficking Awareness Week is dedicated to educating the public about this major problem in today’s society, and to help combat the problem and find ways to bring it to a stop.

“We got invited to this opportunity to share information, particularly how it’s going on in our state and really in Wichita,” said Newman Director of Athletics and Vice President for Student Affairs Vic Trill. “You don’t think about it, but it’s happening. All the things that you don’t want to talk about are happening right in front of us. What I want to do is get people there. It’s going to be a big event.”

Shut Out Human Trafficking Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and the United States Fund for UNICEF – the U.S. non-profit, non-governmental organization that supports the United Nations Children’s Fund – in collaboration with the Newman University Athletics Department and the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies at Newman University. Newman is one of only 10 colleges and universities nationwide that have been selected to host Shut Out Human Trafficking Awareness Week for the 2015-2016 academic year. Other selected institutions include Arizona State University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Detroit Mercy and Villanova University.

Richard Lapchick
Richard Lapchick, Ph.D. spoke to Newman University students, faculty, staff and alumni on Nov. 10, 2015.

The event will feature Richard Lapchick Ph.D., a noted human rights activist and international authority on the sports world whose experience combating racism, sexism, human trafficking and violence includes leading the boycott on sports to cripple apartheid in South Africa and rebuilding New Orleans, La. with the Orlando Magic after Hurricane Katrina. He is the author of 16 books and more than 500 articles, and has spoken in the United States Congress, the United Nations and the European Parliament. Lapchick will speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11 about the role of athletics as a vehicle for social change. He will also speak with Newman students in classes and informal sessions on Tuesday, April 12.

silent-auctionAnother major event is the Newman Staff Assembly Silent Auction on April 15. Wichita businesses have banded together to donate products and services to help combat human trafficking in the Wichita area. Auction items include bundled baskets, plants, flowers, movie tickets, art, handcrafted items, barbecue sets, beer/wine packages, and more.

A portion of the proceeds of the Silent Auction will replenish the Newman University Hearts and Hands fund, and the remainder will be donated to the human trafficking prevention program of the Wichita Children’s Home.

The schedule of events for Shut Out Human Trafficking Awareness Week at Newman is:

April 11
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Lunch on Founders Plaza
7 p.m.: Human Trafficking Presentations – Dugan-Gorges Conference Center:
–  Sports as a Platform for Social Change – Richard Lapchick, human rights activist
–  Combatting Human Trafficking – Hannah Gould, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
–  Human Trafficking in Wichita and Kansas – Risa Rehmert, Director of Program Development, Center for Combatting Human Trafficking at Wichita State University

April 12
All Day: SGA, CAB and Student Clubs – poster contest, Awareness, Advocacy, Social Media – Various places on the Newman Campus

April 13
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Fair Trade Products Day – Why Buy these Products? – TBA
Noon:  Prayer Service for Victims of Human Trafficking – Steps of Sacred Heart Hall

April 14
3 – 4:30 p.m.: Panel of Wichita Experts including Marc Bennett, Sedgwick County District Attorney – Eck Hall 124
6:30 – 8 p.m.: “Not My Life” – a powerful film about Human Trafficking – Performance Hall, De Mattias Fine Arts Center
(Event will include reflections by Lt. Travis Rakestraw, Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit; Samantha Reyes, Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center; Julian Walker, Children Advocacy of Sedgwick County.)
8 – 9 p.m.: Pizza Party and continued discussion – Gorges Atrium

April 15
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Newman University Staff Assembly Silent Auction – Mabee Dining Center
(Charitable proceeds to Newman Hearts and Hands fund and the Wichita Children’s Home center for rescued victims of human trafficking)
3 p.m. and 5 p.m.: Baseball game – McCarthy Baseball Field
4 p.m. and 6 p.m.: Softball game – Newman Softball Field
(Games will include pre-game prayer focused on human trafficking and Public Service Announcements)

April 16
6:30 p.m.: Christian Concert: Ike Ndolo – Founders Plaza
(Event will include pre-concert prayer focused on human trafficking and Public Service Announcements)