In an effort to raise awareness of the complexity and horrors surrounding the issue of human trafficking, two survivors of this underground industry will travel from Washington, D.C., to Rochester, MN, to share their experiences. Stacy Jewell Lewis will give her spoken word performance, "10 Years and 1 Day," on Friday evening, January 11, at 7 PM at the Hill Theatre, UCR Campus. She will be joined by another survivor of slavery, Shamere McKenzie, for two additional presentations on Saturday morning, January 12, at Assisi Heights. These presentations will set the stage for our panel discussions with local leaders and law enforcement about the issues faced by all sides in confronting this tragic, oppressive activity.
These events are being coordinated by the Rochester Franciscans in an effort to live out their directional statement: "We, the Sisters of Saint Francis...are impelled to speak respectfully and act courageously on issues of oppression and marginalization of women and children... Along with many other issues of injustice, our focus includes efforts to overcome human trafficking..." The Rochester Franciscans are counting on members of the community and local organizations to help break the chains of oppression, share resources and raise awareness of protocols in place to help the victims of this criminal activity, especially the children who are enslaved into illegal activities such as pornography and prostitution.