North Park Hosts Walk to Fight Human Trafficking
CHICAGO (September 21, 2009) – A 17-year-old high school graduate from Michigan decided to postpone enrolling in college and instead responded to an advertisement seeking a nanny. But when she reported to the wealthy home in a north Chicago suburb, she was horrified to learn that the ad agency was a front. She was abducted and forced into sex slavery.
The FBI finally found her seven years later—addicted to heroin and pregnant. Her story is being lived every day in all 50 states and by 27 million people around the world who are forced into sex slavery, factory and agricultural work, and labor as domestic help.
On Saturday, North Park University will host a three-mile walk to increase awareness and raise funds to fight human trafficking, in partnership with the national organization Stop Child Trafficking Now.
The organization is co-sponsoring walks across the country this weekend. North Park is hosting the only walk in Chicago.
The event will be held from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Registration for individuals and groups begins at 8:00 am, and the walk begins at 9:00 am People are encouraged to donate to individual walkers as well as contribute as business sponsors, says Velda R. Love, North Park’s director of Justice and Intercultural Learning. For more information about the walk, contact Love at (773) 244-5764.
North Park has already been raising awareness about trafficking. Students have volunteered with anti-slavery organizations, and speakers have raised the profile of the problem. In March, Sara Symons, the co-founder and CEO of The Emancipation Network (TEN), told students and faculty that trafficking is “genocide in slow motion.”
“There should be a much, much larger public outcry,” she added. “We should all stand up, march down the street and say that this is outrageous.”