Union to host Sex Trafficking Awareness Week

Publication Date

To shine a light on the growing problem of human sex trafficking, the College has partnered with a local nonprofit to host a weeklong series of events and activities from Monday, Jan. 26 to Friday, Jan. 30.

According to the FBI, 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. Typically, girls are abducted or lured by pimps and traffickers at bus shelters, outside schools or through social media.

“We are excited to collaborate with Union College to help educate the community about this serious and detrimental issue facing our youth and young adults,” said Cassie McCracken, executive director of Safe Inc. of Schenectady.

The organization has provided outreach, counseling, referrals and shelter for runaway, homeless and sexually exploited youth for 30 years.

Andrea Foroughi, associate professor of history and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, is helping coordinate events.

The keynote speaker is activist and author Corban Addison. He will discuss “Combating Modern Slavery at Home and Abroad” on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.

Unless noted, events are free and open to the public.

The schedule:

Monday, Jan. 26:
Sex Trafficking: Exploitation from the Super Bowl to Schenectady
5:30 p.m.: Dinner and discussion in Breazzano House featuring FBI Victim Specialist Cori Brooks and FBI Special Agent David Fallon, Albany. (Open to campus community only)

Tuesday Jan. 27:
Art exhibition by Joanne VanGenderen and reception for “Lost Voices: The Tragic Reality of Sex Trafficking”
12:45 to 1:45 p.m.: Reamer 301 (Women and Gender Studies Program Suite)

Gangs as Perpetrators of Sex Trafficking
5:30 p.m.: Dinner and discussion in Sorum House featuring Ron “Cook” Barrett, gang prevention specialist and Elizabeth Greathouse, probation officer and gang prevention specialist, Schenectady Department of Social Services. (Open to campus community only)

Wednesday, Jan. 28:
Providing Help for Trafficked Youth: Safe Inc. of Schenectady
5:30 p.m.: Dinner and discussion in Wold House featuring Cassie McCracken, executive director of Safe Inc. of Schenectady. (Open to campus community only)

Thursday, Jan. 29:
“What Can I do About Sex Trafficking?” Identity Dialogues
12:50 to 1:50 p.m.: Reamer Campus Center, Unity Room, third floor

“A Walk Across the Sun”
12:45 to 1:45 p.m. Discussion with Corban Addison, activist and author of “Walk Across the Sun” with members of the Sorum Book Club. (Open to campus community only)

Dinner and discussion with Corban Addison
5:30 p.m.: Beuth House. (Open to campus community only)

Corban Addison
“Combating Modern Slavery at Home and Abroad”
7 p.m.: Nott Memorial

Friday, Jan. 30:
“Call to Action: Working Together Against Sex Trafficking”
10 a.m. to noon: Hale House featuring representatives from more than 25 local agencies who work with youth; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: call to action. Facilitated by Safe Inc. of Schenectady