NKU to present free public lecture by renowned human trafficking advocate Oct. 3

For immediate release…
Monday – Sept. 16, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - The Northern Kentucky University College of Education and Human Services will present a free public lecture by Rachel Lloyd on human trafficking in America on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the James C. and Rachel M. Votruba Student Union Ballroom.

The lecture, titled “Girls Like Us: Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Trafficking in the U.S.,” features one of the world’s leading advocates for commercially, sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls and young women. It is part of the College of Education and Human Services Distinguished Scholars Series.

“The College of Education and Human Services started the Distinguished Scholar Series to promote discussion about issues of importance in our community,” said Dr. Shawn Faulkner, chair of the NKU Department of Teacher Education. “Commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking occurs around the world, and the tri-state is no exception.”

Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), has been honored with the Reebok Human Rights Award as well as the Ashoka Fellowship. In 1998, with only a computer and $30, she established GEMS to support girls and young women victimized by the commercial sex industry.

Since its creation as a one-woman outreach program, GEMS has grown steadily, building its services and programs and garnering increased visibility and recognition under Lloyd's leadership. GEMS is now America’s largest organization offering direct services to domestic victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. As a survivor-led organization, GEMS is known for its empowering approach to youth leadership and activism.

Lloyd played a key role in the successful passage of New York State’s groundbreaking Safe Harbor Act for Sexually Exploited Youth, the first law in the country to end the prosecution of child victims of sex trafficking. Her trailblazing advocacy is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary Very Young Girls (Showtime, 2007) and her memoir, Girls Like Us (Harper Collins, 2011).

“We are privileged to host Rachel Lloyd,” Dr. Faulkner said. “As a survivor, Rachel’s message is particularly powerful.”

The Oct. 3 lecture is free and open to the public, but registration at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6YM6W3J is encouraged. The session has been approved by the Kentucky Department of Education for two hours of EILA credit for Kentucky administrators and counselors.

For more information on the event or the Distinguished Scholars Series visit http://coehs.nku.edu/scholarseries.html or call (859) 572-6096.

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