Lecture Series Tackles Serious Topics

Dr. Mary Norton moderates the 'Discussions That Matter' lecture series at Felician College.

Super Bowl XLVIII, Human Trafficking: The Uninvited Guest” was the topic for discussion  during the “Conversations That Matter” lecture series held in Obal Hall on the Lodi campus of Felician College.

A capacity crowd heard about the horrors of human trafficking and its impact on our global and local societies. Included in the presentation was a video entitled “Human Trafficking: The Unspoken Truth,” created by Felician College students who participate in the United Nations Fellows Program.

Felician College President Dr. Anne Prisco said, “Our institutional motto, ‘In Veritas Felicitas’ – in truth is happiness -- is difficult to accept after today’s session on human trafficking. While the facts are disturbing, the efforts of those who are embracing the need to do something about this, are examples of the power of individual and collective action. These advocates are living examples of our Felician Franciscan value of justice and peace that calls on us to advocate for social changes that promote respect for all persons.”

Guest speaker Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), a proponent of anti-trafficking legislation in the state, applauded the College’s initiative in tackling such a strong issue.

“This is not just happening in some remote corner of the world. This is modern day slavery that is happening right here in our backyards,” said Assemblywoman Huttle.

The topic is of particular interest as the NY/NJ area gets set to host the Super Bowl in February. Statistics show that an estimated 10,000 children and adults were trafficked into the Miami area before and during the Super Bowl in 2010. Authorities estimate that the number of victims can be as high as 25,000 over the next few weeks in the metropolitan region.

Patricia Devine-Harms, legislative chair for the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking, also was in attendance. She urged continued involvement and awareness and lauded Felician’s students for being “abolitionists.”

Please click here for the Felician students’ video “Human Trafficking: The Unspoken Truth”.

The event was sponsored by the Felician College United Nations Fellows Program; Model United Nations; Office of International Programs; Office of Student Development and Enrichment; Residence Life; and the Student Government Association.