S.T.O.P!: Human Trafficking Awareness Week Events Planned for March 5–9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 02-27-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
530-898-4260
Kate Transchel,
Department of History
530-898-6417

S.T.O.P! (Stop Trafficking Of Persons!), a student organization at California State University, Chico, is offering films, panels and activities during national Human Trafficking Awareness Week, March 5–9. S.T.O.P! is a grassroots movement against global human trafficking and modern-day slavery that was founded by CSU, Chico students in spring of 2008. The organizers of the awareness week hope to educate more people about the shocking realities of human trafficking as it exists today.

"There are more slaves per capita in the world today than at any other time in human history,” said Kate Transchel, a professor of history at CSU, Chico, who has conducted research into trafficking. “The trade in human beings destroys the lives of thousands of people each year, and it is happening here in Butte County. Never has there been a greater need for an abolitionist movement than right here, right now."

“As students, this conference will give us an opportunity to engage with the issue of human trafficking in our own backyard,” said Jean-Claire Peltier, sociology major and president of S.T.O.P! on campus. “By bringing this global problem to the local level, we are hoping to develop new pathways to activism, advocacy and abolitionist movements right here in Chico.”

Two highlights of the week are visits by two filmmakers, musician Justin Dillon and documentarian Mimi Chakarova, both of whom have made films addressing modern day slavery. Dillon will screen “Call + Response” on March 8 and discuss his current campaigns to combat trafficking. Chakarova will screen her documentary, “The Price of Sex,” on March 9, and discuss her work.

Dillon started hosting benefit concerts for organizations addressing the problem of modern day slavery. His passion grew into a “rockumentary” that combined critically acclaimed artists such as Moby, Natasha Bedingfield and Matisyahu with social luminaries such as Cornell West, Ashley Judd, Julia Ormond, Nicholas Kristof and Madeline Albright. The film was named one of the top documentaries of 2008.

Dillon and the film have been featured on CNN, the Today Show, MSNBC and the Dr. Phil Show, and in the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Sun and the Huffington Post. He has spoken at the White House, Department of State, United Nations events, the Clinton Global Initiative, and Princeton, Harvard and Columbia Universities. The film has helped raise more than $250,000 for front-line groups helping to free slaves and rehabilitate victims.

Chakarova earned a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MA from UC Berkeley. She is currently working on two long-term projects: the conflict in Kashmir and sex trafficking of women in Eastern Europe. She teaches photography at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and at Stanford University. Chakarova received the 2003 Dorothea Lange Fellowship for documentary photography and the 2005 Magnum Photos Inge Morath Award for her work on sex trafficking.

Schedule of Events

All events are free and open to the public.

Monday, March 5
Noon–3 p.m., Trinity Commons
Kick-off: Live music and spoken narratives from accounts of former slaves

Tuesday, March 6
11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Colusa Hall 110
Trafficking 101: Professors Kate Transchel, history, and Janja Lalich, sociology, will speak on the problem of human trafficking, both globally and locally.

Wednesday, March 7
11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Colusa Hall 110
Get Informed—It’s Happening Here!
Panel: Lieutenant John Vanek, retired from the San Jose Police Human Trafficking Task Force, teaches workshops at the Monterey Institute of International Studies; Tanya Shannon and Anise Shah, Survivors of Human Trafficking (SOT); representative from Opening Doors, Sacramento.

Thursday, March 8
11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Colusa Hall 110
Becoming a Modern-Day Abolitionist
Panel: Musician/filmmaker Justin Dillon; Rosario Dowling, Sacramento Regional Director, Californians Against Slavery; Michelle Anderson Curran, who spent a semester in Thailand working with a faith-based organization to rescue trafficked girls from the bars.

7–9 p.m.
BMU Auditorium
Rockumentary: “Call+ Response,” with special guest appearance by musician and filmmaker Justin Dillon.

Friday, March 9
7–10 p.m.
BMU Auditorium
Presentation and Screening of the film “The Price of Sex,” by documentarian Mimi Chakorova, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley.

Co-sponsors of Human Trafficking Awareness Week are the Office of the President, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alpha Rho, The Department of History and the History Club, and the Departments of Sociology and Political Science. Associated Students activities fees help fund the week. 

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