Villanova University Athletics Set to Host “Shut Out Trafficking” Week

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s Department of Athletics is set to host a “Shut Out Trafficking” (SOT) week of advocacy, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking Program. This week of advocacy—March 14-17 on the campus of Villanova University—will bring together the campus community and highlight the human rights issue of human trafficking.

Villanova Athletics will partner with the following University centers, in a cross-curricular coalition to bring awareness and educational programming to students, faculty and staff:

The goal of SOT week is to utilize the platform of college athletics at an institution of higher education as a vehicle to create social change. The week of events will feature prominent sports figures along with academic, social justice and law enforcement speakers and presenters, all of whom will speak to the plight of the millions of humans around the world who are currently being trafficked.

As defined by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF: “Human Trafficking has been likened to modern-day slavery that subjects children, women, and men to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. This horrific practice can include prostitution, pornography, and sex tourism as well as labor for domestic service, factory of construction work, and migrant framing.”

It is estimated that there are 5.5 million child victims of trafficking and forced labor around the world, with instances of human trafficking reported in all 50 states in the U.S. According to UNICEFUSA.org, “anyone can be trafficked, regardless of class, education, gender or age when forcefully coerced or lured by false promises.”

Villanova Athletics is one of eight member schools of the NCAS who have hosted or will be hosting SOT Weeks on their campuses during the 2015-16 academic year. Villanova Athletics has been a member institution of the NCAS since 2000.  

All SOT Week events are open to the entire Villanova campus community. The following is a list of the SOT Week events:

Monday, March 14

Information Table

  • Time/Location: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; Connelly Center, Upper Level

Keynote Presentations

  • Time/Location: 7 p.m.; Connelly Center, Villanova Room
  • Details: Keynote Presentations by Dr. Richard Lapchick (Founder and President of NCAS) and Ms. Emily Pasnak-Lapchick (End-Trafficking Officer, U.S. Fund for UNICEF).

Tuesday, March 15

“Not My Life” Documentary Screening and Q&A

  • Time/Location: 7 p.m.; Connelly Center Cinema
  • Details: Documentary part of the Center for Peace and Justice Education’s Spring Film Series.

Wednesday, March 16

Panel: “Sex Trafficking in South Eastern PA: the Criminal Justice Response

  • Time/Location: 5:30 p.m.; Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Room 102
  • Details: Panelists include President Judge Marsha Neifield, Philadelphia Municipal Court; Michelle Morgan, Esq., Assistant U.S. Attorney; Detective Les Glauner, Upper Merion Police; and Jamie Manirakiza, MSW, Director of Anti-Trafficking and Social Services for the Salvation Army.

Thursday, March 17

March Madness End Trafficking Event

  • Time/Location: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; Connelly Center, Lower Level
  • Details: Informational event featuring former Villanova men’s basketball players Shane Clark ‘09 and Frank Tchuisi ’09.

For more on the SOT Week initiative and the issue of human trafficking, visit The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and The End Trafficking Program, U.S. Fund for UNICEF.