Next week is Empathy Week at the University of Northern Colorado. Empathy Week will include a variety of activities aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking. The week will feature a multimedia exhibit about child exploitation, a documentary about commercial sexual exploitation in oil and gas boom towns, presentations by a victim of human trafficking, and a panel discussion. I have been invited to represent the faith community on the speaker panel. The schedule for the week is as follows:

Open Mic Night

Monday, Oct. 5th; 9:00-11:00pm in the University Center, Fireside Lounge

Megan Lundstrom will share information about sex trafficking in Greeley and Weld County. Lundstrom’s experiences as a victim of sex trafficking prompted her to form Free Our Girls, a non-profit organization that provides awareness and prevention programs related to trafficking.

The Apathy Effect Exhibit

Tuesday-Thursday, Oct 6th-8th; 10:00am-4:30pm in the University Center, Ballrooms (Individual Self-Guided Tours); 5:00-9:00pm (Guided Group Tours)

This 40-minute multi-media exhibit from iEmpathize is designed to erase apathy, ignite empathy, educate, and empower participants. The exhibit narrative includes a guided tour experience that incorporates film, photography, and artifacts to show where and why exploitation has occurred in the U.S., Asia, Russia and Mexico, and how participants can engage to end it. Groups can schedule an evening guided tour here.

Boom Night

Tuesday, Oct. 6th; 7:00pm in the University Center, Ballrooms

On Tuesday night, a documentary produced by iEmpathize will be shown. The film explores commercial sex exploitation in oil and gas boom towns in Kansas, North Dakota, and New Mexico.

The Freedom Drivers Project

Friday, Oct. 9th; 10:00am-3:00pm in the University Center, South Parking Lot

The Freedom Drivers Project is a first-of-its-kind mobile exhibit that educates members of the trucking industry and general public about the realities of domestic sex trafficking and how the trucking industry is combating it.

Panel Discussion and Community Response Forum

Friday, Oct. 9th; 10:15-11:45am in Brown Hall, Centennial Hall Room

Panelists will include:

  • Jerry Garner, Greeley Police Chief
  • Angie Henderson, UNC Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Diana Laws, Northeast Colorado Coalition Against Trafficking
  • Megan Lundstrom, Free Our Girls
  • Michael Rourke, Weld County District Attorney
  • Chris Sarlo, A Kid’s Place
  • Dillon Thornton, Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church

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