In recognition and support of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day January 11, 2021, the SSND Central Pacific and Atlantic-Midwest Provinces, through their respective Shalom/ JPIC Departments and anti-human trafficking committees, hosted a webinar, “Human Trafficking and a Legacy of Racism.” Guest speakers were Jennifer Reyes Lay, Executive Director of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking and Melanie Thompson, Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. The webinar was recorded in its entirety. Please click the links below for the recording and supporting materials.
VIDEO (or copy and paste https://youtu.be/5eEkvU1cedI into your browser to view full screen).
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About our speakers:
Jennifer Reyes Lay is the first Executive Director of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. She believes strongly in the vision of a world without slavery and exploitation. Prior to this role Jennifer served as the Assistant Director of the JPIC Office for the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word – San Antonio, a congregation she first connected with as a lay missionary in Peru. She has a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary, and an honors B.A. in Theology and International Studies from St. Louis University. Over the past five years Jennifer has created and led workshops and presentations for Christians on the intersection between Christianity, colonialism and white supremacy, on the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration, on ecofeminism, and on unconscious bias and microaggressions within faith communities. She is an ecofeminist theologian and midwife of justice who lives with her husband Roger and dog Bella in St. Louis, MO.
Melanie Thompson is the Youth Outreach Coordinator at the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and is separately a speaker, activist, and leader in the global fight to end prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficked and sold into prostitution in New York at the age of 12, she was later arrested and placed into foster care. She became an activist at age 14. Ms. Thompson has testified before numerous legislatures about the need to pass strong anti-trafficking laws and ending the arrests of sex trafficked and prostituted children and people in the sex trade. She is a student at the City University of New York and plans to open a non-profit organization to assist victims of trafficking and foster care.