Bethlehem, PA., November 20, 2014—Moravian College’s newest student group HOUNDS FOR FREEDOM NETWORK kicks-off with a panel discussion focusing on human trafficking as the first of many issues surrounding modern day slavery. The event will be on Monday, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the United Brethren’s Room of the Haupert Union Building at Moravian College. The event free of charge and the public is welcome.
The panel will include local and global partners: Beck Sullivan, chair to Awareness/Prevention Team at VAST; Kim Checkeye, president of Truth for Women; Natalie Hagan, exhibit/special projects coordinator at Restavek Freedom Foundation, Formerly with The A21 Campaign; and Cynthia Mota, Allentown city councilwoman.
Hernán Córdoba '15 and Lauren Nicholas ‘01 have been raising awareness and gaining support on campus concerning the issue of human trafficking and other forms of modern day slavery. "The goal for this event is to raise campus awareness, present the partners and formally claim our obligation to our community. Attendees will leave this event informed, empowered, and connected to this great cause," said Nicholas.
The idea for the group began almost a year ago when Nicholas, an alumna and educational technologist at Moravian College and Debra Torok, Moravian's artist-lecturer in piano, who also teaches a course called Artists As Activists, began discussing this issue and ways they might raise awareness with students on campus. Torok incorporated the issue of human trafficking in her Artists As Activists course this semester and invited Nicholas to attend a lecture by Kim Checkeye, president of Truth For Women, a safe house for women recovering from sexual exploitation in Bethlehem, Pa, where she met Hernan Córdoba. Immediately, the HOUNDS FOR FREEDOM NETWORK team was born.
“We feel it is way past time to step up and take the lead in our community on this." said Nicholas. " A couple thousand college kids and their professors actually banding together? Add in staff...and alumni....and local and global partners… we could move mountains! Clearly, we have a big job ahead of us, and it starts here, at home,” says Nicholas.
“Being part of the Lehigh Valley Community and also part of the student body at Moravian College, I felt a network was needed to equip and mobilize the community and serve as a platform for students and faculty to get involved and join forces for a greater cause,” said Córdoba. “The second largest—and fastest growing—problem on the earth today is human trafficking. It’s not just in places on the other side of the globe… it’s happening right here! In order to fight this injustice, it needs to start right here.”
HOUNDS FOR FREEDOM is a network: a group of Moravian College students, faculty, staff and alumni committed to playing our part in the abolition of modern day slavery. The goal is to mobilize the entire Moravian community through awareness on campus to engage in our local and global community through partnerships. The group has four main objectives, called “ASAP”: Awareness, Support, Action, and Partnership. Awareness begins on campus and continues into the community as they plan to utilize The A21 Campaign’s high-school based curriculum, Bodies Are Not Commodities, in our local school districts. Support is the glue that holds this all together: our current students, our prospective students, faculty, staff and alumni, all doing their part! Action happens through events, service trips, fundraising, etc. Partnership is created with both local and global organizations as well as community members. Strategic local partners include VAST (the Valley Against Sex Trafficking) and Truth For Women. Global partners include The A21 Campaign and Restavek Freedom Foundation.
Moravian College is a private coeducational liberal arts college, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, Moravian is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college and the first to educate women. The College emphasizes the deliberate integration of a broad-based liberal arts curriculum with hands-on learning experiences to prepare its 1,600 students, not just for jobs, but for successful careers. Moravian College excels at transforming good students into highly competent graduates who are ready to enter the workplace with confidence or shine in graduate school. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.