The National Consortium of Academics & Sports, based at the University of Central Florida, is partnering with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to launch Shut Out Trafficking, a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and encourage students to become active in efforts to end it.

During events on 10 university campuses across the United States this fall and spring, Shut Out Trafficking will use sports as the platform to help inform and engage students about one of the most horrific human-rights violations in the world today. The participation of student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators will help to engage students.

NCAS and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will host week-long outreach programs on the 10 campuses to include public service announcements, film screenings, discussion groups with students, and possibly speakers who are survivors of human trafficking. Speakers will share their personal stories and their reflections about the power of love and forgiveness in their lives. Students participating in the events will be invited to become active in working to help end human trafficking.

There are five campus programs in the fall and five in the spring. The first was Oct. 6-10 at LaSalle University in Philadelphia.

The other Shut Out Trafficking programs will take place at the following schools:

  • Oct. 20-25, St. John’s University (New York)
  • Oct. 27-31, Tulane University (New Orleans)
  • Nov. 3-7, Brown University (Providence, R.I.)
  • Nov. 10-14, University of Central Florida
  • Spring visits, with dates to be determined, will include UCLA, the University of Denver (Colorado), the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), and Chicago State University.
  • The goals of Shut Out Trafficking are to raise awareness about human trafficking in the United States and to empower students to take action. Shut Out Trafficking will educate college students on the brutality of human trafficking and the $150 billion dollar industry it has become.

    An estimated 27 million people — one third of whom are children — are enslaved now, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

    The root causes include poverty, discrimination, lack of education, lack of social and legal protections, and violence. In the United States, many people who know human trafficking exists believe it is a problem only outside our borders. However, trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. In the United States alone it is estimated there are 100,000 to 300,000 children at risk for sex trafficking, and thousands more are exploited through labor trafficking in agriculture, carnivals, and domestic servitude.

    For 29 years, the mission of the NCAS has been to “use the power of sport to effect positive social change.” The NCAS educates and empowers individuals and organizations by inspiring values-based thinking leading to actions that promote social responsibility and equality.

    Through Dr. Richard Lapchick’s leadership at UCF, the NCAS has improved college student-athlete graduation rates, advocated for issues of diversity that plague athletic organizations, and created programs to affect social change in sports and society. Lapchick also is chair of UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management program and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

    The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to eliminate the cases of exploited children.

    The Shut Out Trafficking project is funded by the Fetzer Institute.

    For more information, visit the NCAS website at www.ncasports.org/services/human-trafficking/ and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF website at https://www.unicefusa.org/mission/protect/trafficking/end.

    Contact:

    National Consortium for Academics & Sports (NCAS)

    407-823-4770

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: www.ncasports.org