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Department ofReligious Studies


Anti-trafficking event - Winter 2022

Anti-trafficking event - Winter 2022

Filmmaker and Anti-Trafficking Activist Speak at RS-Sponsored Event

The terrible realities of sex trafficking are not just global, they are also common in our local San Francisco Bay Area communities. On March 1, Shynie Lu and Maya Babow spoke to a gathered group of attendees about those realities in a special Zoom event entitled “Survival to Empowerment: Lived Experiences of Human Trafficking.” The event was hosted by STOP-HT (Santa Clara University Teaching, Outreach, and Programs against Human Trafficking), a faculty/staff group that includes event organizers Karen Peterson-Iyer and Jan Giddings and that is based out of the Religious Studies department. A showing of the short documentary entitled “Strong Survival” was followed by a conversation with Lu, the film director, and Babow, whose experiences being trafficked in the SF Bay Area are chronicled in the film. The event drew a crowd of 55 students, faculty, and other SCU community members.

Following the showing of the film Shynie, now an SCU senior, spoke about connecting with Maya and how she decided to make the film while she was still a high school student. Maya, a current student at Sonoma State University, spoke to her lived experiences being trafficked as a young teenager. Both women kept the audience in keen attention for the entire hour, and a number of students remained in the Zoom-room afterward to ask more and learn more. The evening demonstrated the pressing need for education on this global and local moral issue.

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