Justice Drives Intern Initiative
Thanks to the social justice concerns of Kaitlyn Miller ’15 and Connor Romenesko ’15, a semester-long series on human trafficking is now underway at St. Norbert. The students launched the series as interns with the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding.
“The center understands that many human rights violations such as human trafficking can be tough, sensitive and uncomfortable topics of discussion for many people,” Miller says. “But we hope to have these discussions act as a unifying point and educational resource.”
The series aims to engage students and faculty in conversation in a welcoming, flexible environment. “We are open to discussing many facets of human trafficking,” Miller says. “We encourage students to voice what they would like to see.”
For example, a student expressed interest in presenting the findings of her independent research. “We are all for that type of spontaneous development,” Miller says.
Katelyn Cashman ’13, a former intern at the Miller Center, came from Philadelphia to give the series’ first talk, “Closer Than We Think,” in mid-February. Cashman, a member of the Cabrini Mission Corps, does advocacy work researching sex and labor trafficking. By raising awareness and dispelling misconceptions about the nature of trafficking, Cashman’s talk demonstrated that human trafficking is a human rights concern not only internationally but also domestically.
The Miller Center continues programming in March and April, addressing compelling current events. A March 4 documentary screening and April 8 fact-or-fiction wrap-up round out the series.
“We welcome all to come and participate. It’s our goal to have these events cross social groups. We’re not immune from human trafficking of any kind, as it can happen anywhere, even in a small town like De Pere,” says Miller.
By offering nuanced and open-ended discussions, the Norman Miller Center series on human trafficking continues the tradition of talks that prompt as many questions as they provide answers.
Miller says, “It’s time for human trafficking as a social justice issue to have its time in the spotlight. We want to encourage questioning about an issue as tough and controversial as this.”
March 4, 2014