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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMass Boston to Host “Shut Out Trafficking” Week

This fall semester, the University of Massachusetts Boston will be one of a number of colleges hosting the “Shut Out Trafficking” event on their campuses all over the United States. It will be the second year that this UNICEF project will take place at American universities and colleges, and the first year for UMass Boston to be a part of this.

In order to facilitate this event, UNICEF has partnered with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) in order to specifically target universities. UNICEF states that the goal of this event is to “raise awareness and promote action to end human trafficking,” as well as to “empower students to take action against it.”

As UMass Boston is always open to introduce their students to current issues and raise awareness about important subjects, the school has organized a planning committee to organize a week dedicated to human trafficking this semester. Student organizations, Clark Athletic Center, MassPIRG, the Provost, the Undergraduate Student Government, other faculty, as well as Fair Trade are all working together to get the student body involved and informed about the issues of human trafficking.

The event will take course over the week from November 9-13 and be held in different locations of the campus.

The project will include different types of events, from tabling events to a movie screening of the documentary “Not my life.” Furthermore, human rights activist, scholar, author, and President of NCAS Richard E. Lapchick will appear at the event as the keynote speaker.

Apart from educating students and others about human trafficking and related legislation, the involved organizations will also promote an official petition for preventing human trafficking in the United States. As USG Vice President Ciro Castaldi explains, “We will be asking students, faculty, and community members to sign the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Advocacy Alert.” Thus, UMass Boston members could actively contribute to end and prevent human trafficking in the future.

In order to connect students and members from all participating universities, this project will use the official hashtag #ShutoutHT.

USG Vice-President Ciro Castaldi states that it is important to have such events at UMass Boston and raise awareness about human trafficking because “The issue does not receive enough attention at universities worldwide although students at many schools have been associated with it and faculty have conducted research about it.” Therefore, UMass Boston, being a “diverse and unique campus,” should be a part of this cause and actively involve students.

Professor Klein Hattori of the Department of Sociology emphasizes that UMass Boston’s students’ “are going to go on the be leaders in this city, nation, and beyond. To have these future leaders understand and be able to speak to the nuance and extent to which trafficking is embedded in our larger, global social structure, benefits society, our students, trafficked individuals, and survivors.”