CSUB’s Kegley Institute of Ethics Presents Spring Lecture Featuring Actress Mira Sorvino

Actress and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Mira Sorvino will speak about the global fight against human trafficking at the California State University, Bakersfield’s Kegley Institute of Ethics 31st Annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, in the Doré Theatre.

Sorvino’s lecture, “The Global Fight Against Human Trafficking: A Voice for Victims of Modern Day Slavery,” will be hosted by The Kegley Institute of Ethics and the Kern County Coalition Against Human Trafficking. It is free and open to the public.

“By some accounts, there are more people in bondage today than at any point in history,” noted Christopher Meyers, KIE’s director. “This is obviously a profound moral tragedy, one that impacts Kern County in significant ways. Sorvino is a world-leading authority on the subject, so we are very fortunate to have her speak at CSUB.”

While many know Sorvino for her work as an actress in popular movies and television shows, such as “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and “At First Sight,” she also is a noted documentary filmmaker, human rights advocate and a passionate voice for victims of social injustice.

The actress/activist received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer in a Lifetime miniseries called “Human Trafficking,” which depicted the heartbreaking lives of young women and children forced into commercial sexual exploitation, along with labor trafficking.

Her role as U.N. Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking has given her rare insight into the issue. She pulls back the curtain on the abduction and coercion of women, men, and children for the purpose of sex, labor, and military exploitation.

Her efforts landed her the Amnesty International Artist of Conscience Award, and she served as the Official Ambassador for Amnesty International’s “Stop Violence Against Women” campaign from 2004 to 2008, after which she was appointed to the U.N. position.

Sorvino has traveled the world on behalf of the United Nations, lobbied Congress on human trafficking, and testified before the U.S. Senate on the atrocities occurring around the world, from Mexico to Darfur. She has captivated audiences with her passion and leaves them inspired with her personal belief that it is a sacred human responsibility to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

According to the latest information, the trafficking of human beings currently claims 30 million victims and annual profits are upwards of $32 billion, tying for second place as the most lucrative criminal enterprise, alongside arms trafficking and behind illicit drugs.

In this transnational organized crime, women, men, and children are being bought and sold like commodities to the highest bidder. Such modern-day slavery violates the most basic human rights: The rights to dignity and freedom, and against harm.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is free and available in Lots A, B and C after 6 p.m.

KIE is also sponsoring a post-Sorvino panel discussion on Wednesday, April 19, focusing on the Kern County perspective of human trafficking. In partnership with the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the panel will feature: Michael Fagans, coordinator, Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking; Patricia Henry, social work professor, CSUB; Josh Finney, sergeant, Bakersfield Police Department (BPD); and Sandy Woo, human trafficking victim advocate, Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault. KIE Director Dr. Christopher Meyers will moderate the panel. Admission is free, with free parking in Lots J, K1, K2 and L after 6 p.m.

As with all KIE events, this lecture is able to take place thanks to the generous support from Kern Schools Federal Credit Union and a partnership between Kaiser Permanente Adventist Health Bakersfield. For more information on these events, please call (661) 654-2555 or visit csub.edu/kie.

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