Presidential Speaker Siddharth Kara

TO: The Gonzaga Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Presidential Speaker Siddharth KaraTuesday, April 1st - 7:00pm, McCarthey Arena
DATE: February 27, 2014

The phenomena of human trafficking and modern slavery have begun to attract a great deal of attention among our students and many others in the wider public. “Bonded labor” – that is, labor performed by both adults and children who are literally held in slavery – involves an estimated 27 million human beings around the world. Sex trafficking, 98% of which involves the prostitution of young girls and women, is both the most lucrative, and the highest-profile, segment of those held captive. Significant numbers of people -- including many children -- who have been captured or sold into bondage and are working in horrendous circumstances, frequently providing labor in industries ranging from construction, to defense, to fishing, to luxury goods production.

It is with the aim of better understanding this contemporary social issue that I am pleased to announce Siddharth Kara, researcher, expert, and author of two books relating to modern human slavery -- “Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery,” (2009) and “Bonded Labor: Tackling the Problem of Slavery in South Asia” (2012) will share both the personal story of his involvement in this area and his eye-opening research on modern slavery – which involved documentation of over 1,300 cases in 30 countries -- when he appears as Gonzaga University’s Spring 2014 Presidential Speaker on Tuesday, April 1st  at 7:00 p.m., in the McCarthey Athletic Center. Following his presentation, Mr. Kara will be available to autograph his books and meet audience participants.

Mr. Kara’s courageous and intensive work pulls back the immense social curtain that hides the misery and horror experienced by millions, highlighting not only the consequences of modern slavery but the economic forces at work which give rise to it and its perpetuation. In Mr. Kara’s view, globalization and technology have meaningfully increased the numbers of people who are involved with the phenomena of human trafficking. My hope is that our students might have the opportunity to engage with an intelligent and provocative speaker, one who does offer a plan for addressing this entrenched, complex set of problems through research, understanding and ultimately, engagement. 

A limited number of complimentary tickets for students and employees are now available at the McCarthey Athletic Center Ticket office, thanks to sponsorship support from Moss Adams and Washington Trust Bank. (General admission ticket price is $10.) Given its relevance across so many disciplines, the activism of our students in this area, and with an eye towards the social justice dimension of our mission, I would ask that you consider asking your students to attend this important event. For further information, please contact Angela Ruff, at ext. 3572, or Thank you.

Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.

Chief of Staff to the President
John Sklut

Exec. Assistant to the President
Julia Bjordahl

Admin. Assistant/Event Coordinator
Allison Peterson