April 17, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) has partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking project to create Shut Out Trafficking, a program to raise awareness against human trafficking on ten university and college campuses across the United States during the 2014-2015 academic year. The Shut Out Trafficking campaign uses sports as a platform to help inform campuses about trafficking by utilizing the draw of student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators to engage the larger student body on the issue.
The goals of Shut Out Trafficking are to raise awareness about human trafficking in the United States, and to empower students to take action while learning the value that love and forgiveness can have in implementing change. Shut Out Trafficking educates college students on the brutality of human trafficking and the $150 billion dollar industry it has become.
Human trafficking is one of the most horrific human rights violations existing in our world today. An estimated 27 million people are human trafficking victims worldwide, one third of whom are children. The root causes include poverty, discrimination, lack of education, lack of social and legal protections and violence. In the United States, most people who know human trafficking exists believe it is a problem only outside our borders. However, trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. In the United States alone it is estimated that there are between 100,000 – 300,000 children at risk for sex trafficking,* and thousands more are exploited through labor trafficking in agriculture, carnivals and domestic servitude.
The NCAS and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF hosts week-long outreach programs on these campuses including keynote speakers, film screenings, appearances by prominent student-athletes and coaches, discussion groups with students, survivors of human trafficking and public service announcements. Speakers share their personal stories and their reflections about the power of love and forgiveness in their lives. Students participating in the events will be invited to become active in anti-trafficking work to help end human trafficking.
In the fall, Shut Out Trafficking took place at the following schools: LaSalle University (Philadelphia, Pa.), St. John’s University (New York, N.Y.), Tulane University (New Orleans, La.), Brown University (Providence, R.I.) and the University of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.). More than 5,200 people were engaged on the five campuses and there were more than 3.2 million social media impressions. Shut Out Trafficking scheduled five university and college campuses programs in spring 2015. The first of these took place at the University of Denver (Colorado), followed by Chicago State University (Illinois), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) before ending the season at The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa).
During the week of April 19-23, The University of Alabama will be hosting Shut Out Trafficking through the following events:
“Shut Out Trafficking” Kick-Off Event
Sunday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. (Coleman Coliseum)
Dual Keynote Address featuring Dr. Richard Lapchick, President and Founder of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport and contributor to espn.com and the Sports Business Journal, and Malea Otranto, Representative of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF End Trafficking Project
*This event will be open to the public.
Monday, April 20 at 10 a.m. (Ferguson Student Center)
Will feature interaction between student-athletes and student body on the issue of human trafficking. Events of this day will include a display of living quarters used to house human trafficking victims, human trafficking education by the student-athletes and student body, and video screenings of human trafficking documentaries.
Social Media Blast
Tuesday, April 21 All Day
Will utilize Alabama athletics social media channels to provide interactive videos and facts on the issue of human trafficking. Videos will feature representatives from all Alabama athletic teams. Social media accounts will also be encouraged to change their “avatar” to the “Shut Out Trafficking” logo for this day.
“Sleep Out on the Soccer Field”
Wednesday, April 22 at 6 p.m. until Thursday, April 23 at 6 a.m. (Alabama Soccer Stadium)
Event designed to educate and unite student-athletes with the student body on the issue of youth homelessness which directly correlates to human trafficking. The night will feature guest speakers, video documentaries with corresponding discussions, and the real-life horror story from a human trafficking survivor.
Culminating Event: “Shut Out Trafficking” game – Alabama softball vs. Tennessee
Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m. (Rhoads Stadium)
Final efforts to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking will be accomplished in conjunction with the Alabama vs. Tennessee softball game (which will have ESPN coverage). The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive a free “ShutOutHT” wristband which will be worn by the Alabama players and staff during this game.
For 29 years, the mission of the NCAS has been to “use the power of sport to effect positive social change.” The NCAS educates and empowers individuals and organizations by inspiring values-based thinking leading to actions that promote social responsibility and equality. Through Dr. Richard Lapchick’s leadership, the NCAS has improved college student-athlete graduation rates, advocated for diversity and inclusion in all athletic organizations and created programs to affect social change in sports and society including combatting domestic violence.
The End Trafficking project is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s initiative to raise awareness about child trafficking and mobilize communities to take meaningful action to help protect children. In partnership with concerned individuals and groups, the End Trafficking project aims to bring us all closer to a day when there are zero exploited children.
The Shut Out Trafficking project is funded by the Fetzer Institute.
* U.S. Department of Justice, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
For more information about the Shut Out Trafficking campaign, visit
National Consortium for Academics & Sports (NCAS)
Email: Michaela Robbins ([email protected])