Human trafficking occurs in every Minnesota county, and the Twin Cities are one of the 15 largest trafficking centers in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

CAPTION: Three young women from the Philippines were rescued from the sex industry where many end up after they are trafficked. They are now living in a shelter where they are provided an education and counseling so they can regain their childhoods.

On Nov. 13, a panel of experts from throughout the state will gather at Saint Mary’s University’s Winona campus to discuss “Sold: Human Trafficking in Minnesota and Beyond” including:

  • global aspects of trafficking;
  • human rights, especially women’s and children’s issues;
  • impact on rural and urban Minnesota;
  • how to talk about the issue; and
  • initiatives underway to combat trafficking.

Panelists will include Dennis Cusick, Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute; Sister Marlys Jax, Sisters of Saint Francis at Assisi Heights; Michele Garnett McKenzie, Advocates for Human Rights; and Grant Snyder, Minneapolis Police Department. The moderator will be Fred de Sam Lazaro, director of the Under-Told Stories Project at Saint Mary’s University and a correspondent for PBS NewsHour.

The event will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Figliulo Recital Hall. The public is invited, and refreshments will be provided. Register online at

The same event will be held on SMU’s Twin Cities campus Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Saint Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave., Minneapolis.

This event is made possible by the Under-Told Stories Project as seen on the PBS NewsHour, and is sponsored by the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

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