Media Advisory: Rice to ‘Shut Out Trafficking’


David Ruth

Rice to ‘Shut Out Trafficking’
Weeklong campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage action against human trafficking

HOUSTON – (Oct. 29, 2016) – Starting Monday, Rice students will participate in a weeklong effort to help end human trafficking and forced labor, an issue that affects an estimated 21 million people globally.

Rice Athletics and its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) are partnering with U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the National Consortium for Academics and Sports to present Shut Out Trafficking Week Oct. 31-Nov. 4. To address the evils of human trafficking and empower community engagement, the campaign will feature a panel discussion, Fair Trade Fair and film screening.

According to 2015 data from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Texas is second only to California as the state with the most hotline calls reporting human trafficking crimes. From December 2007 to June 2015, there were 717 confirmed cases of human trafficking identified in Houston. Human trafficking, which subjects victims to force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor, generates an estimated $150 billion in yearly profits.

Who:  Emily Pasnak-Lapchick, END Trafficking program manager at U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and Richard Lapchick, director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida, will deliver the keynote address. Jenna Cooper, community education specialist at United Against Human Trafficking; Ellen Diemert, president of SAAC; Carolina Fuentes, senior prevention advisory specialist at Love 146; Kerry Ward, Rice associate professor of history; and Rafael Pantoja, a Houston Police Department officer, will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Edgar Cruz, program engagement fellow at END Trafficking, that will provide ways for students, faculty and staff to get involved in the prevention of human trafficking.

What: Using sports as a platform to help inform the Rice community, the campaign engages student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators to educate the student body about human trafficking and encourage actions to eradicate the issue.

When and where:
Keynote address on introduction to human trafficking, Monday, Oct. 31, 7-8:30 p.m. in Sewall Hall, Room 301, 6100 Main St.

Fair Trade Fair, Rice Farmers Market, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 3:30-6:30 p.m. at 5600 Greenbriar Dr.

“Not My Life” film screening and panel, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 7-8:30 p.m. in Sewall Hall, Room 301.

Shut Out Trafficking Week events are open to the public. A map of the university is available here. Sewall Hall is No. 72 on the map. Paid parking is available in the Founder’s Court Visitor Lot.


Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to

About National Consortium for Academics & Sports
For 30 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.

About U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s End Trafficking Project
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 no exploited children. For more information about the Shut Out Trafficking campaign, visit


About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.