Justice week highlights modern-day slavery

Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
Historian Ron Soodalter speaks to students about modern-day slavery during the Justice Summit, the first session of Justice Week 2011, Monday in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniels Student Center. Organizations involved in Justice Week are hosting Dr Pepper Hour today.

By Caitlin Giddens

There is some information that can never be unlearned.

This is how Ron Soodalter, co-author of “The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today,” described the realization of slavery in America. Soodalter served as the keynote speaker at the Justice Summit Monday, which marked the beginning of Baylor’s third annual Justice Week.

“Slavery is a subject most Americans are not aware of,” Soodalter said. “But students who came to the Justice Summit will have an undeniable awareness of slavery in America. My goal is to bring awareness that slavery is in our country, our city and perhaps our neighborhood.”

In addition to receiving information on slavery in America, students who attended the Justice Summit were educated on injustice issues such as human trafficking.

“Unfortunately slavery isn’t dead, and neither is sex trafficking or other issues,” Alvarado senior Samantha Jones, a member of International Justice Mission, said.

Students can reflect on different social injustices by experiencing “The Tunnel of Oppression” from 6 to 10 p.m. today in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniels Student Center.

To fuse faith and justice, International Justice Mission will present the Heart for Justice Worship Night at 10 p.m. Wednesday in Fountain Mall.

“This will be an artsy event using prayer and worship to connect with social justice,” Jones said. “It will be interesting for Baylor students to see how they can plug religion into these issues.”

On Thursday night, International Justice Mission will partner with Acoustic Café to host a modern-day trafficking art exhibit. The exhibit will be held at 7 p.m. in the Bill Daniels Student Center den.

“This shows how artists and musicians and other students can get involved with social movements,” Jones said. “Regardless of what country you live in, slavery is happening.”

As an executive officer for Justice Week, Sugar Land junior Alex Scheibner said he hopes Justice Week will reach beyond social work majors on campus.

“With Justice Week, majors who haven’t heard about these issues can come and have their eyes opened,” Scheibner said.