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U to host panel discussion today about issues of race and privilege as it relates to domestic human trafficking

March 26, 2012

“Girls Like Us,” a panel discussion regarding issues of race and privilege as they relate to domestic trafficking, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today, March 26 in the Great Hall, Coffman Union, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. The event is a prelude to Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) at the University of Minnesota in April. The Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education and Women’s Center at the U of M, along with several organizations, are sponsoring the panel and the question and answer period that will follow.

Panelists include:

  • Rachel Lloyd, executive director and founder of Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, author of "Girls Like Us" and recipient of the Reebok Human Rights Award. She is also a leading advocate for the Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act, which makes New York the first state to protect, not prosecute, sexually exploited children.
  • Joy Friedman, case manager, outreach specialist and program manager for Breaking Free, an agency in St. Paul that aims to educate and provide services to women and girls who have been victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. Friedman knows firsthand the importance of Breaking Free’s Women’s Program. After being trafficked as a teen and 27 years of surviving “the life,” she was one of the first women to successfully complete the Breaking Free program and then join their staff.
  • Stephanie Holt, founder and executive director of Mission 21, the first organization in Minnesota to open a children’s residential facility for girls 15 and younger. It is an anti-trafficking organization in Rochester, Minn., committed to the complete restoration of victims of human trafficking. 

To learn more about events that are part of the university’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which begins in April, go to

Twin Cities Campus: