One of the first things the audience heard while patiently awaiting Mira Sorvino’s presentation, was this lecture was going to be very different than all the other speaking engagements in the series.
Both President Arminana and Andrea Neves said they were excited for Sorvino’s engagement because it was going to be discussing a topic that’s not discussed enough.
Human trafficking is a worldwide issue. It happens everyday, all over the world. Mira Sorvino, the Goodwill Ambassador for Global Fight Against Human Trafficking for the United Nations, spoke at the Green Music Center last Tuesday.
Sorvino has been an activist for human trafficking for over 12 years now, and has made several documentaries while travelling all over the world working for the cause.
“The whole goal of the process is a good discussion about social justice,” said Erik Dickson, an employee for On Campus Presents. “We’ve brought speakers who talked about race and social justice, we’ve talked about class, so this is the first time we really talked about something as specific as human trafficking, really focused on a hyper specific issue.”
Sorvino’s talk covered different topics relating to human trafficking. She revealed statistics such as 30 million people are currently enslaved and 79 percent of all women and girls are in slavery.
She also told stories about how women were told they were lower than dogs, and the way that traffickers get their slaves to do what they want is by threatening their families. This method works every single time and traffickers all over the world use it.
“She’s a really good speaker, I thought it was interesting but different in a good way,” said sophomore Colin Chinn. “She seemed like she was crying the whole time. It’s an emotional topic but that just kind of pulled me in more and it made me really aware of some things that I’m not aware of.”
Sorvino was able to keep the audience’s attention not only through the use of emotion while speaking, but also by laying out statistics and showing the audience clips from different documentaries she has been apart of.
“I’m always I’m an advocate for human rights and making a change in the world so it just gave me more to get involved with it, like at something I’m already passionate but then getting more information on it was helpful,” said Chinn.
After Sorvino finished her lecture, there was an audience Q&A that featured both students and community member voices.
The Q&A became a form of discussion for those who were willing to participate and people were answering each other’s questions and letting others know of other resources in the community.
Many asked how they could get involved in the issue of human trafficking, which Sorvino went into detail about in the last ten minutes of her lecture. The Neves/Evans Lecture Series takes place every year at Sonoma State.
“[It’s]a great foundation Sonoma State University, it’s something that’s happened for a lot of years. They’ve had some great speakers, so it’s something that I think the campus, we are a huge beneficiary of the lecture series,” said Dickson. “There’s a lot to be discussed and if you look into media there are social justice conversations going on everywhere particularly on college campuses. It’s a very relevant topic right now.”