Internationally recognized lawyer, activist, educator and writer Lauren Hersh recently examined the stunning growth and impact of human trafficking in a virtual presentation as part of the Daniel Pearl Education Center Speaker Series.

Hersh, a former New York prosecutor and currently the national director of World Without Exploitation, described the continued expansion of this multi-billion dollar industry into our communities.

“Human trafficking isn’t just happening overseas,” Hersh said. “It’s happening every day, in every neighborhood in the U.S. It’s important that we understand who the victims are, the patterns of exploitation, the tactics traffickers use and, most importantly, what each of us can do to make a difference.”

Hersh spoke virtually, and a replay of her presentation is available here.

“This is a very serious subject and is somewhat outside our traditional focus on building community,” said Dr. Andrew Boyarsky, chairman of the Daniel Pearl Education Center. “This is a practice that is breaking apart our communities and is creating many innocent victims. We have an opportunity here for us to learn about these predatory practices and what we can do to protect those among us.”

Founded in 2016, World Without Exploitation is a national coalition that brings together exploitation and trafficking survivors, human rights and general justice advocates, artists, activists and direct service providers.

Previous speakers in the Daniel Pearl Education Center Speaker Series have included: Dr. Perry Brickman, who was the subject of a documentary, “From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory’s Dental School History”; Dr. Berndt Wollschlaeger, the son of a decorated Nazi tank commander who traveled to Israel, converted to Judaism and later served in the Israel Defense Forces; representatives of Seton Hall University as part of the showing of Sister Rose’s Passion, a documentary film that examines the life of Sister Rose Thering, a Roman Catholic nun and former professor at Seton Hall University who battled anti-Semitism within her church and contributed to a historic Vatican declaration that Jews were not collectively responsible for the death of Jesus; Sheryl Olitzky, co-founder of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom; legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley, who spoke about providing opportunities and guidance to underprivileged youth; best-selling author Yvette Manessis Corporon (Something Beautiful Happened), who spoke about survival and courage in the face of evil; and the Tyler Clementi Foundation’s Jane Clementi, who lost her son Tyler to suicide after he became the victim of homophobic cyber bullying.

The Daniel Pearl Education Center is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to the ideals of understanding and community – those principles that are part of the legacy of the late Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Pearl was kidnapped and later murdered by extremists in Pakistan in early 2002. The DPEC sponsors a wide range of community outreach programs, including an annual community youth trip to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and more. The DPEC annually participates in the global Daniel Pearl Music Days, an international network of concerts that use the power of music to reaffirm a commitment to humanity and understanding.