NCAS Brings Shut Out Trafficking to 10 U.S. Campuses

ShutOutTrafficking_LogoBlock_SmallDuring Generation W, Dr. Richard Lapchick talked about the importance of the huddle in sports. “Once you get in that huddle it suddenly doesn’t matter if you are African American or White or Latino or Asian American or Native American or Arab American. It doesn’t matter if you are Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Sikh, Jew, Hindu or Muslim. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, gay or straight, come from a rich family or a poor family, you can’t win unless you pull together. Imagine if we took that concept and brought it into our classrooms, corporate America, into all forms of work life in this country, what an amazingly different world it would be.”

As the founder and president of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), Lapchick is not just telling people about the huddle—he’s showing up on college campuses throughout the U.S. to move the power of the huddle off the field (or court) and into the world. Targeting 10 U.S. colleges and universities, the NCAS partnered with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to launch the Shut Out Trafficking initiative during this past school year. This initiative brought together prominent student-athletes, coaches, athletic administrators and students for a one-week program to raise awareness about human trafficking in the United States and inspire students to take action while learning the value love and forgiveness can have in implementing change.

During the week of April 13, 2015, Shut Out Trafficking was held on the campus of the University of Nebraska. Here’s an excerpt from a great article by Cory Nagel in the Daily Nebraskan on how this program not only brought light to the issue of human trafficking, but how sports can do to impact change:

 

This industry is happening all around us; 100,000 to 300,000 children are at risk for sex trafficking, just in the United States. One of the top three destinations for trafficking victims is the U.S.

I could go on and on listing alarming facts; the point of this column is to tell you how to help spread the awareness and to influence you to do your part in stopping human trafficking. This is where sports come into the picture. In my opinion, using sports will have a monumental impact on the process of prevention.

Sporting events of all levels attract an unimaginable amount of spectators each year. These events are the perfect opportunity to educate and spread awareness to stop human trafficking.

At the Friday baseball/softball double-header, those who attended may have noticed a blue blob in the middle of the third-base berm. Members of the Husker Distinction Council and several athletes, including members of the swimming and diving team, made up a group of more than a dozen people all wearing T-shirts with ‘Shut Out Trafficking #SOT’ printed in bold on the front.

Now, picture a section at a professional event, heck…think local. Imagine it at Memorial Stadium or Pinnacle Bank Arena. We all saw the impact the ‘Yellow Zone’ had when everyone wore their ‘#AveryStrong’ shirts.

Athletes have been used for advertising and promotion of products and events countless numbers of times. Again, at the local level, Husker athletes promoted events during last week. Many pictures were posted on social media of athletes from a variety of sports holding blue signs with ‘Huskers Against Trafficking’ and ‘Shut Out Trafficking’ written on them.

Even Lil’ Red, everyone’s favorite air-filled mascot, got in on the action taking time to get his picture taken with a sign at the spring game.

Taking these same ideas of raising awareness to a larger scale would account for extensive results. When I say large scale, I mean Super Bowl, Olympics and World Cup, places where thousands of prostitutes are brought into cities that host such events.

If you promote the prevention of human trafficking at these events, the number of victims trafficked will at the least decrease.

Click here to read Cory’s entire article.

 

As Dr. Lapchick stated during this year’s Generation W, “We need to help young people believe in what they cannot see.” Thanks for leading the way, Dr. Lapchick! Click here for more information about the Shut Out Trafficking initiative and the campuses that were visited this past year.