Hundreds Join Walsh University and Not For Sale: One Step At A Time For Fourth Annual Community Freedom Summit and Freedom Walk

For the past four years, Walsh University and Not For Sale: One Step At A Time have joined the fight to end human trafficking by hosting a Community Freedom Summit with a silent Freedom Walk as part of the event.  This year’s event on Saturday, September 24, focused on labor trafficking.

Attorney Sarah Anjum delivered a powerful keynote presentation educating guests on the difficult reality of the prevalence of human trafficking around the globe, including right here in Stark County.  In addition, more than 10 community partners were in attendance as part of a broad collaboration to provide free educational resources and outreach resources for the community.  The educational speaker series ended with Harold D’Souza who shared a moving survival story of how he and his family were forced into debt bondage and exploited by their trafficker. The event concluded with a powerful, one-mile Freedom Walk in silence to reflect on those who have been silenced through the tragedy of human trafficking and a prayer for the victims led by Walsh University Senior Chaplain Fr. Tom Cebula.

Each year, the event grows in size as more and more of the Walsh University campus community and local supporters rally behind Not For Sale in support of the Community Freedom Summit and the Freedom Walk. This year, there were more than 550 participants in the weekend events including students from Walsh University, Jackson Academy for Global Studies (JAGS) Program, Lake High School and members of the local community.  Over 135 student athletes and coaches whose teams were traveling or competing and could not participate on Saturday, coordinated their own walk Friday evening so they could show solidarity with their fellow classmates in support of victims and survivors.

“It is inspiring to see so many young people demonstrate compassion for others, stand up for the dignity of all and take action to become agents of positive change in our community,” said Dan Passerini, Ph.D., Executive Director of Cross Enterprise Operations at Walsh and a member of the leadership team that co-planned the annual event.

Click here to view photos from the event.