Laura A, Dean

A scholar whose work focuses on human trafficking will present the 2019 Father Martin Mangan Lecture on Social Justice. Laura A. Dean, an assistant professor of political science and director of the Human Trafficking Research Lab at Millikin University, will speak on “Human Trafficking Advocacy Through Education and Social Justice.”

Dean’s program will be at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 3, in the Decatur Public Library’s Madden Auditorium. Admission is free.

This is the 18th year for the annual lecture series, launched in 2001 after the death of Father Mangan, then parish priest at St. James Church. Mangan gained a national and international reputation as a defender of workers’ rights in Decatur during the “War Zone” era of the 1990s. Over the years, speakers have included labor leaders, authors, peace activists, priests, ministers, and social justice workers.

Dean is also a regional faculty associate with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and chairs the research subcommittee on the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force. Her book, Diffusing Human Trafficking Policy in Eurasia will be published by Policy Press at the University of Bristol and distributed by the University of Chicago Press next spring.

“Human trafficking is a form of gender-based violence, recognized as a human rights violation and a crime against humanity by the United Nations,” Dean said. “I will discuss the manifestations of the crime around the world and in Central Illinois, how I integrate teaching human trafficking into a social justice mission for undergraduate students at Millikin, and tips for human trafficking activism in your community.”

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