Documentary inspires counter-slavery efforts

first_imgAfter viewing the award-winning documentary “Nefarious” at a Christian conference over winter break, freshman Dougie Barnard said he was “wrecked with tears.” Barnard said he knew he wanted to bring the film, which exposes the growing epidemic of human trafficking and sex slavery around the world, to Notre Dame so students and faculty could experience the same tremendous emotional effect it had on him. “When I saw the film over winter break, I felt like the Lord really touched my heart,” Barnard said. “I feel like [‘Nefarious’] has the potential to unify the student body to come together on an issue that’s so important and threatening today.” Cosponsored by the Center for Social Concerns, Notre Dame Christian Athletes, Student Welfare and Development, Iron Sharpens Iron, ND-8, Peace Fellowship and Four:7, “Nefarious” will be shown tonight in DeBartolo Hall. Barnard said the issues presented in “Nefarious” are particularly relevant to Notre Dame’s mission. “It relates to social justice here because [the global sex trade is] one of the most important injustices in the world today, and Notre Dame has always had a deep concern for social justice in the world,” Barnard said. Barnard first viewed “Nefarious” at the annual ONETHING Conference in Kansas City, Mo. in December. ONETHING, hosted each year by the International House of Prayer, is a four-day Christian conference that encourages young adults around the country to join together in prayer and reflection. “It was [at ONETHING] that they showed ‘Nefarious’ and had the director, Benjamin Nolot, come and speak to us before and after they showed it,” Barnard said. “There were about 15,000 people there that got to see ‘Nefarious.’” The film challenges Catholics to address an issue that is “sensitive, provoking and disturbing,” Barnard said. “It calls us to a place of prayer to come together to work to address this issue and to abolish modern-day slavery,” he said. “So it’s a reminder, and a call to take action. One of the ways we can do that is through prayer.” According to a United Nations report, human trafficking is a $32 billion per-year industry, bringing in more revenue than the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB combined. Barnard said after the conference, he received an email from a missionary he met at the ONETHING conference, asking if he would be interested in hosting a screening of “Nefarious” at Notre Dame. “I said I’d love to,” he said. “[The missionary] then put me in contact with members of the Incurable Fanatics [Screening] Tour. They work for an organization called Exodus Cry, the foundation that made this film.” Barnard said Sarah Smith, program coordinator for the Student Welfare and Development Office and Notre Dame representative for Christian Athletes, also helped bring the film to Notre Dame. “[Smith] has been coordinating with the members from Exodus Cry, and she’s been the representative from Notre Dame Christian Athletes to bring this film to campus,” Barnard said. “Nefarious” will be shown tonight at 8 p.m. in 101 DeBartolo Hall. Admission is free.last_img read more

Key4Women Forum raises $6,000 for Vermont Women’s Fund

first_imgThree hundred  women from throughout Vermont  gathered at the Sheraton  on  November 2 for the 10th annual Key4Women Forum to discuss courage in leadership and why courage is vital to the achievement of success by women in business.All proceeds from the Key4Women Forum were donated to Vermont Women’s Fund and totaled more than $6,000.  Over the event’s 10 years, more than $55,000 has gone to the organization.‘The Vermont Women’s Fund appreciates KeyBank’s ongoing commitment to women’s leadership and professional development,’ said Catherine Kalkstein, executive director of the organization. ‘We also applaud Key’s efforts to support the Vermont  Women’s Fund’s mission  of empowering women and girls.’The Forum, ‘Creating a Culture of Courage: The New Leadership Challenge,’ featured leadership and customer service expert Cindy Solomon, who returned to the Key4Women Forum for the second consecutive year. The Forum is designed to educate and empower women in business ‘ business owners, leaders, decision makers and non-profit directors ‘ through the insight and advice of a dynamic national speaker. Cindy’s presentation discussed the four types of courage and when and how to invoke each for success in business, why finding the courage to move forward is the key to success in today’s new business economy, and how to inspire courage personally and professionally.‘Courage in the face of uncertainty is something that every woman in business is familiar with,’ said KeyBanker Amy Mailloux. ‘Timely sharing of information is a big part of Key4Women’s goal of providing ongoing education for women. We feel that this year’s theme is something that everyone can relate to, and we’re glad that women will be able to use what they’ve learned to achieve personal and professional success.’The forum also featured the presentation of the 2011 Key4Women Achieve Award Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power and member of the boards of directors of Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Land Trust, Champlain College, VELCO, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  The Achieve Award recognizes a woman who has provided inspirational leadership in business and her community.About Key4WomenAs one of the nation’s largest financial services companies and top small business lenders, Key provides financial services to thousands of women-owned businesses in 14 states. Founded in 2005, Key4Women helps women business owners achieve their goals by providing access to capital, customized service, networking events, and educational opportunities. Key4Women has lent $3 billion to qualified women business owners since 2005 and committed to lending another $3 billion by 2012.About KeyBank KeyBank N.A. is one of Vermont’s largest financial services companies. A strong proponent for local economic growth, Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, retirement, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. The company’s businesses deliver their products and services through branches and offices; a network of approximately 1,500 ATMs; telephone banking centers (1.800.KEY2YOU); and a Web site,, that provides account access and financial products 24 hours a day.BURLINGTON, VT., November 2, 2011  KeyCorplast_img read more

US, Chile, and Colombia Advise Honduras on Fight against Crime

first_img U.S. experts will join advisers from Chile and Colombia who are in Honduras designing strategies for the fight against organized crime, which has made that Central American country one of the world’s most violent, the Honduran government announced on January 19. On January 18, Honduran President Porfirio Lobo met in Miami with U.S. Government representatives who committed to sending two security experts, stated Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla, who accompanied the president on the trip. Bonilla said that during the meeting, attended by advisor to President Barack Obama Dan Restrepo, and other U.S. officials, participants agreed that the expert who will work with Lobo will be a former U.S. ambassador in Managua, whom he did not identify, while the other envoy will work with the Ministry of Security. “We will assess how to coordinate actions among several countries, such as Colombia and Chile, in order to resolve this problem of security,” the minister told local media. On January 29, he added, members of the Carabineros training academy, Chile’s paramilitary national police force, will also arrive in Honduras, and a former Colombian under-secretary of coexistence and citizen security, Hugo Acero Velásquez, who designed security projects with good results in his country, is already in Tegucigalpa. “We need to acknowledge that we have a large problem, but that there’s a will to find a solution to it,” Bonilla stated, noting that the problem is exacerbated in Honduras by impunity and police ties to organized crime. It was discovered late last year that the Honduran police force, made up of around 14,500 officers, is implicated in drug-trafficking activities, kidnappings, assaults, murder for hire, and extortion, among other crimes. Bonilla specified that the U.S. and Colombian experts will primarily help with investigative work and the fight against impunity, and the Carabineros with “solving the police problem.” The minister added that the security plan that will be designed with the United States will include coordinated actions with the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras), the countries of the region most affected by gang-related and drug-related violence. In 2010, the United States formalized a Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) with an initial budget of 165 million dollars, with the aim of confronting the rampant violence affecting these countries. Honduras, with a population of 8 million, has one of the world’s highest homicide rates, 82 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to a United Nations (UN) report. By Dialogo January 23, 2012last_img read more