News Details

November 07, 2016

Brad Long Peace Fund Lecture Series Welcomes Sex Trafficking Survivor

The Chapel Office at West Virginia Wesleyan College, in conjunction with the Brad Long Peace Education Fund Lecture Series, welcomes Barbara Amaya in a lecture on Wednesday, November 9 at 6 p.m. in Wesley Chapel. 

Amaya is more than a survivor of sex trafficking; she is an internationally-recognized award-winning advocate, speaker, author, and survivor leader in the movement to eradicate modern-day slavery.  Her first published book, The Destiny of Zoe Carpenter,  is an educational graphic novel that includes a curriculum aimed at educating middle school students, as well as her expert testimony of escaping a life of sex trafficking.

An active member of a large network of human trafficking survivor advocates, Amaya shares her compelling story of overcoming trauma and horrific abuse as a source of inspiration and motivation across the United States, providing testimony in public service announcements, documentaries, local and national events, and the media.

A training consultant with the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center, she has facilitated human trafficking survivor mental health restoration groups with Polaris.  She is a recipient of the sought-after James B. Hunter Human Rights Advocacy Award, and she is overcoming her own horrific trauma and abuse to bring her message of hope, awareness, and overcoming adversity as her life’s purpose.

Amaya has been active with organizations such as Polaris, ArtWorks for Freedom, Bridge for Freedom, D.C. Stop Modern Slavery, Truckers against Trafficking, Sojourners, IMPACT, and more.  To date, she has spoken and brought awareness to hundreds of audiences nationwide and counting.  She is working to pass much-needed human trafficking legislation in her home state of Virginia, but also in Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

She is a featured speaker on the Frederick Douglass Family website’s panel of speakers, on the advisory board of ArtWorks for Freedom and IMPACT, a member of several survivor groups included the D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force and Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.  In 2015, Amaya was a featured speaker at the TEDx Mid Atlantic Talks.  Her memoir, Nobody’s Girl: A Memoir of Lost Innocence, Modern Day Slavery and Transformation, won best autobiography at the TAZ book awards in 2015.

The Brad Long Peace Education Fund was initiated at West Virginia Wesleyan by Reginald ’46 and Patricia ’76 Long. After losing their son in a car accident in 1983, the Longs wanted to honor Brad’s deepest wish for his life that he might be instrumental in creating a climate where peace could flourish. They chose to establish this fund to assist in a continuing effort by Wesleyan and the people of Buckhannon to explore avenues leading to peace between individuals as well as nations. The Longs also wanted to offer support and encouragement to young people of similar vision, to emphasize the importance of individual action, and to promote a basic attitude of peace in everyday life. 

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact Rev. Christopher Scott, chaplain and director of religious & spiritual life, at scott.c@wvwc.edu.

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