WCSU program focuses on human trafficking concerns

Forum of experts April 21 kicks off events planned to raise awareness of global issue

DANBURY, CONN. Western Connecticut State University will present a series of public forums and events focusing on the global issue of human trafficking during “The Price of Life,” a four-day program to be held from April 21 through 24, 2014, on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

The opening event will be a discussion by a panel of specialists on women’s, children’s and family rights and contemporary slavery issues at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, April 21, in Warner Hall Room 102. Admission will be free and the public is invited. Panelists will include: 

  • Tammy Sneed, director of girls’ services at the Department of Children and Families for the state of Connecticut and recipient of the 2013 Champion of Children Award presented by the Center for Children’s Advocacy.

  • Melanie Danyliw, director of training, program development and volunteer services at the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury.

  • Frank Barnaba, president of the Barnaba Institute in Trumbull, which he co-founded in 2006 to carry on his international activism for more than three decades in education and outreach to raise awareness of sex trafficking and exploitation.          

  • Dr. Jane Gordon, associate professor of political science and African American studies at the University of Connecticut and a specialist on contemporary slavery.

The forum will kick off a week of free campus events sponsored by WCSU student organizations dedicated to the goal of educating and heightening awareness in the community about the human trafficking issue in the United States and worldwide, including a debate society discussion and outdoor art festival and music events. Additional information about scheduled activities may be obtained from the events calendar on the WCSU website at www.wcsu.edu/newsevents/events.asp.

“Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world today, yet many people are unaware this form of modern-day slavery still exists,” noted “Price of Life” program coordinator and WCSU student Dena Virzera. She observed that the diverse events aim to invite the community to engage in a meaningful way in discussion of human trafficking.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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