Ursuline Sisters, Associates and Sacred Heart Academy students gather downtown at the Anti-Human Trafficking Protest and Prayer Vigil.

On April 30, 2019, many concerned citizens gathered in prayerful protest for victims of Human Trafficking. The Ursuline Sisters of Louisville and Associates were there, along with students and faculty from Sacred Heart Academy in solidarity with PATH (People Against Trafficking Humans) who organized this 7th annual prayer vigil and rally. Human trafficking is known as modern-day slavery in which people are used as forced labor or for commercial sex. It is a $1.5 billion, global industry that is prevalent on every continent, and it is the second-fastest growing illegal trade (just behind drug trafficking). Here in Louisville, human trafficking happens every day in all parts of town. However, there is a pronounced increase in human trafficking during major events such as the Kentucky Derby.

The Ursuline Social Concerns Committee, in partnership with Sacred Heart Schools, spent the month of April building awareness and educating youth and adults on ways to prevent, recognize, or respond to human trafficking. The peaceful rally in downtown Louisville yesterday was a culmination of this effort, and it enabled us to join our voices with other religious communities and schools, along with city government and concerned citizens. This gathering hopefully reminds all of us that people are not objects or commodities, but rather the creation of God that deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.