UAlbany Students Lead Campus Conversation with Cyntoia Brown-Long

Sex-trafficking survivor and activist Cyntoia Brown-Long.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 6, 2020) – The UAlbany Student Association is hosting a virtual conversation for the campus community with sex-trafficking survivor and activist Cyntoia Brown-Long.

The discussion is in partnership with UAlbany Students Stopping Trafficking Of People (SSTOP), Epsilon Delta Psi Pre-Professional Fraternity, Pride Alliance, National Congress of Black Women and Cornerstone Ministries.

It will take place tomorrow, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

Story of Redemption

Brown-Long was arrested at age 16 for killing a man who had solicited her for sex. She was tried as an adult and was sentenced to life in prison. She received unprecedented national and international outpouring of support and was released from prison in August 2019.

Now 31, she is the founder of nonprofit “Foundation for Justice, Freedom and Mercy,” and an advocate for criminal justice reform and trafficking victims. Her memoir, “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System,” written while in prison, documents her early years and the 15 years she was behind bars, taking readers on a coming-of-age spiritual journey.

"Now more than ever it is important we listen to people like Cyntoia Brown-Long and their stories,” said UAlbany Student Association President Damilola Adesanya. “Her experience in life can truly attest to how intersectionality can impact you. We must all come together, educate one another and see how we all have a role in change.”

"Cyntoia Brown-Long is the perfect guest speaker for the current climate of the campus, country and world,” said UAlbany SSTOP President Joseph La Barbera. “This event is important to show others that human trafficking is still a major problem in society, so much so, that it is the one thing that both political sides agree on."

“The U.S. State Department estimates that human traffickers are currently exploiting about 25 million people, many of whom live in the United States,” said Dennis McCarty, SSTOP’s faculty advisor and a lecturer in the School of Criminal Justice and College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. “While this number is horrifying, we need to look beyond it and see the faces of those being trafficked. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to hear Cyntoia tell her story.”

Students interested in SSTOP can join its Facebook group or email ualbanysstop@gmail.com.

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