The readers’ forum

End human trafficking, here and in Nigeria

 

As president of Barry University, an institution founded by women 74 years ago, originally for women, it is inconceivable to me that 276 young Nigerian girls were captured and are being enslaved for the crime of wanting a basic education — one that would fulfill their dreams for a more-secure and productive future for themselves, their families and their nation.

Juxtapose that horror with the traditional happy events we celebrate in the United States — thousands of families gathering to celebrate university commencements and Mother’s Day. Despite the joy our university community experienced last weekend at two graduation ceremonies for 1,072 students, 72 percent of whom were women, we are outraged and profoundly saddened as we continue to receive reports about the horrific capture of those boarding school girls by Islamic extremists — captured, enslaved and sold into marriage.

Once again, the human family is witnessing atrocities, but unlike the now-documented revulsions of the past century, we have instant messages, tweets and photos that disturb our sensibilities and cause us to weep.

Have we not learned anything from the past? We do not have the power to return those young girls of promise to their families, but the often-repeated call to “think globally and act locally” comes to mind. When will the facts about human trafficking of girls and women right here in South Florida impel us to act? For the university women who grace our lives with their creativity, hopes and dreams and the young girls in the wings who aspire to wholeness and holiness, I am screaming with the women in Nigeria and around the world — “Enough is enough!”

Sister Linda Bevilacqua, president, Barry University, Miami

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