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Summit on Human Dignity focuses on the trafficking of human beings

By Juan Carlos Ramirez ’18


This year, the Summit of Human Dignity will focus on the commodification of the Human, which is an umbrella for topics that include pornography, labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and more.

The idea of Human Trafficking came from last year when students and faculty filled out the survey after last year’s Summit.

Assistant Principal of Ministry Mr. Paul Fisko said that the topic of the Summit is typically decided by the results of the surveys, which are given to both the student body and staff at the conclusion of every Summit.

“Then we put together a questionnaire that says, ‘Alright. For next year, here are some leading topics that we have A. Either covered in a previous Summit, but it has been a while or B. That we haven’t tackled and you would like to see,” said Mr. Fisko. “A survey is sent out to faculty, and a survey is sent out to students.”

“What we did this this year, like the previous year, is ‘okay, which ones are near the top of the selection by students and faculty,” he added. “Maybe our number ones are not the same, but our second choice is or our third one is.’ Well it so happens that human trafficking got in the top three on both surveys, but human trafficking also was a subject that is covered by other Summits on Human Dignity that are done at other Jesuit schools. So we felt like ‘well, we could get help from them who have used that topic as a Summit.’”

Fr. John Parks ,who is a Brophy alumni, will lead the opening Mass on Monday Feb. 26.

Mr. Fisko said that Fr. Parks is the vicar of evangelization for the Dioceses of Phoenix and work at Notre Dame Preparatory.

“We are asking him to speak to us about this general idea of what he has seen in his time at Brophy, leading up to his vocation as a priest and working in education and evangelization, Mr. Fisko said. “How has the commodification of the person kind of presented itself to him in his perspective as a priest.”

The First Keynote speaker, who will speak on Tuesday Feb. 27, will be Mr. Russell Wilson.

Mr. Fisko said as a keynote speaker, Mr. Wilson will lay out the reality about this subject.

“Most people think that human trafficking means that someone is moved somewhere,” Mr. Fisko said.“That is actually not the correct definition of human trafficking. You can be trafficked and never leave your city.”

“He was trafficked as a young man in California – by his own mother,” he added. “It was connected to things such as trafficked for sex, trafficked because his mother had a drug problem, these personal narrative that he holds with him means he has every right to speak against and out for this issue.”

Mr. Fisko said that Mr. Wilson turned his life around and became educated.

Mr. Wilson has received three different degrees, which includes a law degree from Golden State University that is connected to California Berkeley law school.

This has allowed Mr. Wilson to become a prosecution or defendant witness for people who have been trafficked.

Mr. Fisko said that Mr. Wilson is an expert in this field because he knows how and why this issue should be confronted.

The second keynote speaker, who will speak on Feb. 28, will be a Ms. Elizabeth Murphy and a sister from the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center in Seattle, Washington.

Mr. Fisko said that the significance of these Keynote speakers is that they deal with human trafficking in a notorious city.

“Seattle has become a center for trafficked human beings from Asia,” Mr. Fisko said. “So what we find in the Catholic tradition is that it’s actually Sisters and Nuns who have taken up the strongest level of work and passion for the work to help alleviate this issue and problem.”

Mr. Fisko said that we need to hear from this organization because they are of the groups who are having a significant positive effect on change.  

As of right now, the third keynote is undecided, but it is projected to be a victim of human trafficking.

Mr. Fisko said that this victim will be a different type of trafficked victim than Mr. Wilson.

The last keynote speaker will be from a Fight the New Drug, which is an anti-pornography advocacy campaign.

Mr. Ryan Hubbell said that his goal for students is to think beyond and engage in the issues at hand.

“I think this one is pertinent because I have been speaking about pornography and pornography in popular culture at this campus for the better part of six or seven years,” Mr. Hubbell said. “It always seems to be an issue that is relevant and resonantes with this age group.”

“I also think really grasping the link of things that our personal behaviors and how that might have effect on global atrocities, He added. “Like how our habits and practices and what we watch contribute to sex trafficking.”

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