Sensitive issues always evoke strong reactions from community members. For human sex trafficking, an issue largely thought to be a problem in developing nations, the concern is especially high as these cases involve children.
The article that created questions about the vetting and planning process of speakers who come to IU spoke exclusively about the human sex trafficking event Unslaved, sponsored by Net Impact, the Union Board and the Kelley Student Government. Unslaved focused on increasing student awareness of this inhumane industry, which continues to plague the United States and victimize individuals and communities.
The article was written in response to an unverified claim made by Tracy McDaniel, the founder of Restored, a nonprofit that also focuses on vicitm support, that Rhonda Patterson, the founder of Unslaved, needed a written release to use a victim’s first name in her speech.
Patterson refuted this claim as she had verbal permission granted from the victim and her guardians. The law in question was never presented in the article to clarify facts nor was Ms. McDaniel’s association with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office apparent until the IDS posted a clarification several days after the article was published.
She is neither a staff member of nor spokesperson for the office, although she speaks on its behalf in the article. Whether they bring speakers to campus or publish news articles, vetting sources should be a concern of all IU organizations.
Net Impact, a student organization that educates and empowers its members to be sustainability conscientious leaders, brings professional and inspirational speakers to campus to engage students in higher learning. While we have never directly received a complaint from Ms. McDaniel, we hope she will contact us or reach out to Rhonda directly if she needs any clarification on or has any questions regarding the presentation.
As to what questions the article creates, we can only interpret individually.