(Aug. 8, 2011)--There is a horrible reality in our country that rarely gets noticed. Each year it impacts tens of thousands of girls ages 8 to 18 and takes place every day in our communities, maybe even at the house next door.
It is domestic sex trafficking of minors, and a group of graduate students in the Social Work program in the College of Public Policy at The University of Texas at San Antonio is making it their mission to cast a light on the local problem.
UTSA students have created a documentary, "Behind Closed Doors: Voices from the Inside. A Look Into The Shadow World of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking." The documentary, which will premiere at 6:30 p.m.,Tuesday, Aug. 9 in the Buena Vista Theater at the UTSA Downtown Campus, features the stories of women who were trafficked as minors for sexual purposes and the difficult road to recovery they are experiencing.
The documentary showing is free and open to the public, however, those attending should be aware that the stories are compelling and graphic.
"The documentary was developed by students in the Advanced Policy class in the Department of Social Work,” said Robert Ambrosino, who teaches the course.
The students, he said, were responsible for all aspects of the documentary including documenting the nature and scope of the problem, identifying survivors who were willing to tell their story, interviewing key experts on the problem and organizing the public showing of the documentary.
"What sets this documentary apart from others on the topic is the emphasis on the stories of trafficked individuals as they experienced it," Ambrosino said.
By showing the documentary, the graduate students hope to increase awareness about domestic minor sex trafficking in the San Antonio community, share the heart touching stories of the women who have survived, dispel common myths about domestic sex trafficking of minors and create a transformative learning experience.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.