UMSL political scientist to deliver keynote at symposium on human trafficking

Ruth Iyob, professor of political science at UMSL

Ruth Iyob, professor of political science at UMSL, will deliver the keynote address on the topic of “Human Trafficking” for a Lifelong Learning @ UMSL symposium. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has announced a new program called Lifelong Learning @ UMSL. The program is for older adults who not only have a love of learning but also want to make a meaningful difference in their communities.

The first symposium is from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at the UMSL J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center. A light breakfast will be served. The topic is: “Human Trafficking – A Challenge to Action.” Ruth Iyob, professor of political science at UMSL and noted author in the field, will deliver the keynote address. Three practitioners are serving as panelists: Rebecca Feldmann, attorney, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri; Amanda Colegrove, coalition organizer, Rescue and Restore, under the auspices of Catholic Charities; and Kimberly Ritter, senior account manager, Nix Conference and Meeting Management and trafficking initiative coordinator, leading the company’s charge in combating trafficking in hotels.

Participants of all ages are invited.

“We believe older adults shouldn’t be put in silos or segregated,” said Malaika Horne, director of the program. “This demographic represents one of the most educated and experienced. They’re more physically fit than ever and have a lot of leisure time.”

Human trafficking is considered modern-day slavery. According to the American Association of University Women, it involves “exploitation through fraud, force or coercion; physical abuse and/or psychological intimidation; and victims are not readily able to free themselves from their situations. It is worldwide, a multibillion dollar enterprise that affects 12-27 million people annually.” It includes labor exploitation, illegal immigration and sex trafficking.

Zonta Club of St. Louis is the major funder. Zonta’s mission is to advance the status of women.  The program also is working closely with and other agencies tackling this problem. Early registration fee is $20 through Oct. 25 and $30 after. The student fee is $10. For more information, please visit

Lifelong Learning @ UMSL promotes learning communities for older adults (50 and older) who seek to be more active and engaged. Its tagline is: “A Commitment to Community Enrichment through Personal Growth, Education & Recreation.”


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