The Oklahoma State University College of Human Sciences 2019 Dean Lela O’Toole International Speaker Series will feature two-time National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick presenting SOLD: An Inside Look at the Child Trafficking Crisis on Tuesday, April 9, at 1:30 p.m. in Jorns Hall in the Human Sciences building. Members of the campus and surrounding community are invited to this free event. The presentation will also be live-streamed on OStateTV.
SOLD, which was also adapted into a 2016 feature film by the same title, tells the story of a young girl robbed of her childhood when she is sold into sexual slavery who finds the strength to triumph. In researching SOLD, McCormick traveled to India and Nepal, where she spent a month interviewing women in Calcutta’s red-light district, girls who have been rescued from the sex trade and others running shelters or involved in rescues of trafficking victims.
“To do justice to the topic, I knew I needed to travel to a location where trafficking was prominent and where authorities had begun taking steps to fight the problem,” McCormick said. “It was an immersive, intense experience.”
At OSU, McCormick will share her experience in researching and writing SOLD, what she learned about connecting with victims of trafficking and a variety of ways that individuals can become involved in combatting the issue and be a part of change.
As an author, McCormick wants to shine a light on important topics. She has written extensively about the experiences and challenges of children and adolescents around the world. Three of her books specifically address childhood trauma, a topic in which she has developed a deep interest. She is also the author of Never Fall Down, the true story of a boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and the co-author of I am Malala (Young Readers Edition), the story of Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the Taliban in her fight for education.
McCormick’s books have been named to the New York Times’ Notable Books list, Publishers Weekly’s Best Books list and NPR’s Best Books lists. She attended Rosemont College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and has an MFA from the New School.
“The connection between the scholastic and research work in the OSU Department of Human Development and Family Science and Ms. McCormick’s writings and experiences make her an excellent choice to give the 2019 O’Toole Lecture and to interact with groups of students and faculty on her visit,” College of Human Sciences Dean Stephan Wilson said.
Established in 1995, the O’Toole International Speaker Series in the College of Human Sciences focuses on timely and relevant topics related to public policy, ethics and international issues in the scholastic areas of the College of Human Sciences. It is held annually during Human Sciences Week at OSU.