Somaly Mam to Speak at WTAMU Convocation
Somaly Mam, founder of the Somaly Mam Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at the University’s Convocation for freshmen at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 at the First United Bank Center. Plus, winners of the Readership WT essay-writing contest will be announced.
The event is free and open to the public. Seating begins at 4 p.m.
Mam is the author of The Road of Lost Innocence, the University’s 2010-2011 Readership WT selection. Readership WT is the common-reader program launched in 2005 for WTAMU freshmen as part of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan. Each year the Readership WT program brings the author of the selected reader to the University Convocation as the keynote speaker. Mam will speak at Convocation, and she also will meet with WTAMU peer leaders, Readership Ambassadors and essay finalists.
The Road of Lost Innocence tells Mam’s story as a victim, survivor and rescuer in the sex slave business in Cambodia. She was sold into sexual slavery at the age of 12 and spent the next decade in the filth and decadence of the brothels in southeast Asia. After escaping, Mam made it her mission to help other young girls trapped in the brutal world of the sex slave business through her Somaly Mam Foundation.
Somaly has earned worldwide respect for her fight against human trafficking. In 1996 she established AFESIP, a Cambodian non-governmental organization to help victims not only escape the sex slave business, but also have the ability to survive emotionally and financially. In 2007 she founded the Somaly Mam Foundation to support anti-trafficking groups and to give the victims and survivors an opportunity to be heard. She was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2009. Her list of honors and recognition includes the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, The World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child, and Glamour Magazine’s 2006 Woman of the Year Award.