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Dr. Nissi Hamilton, Student Life Director Eugene Bernard, and Eileene Dong pose with event t-shirts on Jan. 11

UHD commends passionate champions against human trafficking

By Indira Zaldivar

On National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, UHD honored alumna, Dr. Nissi Hamilton and Hope Pyx Global Spokesperson, Eileen Dong, for being vicious advocates against human trafficking.

Hamilton, a Navy veteran and UHD MBA graduate, narrated how she survived a multi-generational struggle with human trafficking in Houston, the nation’s top human trafficking hotspot. The City of Houston recognized her as survivor “poster child” of labor and human trafficking. She explained why it’s important to have more Black women be represented as survivors.

“When you don’t see yourself mentioned anywhere, you don’t think you deserve to be a survivor…to be a part of this mission,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton largely credited UHD for helping stay in school through scholarships and support.

“I can change my story because of what I have been equipped with from a powerful industrious giant like University of Houston-Downtown who I proudly stand with because they stand with me as a survivor of human trafficking.”

Her passion has led her to become the founder of A Survivor’s Voice of Victory and a fierce advocate for legislation. She led the nation’s first political campaign against human trafficking.

More recently, she was key in the new Texas law that now requires employees and patrons of sex-oriented businesses to be at least 21.

Eileen Dong, a petroleum engineer, survived sex trafficking far from her relatives in China. She is especially passionate about spreading compassion for immigrants who tend to be victimized by traffickers by promising to fulfill goals that led them to immigrate.

She credits Houston for being the place of her rebirth. Dong now devotes her time with the local nonprofit, Hope Pyx, raising awareness and prevention of family violence, sex trafficking and sexual assault.

For more information on the signs of human trafficking, the power-control wheel, “adopt-a-survivor” program, and ways to volunteer or donate, visit hopepyxglobal.org.

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Last updated 1/19/2022 5:54 AM