May 25: Pennsylvania, Community Response to Trafficking panel
May 23: New York, Books of Wonder, Great Contemporary Teen Reads
May 20: Atlanta, Carter Center discussion on human trafficking
May 11: hybrid, Conversation with Meena Yeggina
May 7: hybrid, Books of Wonder
May 5: Washington, DC, Vital Voices Festival
May 3: Harlem, Harlem Villages Academy
May 2: NYC, Harvard Club, hosted by TogetHER and 200 Women
May 1: hybrid, The John Brademas Center of NYU
Apr 27: hybrid, Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus
Apr 21: Broadcast, NBC News Today, Ruchira Gupta and Ashley Judd
Apr 20: Brooklyn, Greenlight Bookstore Flatbush Avenue
Apr 20: virtual, Anderson’s Bookshop, @AB.Teens Instagram Live
Apr 19: Pennsylvania, City of Asylum Bookstore
Apr 18: The launch of I Kick and I Fly!
Apr 13: Maryland, NEIBA Spring Forum
Apr 10: Illinois, Anderson’s Bookshop, @AB.Teens Instagram Live
Apr 7: Texas, Independent Booksellers, SpringCon 23
“…I wake up in a small room with dirty brick walls and a broken plank of wood on four legs for a bed. It’s dark except for the scraps of daylight that creep through the cracks in the wooden window and door. I stand up and the world reels. My hand goes to the back of my head and I feel a lump there, but it doesn’t seem to be bleeding.
Tentatively, I steady myself and take a step towards the door. I push it as hard as I can. It rattles but it doesn’t give way and I can see a chain on the other side. I’m locked in.
Through the crack, I can only see a small sliver of a wall. I could be anywhere. I feel the panic rise but don’t give in to it. I slide down to the floor and try to slow my breathing.
How long have I been here? If it’s still daylight, maybe a few hours. I close my eyes and try to pay attention to what I can hear. Soon, the Azaan starts, and I realize it is evening, around 5pm, and the prayer is the same one I hear every day from my own home. I’m not that far away after all.
I look around the room again now that my eyes have adjusted to the darkness. There’s a naked lightbulb in a corner, so there must be a switch somewhere. I grope around and finally find it behind the bed. The lightbulb goes on. And suddenly I know where I am, or at least the sort of place—I am in a brothel. Even if someone could hear me scream, they wouldn’t care.
It’s only then that I begin to feel the terror.
I am like water, I tell myself over and over again. I am like water…”