“My academic career has prepared me for understanding the cultural and structural dynamics of the issues that entrap individuals in the cycle of sex trafficking,” she said.
Dr. Rebecca S. Powers is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and co-director of the Community Research Lab and is confident Keels is ready for the challenge. “I know firsthand that Megan is intellectually, physically and emotional well prepared to undertake this project,” said Powers. “She has the skills that they need – a researcher to collect the data. That’s what she’s really good at.”
“Here’s a person who is not only capable, but also willing, to the extent that she is prepared to take on personal debt to do it,” Powers said. “I have complete confidence in her ability to succeed with this project.”
Keels needs financial support for her undertaking. Apne Aap is non-profit, so it will not provide pay and housing. She is trying to raise $10,000 for her expenses through donations to her web site, http://www.sendmegantoindia.com
. By mid-August, she has reached 20 percent of her goal.
“I am looking forward to being able to use the skills and tools that I’ve acquired to activate social change, and I am especially excited that I will get to put these skills to use in a country foreign to me,” said Keels.
“I am passionate about human rights and gender equality, and this project thrives at the heart of these two goals. Gender inequality is a worldwide problem and human trafficking is not only an issue in developing countries, it is universal.”
For additional information about Apne Aap, visit http://apneaap.org/index.php
|Megan Keels is collecting donations to support travel to India for volunteer work to fight human trafficking. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)