Girls Like Us: Fighting For A World Where Girls Are Not For Sale

Monday, March 05, 2012, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Free and open to the public

strong>Rachel Lloyd tells the moving story of her escape from the commercial sex trade in Europe, detailed in her memoir, Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not For Sale, at The Cooper Union's Great Hall on Monday, March 5 at 6:30 PM.

Once a teenage victim of exploitation, she has devoted her career to activism and helping other young girls escape “the life.”   Today Lloyd is executive director of GEMS: Girls Educational and Mentoring Services in New York City and has turned it into one of the nation's most groundbreaking nonprofit organizations.

Rachel Lloyd is a nationally recognized expert on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation.   In 1998, with only a computer and $30, Lloyd, a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, established GEMS: Girls Educational and Mentoring Services to support girls and young women victimized by the commercial sex industry in the U.S.   Now the nation's largest organization offering direct services to girls and young women, ages 12-24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, GEMS empowers survivors to escape the sex industry and develop to their full potential.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.