Graduate Profiles - Shamere McKenzie
Loyola senior Shamere McKenzie, 31, is a survivor of human trafficking, and she’s now on a mission to help others in similar situations. “I feel like I have a heart for young people and a duty to help them,” she says. (Photos by Natalie Battaglia.)
McKenzie, who travels the world raising awareness about human trafficking, gives a speech at an April 2015 symposium hosted by professor John Donoghue’s history class. The symposium’s name was blunt and to the point: Slavery Still Exists.
At this year’s Weekend of Excellence, McKenzie presented a poster called “Sex Trafficking: The Bottom Girl Phenomenon,” based on her personal experience. “I want people to know that trafficking is happening in America,” she says.
McKenzie (second from right) takes part in a January 2015 candlelight vigil during Loyola’s first-ever Human Trafficking Week, which she helped organize. Several dozen people braved the cold weather and snow to take part in the event.
History professor John Donoghue, who helped mentor McKenzie during her time at Loyola, strikes a pose with her along the shores of Lake Michigan. “Trust me, I’ve learned more from her than she’s learned from me,” he says.