Sex Slave Survivor to Speak at Dorothy Perry Thompson Colloquium

April 06, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point Toshia Shaw's talk will be at 7 p.m. on April 19 in Dina's Place. It is a free cultural event.
bullet point This is the 15h installment of the Dorothy Perry Thompson Colloquium.


Toshia Shaw

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - The year was 2000. After an honorable discharge from the military, single mom Toshia Shaw was looking forward to returning to college in Memphis, earning her degree and finding a regular post-military job.

Then, she met a man. They hit it off and headed to a local restaurant, where they talked about her dreams of a new job. Shaw went to the restroom; when she returned, the man's smile was gone, her purse was clenched in his hand and he discreetly pressed a gun into her thigh underneath the table. "'That new job you've been looking for? It starts tonight,'" Shaw recalled the man telling her.

In a TEDx talk, she said, "I walked into that restroom a free womanwhen I walked out later with my new friend, I was a sex slave."

Shaw will talk about her experience on April 19 during the 15th installment of the Dorothy Perry Thompson Colloquium. The 7 p.m. event in Dina's Place is free and open to the public. It is a cultural event.

The annual colloquium honors the late English Professor Dorothy Perry Thompson, the founder of Winthrop's minor in African American Studies program. The colloquium also offers the opportunity to "bring in nationally- and internationally-renowned writers and scholars to talk about different aspects of the African American experience."

Though she freed herself from the human trafficking and sex trade, Shaw's lectures focus on how her outlook on life changed and how she had to learn to live, love and trust all over again. In 2010, she founded a non-profit organization, called Purple W.I.N.G.S., for at-risk girls who have lived through similar traumas.

For more information on the African American Studies program, visit the website or call 803/323-3095.

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