Sister Shelia Smith, RSCJ speaks at First Friday event


Sacred Heart Greenwich hosted its monthly First Friday event Friday, May 4. The First Friday events are open to all Sacred Heart community members, including alumnae, parents, and friends. The featured speaker at last week’s event was Sister Sheila Smith, Religious of the Sacred Heart. In her presentation, Sister Smith provided behind the scenes insight into the United Nations (UN) and her role in the UN’s Economic and Social Forum. 
Sister Smith is the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Representative at the United Nations for the Society of the Sacred Heart. She works with different organizations to prevent human trafficking in urban and rural communities in Northern Ontario, Canada and has 14 years of experience working with organizations to prevent human trafficking. Sister Smith was also a fieldworker with the Canadian Religious Conference, and her extensive knowledge on the topic of human trafficking enabled her to have a crucial role in creating Canada’s first anti-human trafficking law.
Sister Smith has a Ph.D. in Theology, which allows her to include ethical reasoning in her work to eliminate human trafficking. In 2010, Sister Smith was involved in creating the Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking (OCEHT), an organization that assists victims of human trafficking and their families. 
“[OCEHT works] to meet the acute, immediate and long-term resource and support needs of persons affected by human trafficking,” according to
In 2014, Sister Smith co-founded Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking In Humans (PACT), which works to prevent human trafficking and protect victims of it, working out of Ottawa, Canada.
“[PACT’s mission is to] network with other groups to prevent the trafficking of persons and increase the protection of victims,” by using education, support services, networking, and advocacy, according to
When Sister Smith visited Sacred Heart for the First Friday speaker series, she spoke about her work and her role as the NGO Representative at the United Nations. Sister Smith works in the Economic and Social Forum, which discusses different perspectives on developing education around the world.
In her presentation, Sister Smith also discussed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The 17 goals deal with major global issues, such as quality education, reducing poverty, clean water and sanitation, climate action, and ending hunger.
Middle School Campus Minister and Service Coordinator Mrs. Victoria Lorenzato attended the First Friday event and expressed her opinion on the simplicity of the development goals.
“[Sister Smith] talked about the Sustainable Development Goals and there are 17 of those,” Mrs. Lorenzato said. “I guess it really just helped me to see that, although they are enormous in terms of things like tackling poverty, or tackling gender equality, or whatever it might be, that actually there are small things every person can do every day in the choices and decisions they make to try to address those goals in some way. That was really quite profound. It was wonderful.”
-Amelia Sheehan, Staff Writer