PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Gwynedd Mercy University is hosting a special talk Wednesday to raise awareness about human trafficking, and it’s part of a new curriculum designed to produce leaders who tackle tough issues.

Mary Sortino is a Dean at Gwynedd Mercy and said, “Human trafficking is alive and happening in our neighborhoods.”

She says the university was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of America, which focuses on areas that including women, injustice and racism– and incorporates those critical concerns into a course on human trafficking. Students were hesitant at first, but then caught on.

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“Once they got into the course and how prevalent it is and how it really deeply it affects the society and community in which they work, they latched onto it,” she said.

Tonight, Gwynedd Mercy will hold a free Mercy Talk at its Center City Campus to raise a broader awareness.

“To get the community engaged in the conversation,” said Sortino.

The talk begins at 6pm. To register go to http://bit.ly/2oAE7M0