5/31 Guest Speaker, Dr Shannon Deer - Human Trafficking: Redemption or Restoration

Updated: May 28


Dr. Shannon Deer is currently the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs for Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Her research focus is primarily to seek sustainable solutions to challenging problems. Her work has focused on three UN Sustainable Develop

ment Goals: 1) decent work and inclusive and sustainable economic growth, 2) gender equality, and 3) ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.


Specific to human trafficking, Shannon’s research has focused on best practices for supporting women exiting the sex trade. Her findings range from supporting women in altering their mindsets and daily habits to transitioning into legal employment after engaging in the sex trade. Her research has been published in several leading academic journals and books, including an article “Learn How to Hustle for Good:” Women’s Work Transitions Out of the Sex Trade, is in press with Human Resource Development Quarterly. She currently has a book out for review titled Business Doing Good: A Proven Strategy for Empowering Women, Healing Communities, and Helping Businesses Thrive. The focus is on how businesses and communities can support women who are typically marginalized in society due to poverty, incarceration, and addiction. Shannon also taught two courses in Mays Business School, which were designed to challenge business students to use their knowledge and skills to solve human trafficking.


Shannon serves on the board of Mercy Project, a nonprofit organization with a mission to end child trafficking in Ghana. Mercy Project has reintegrated over 150 children with their families after they were sold to a fishing village to work without pay. In ten years, no child has been re-trafficked. Shannon went to Ghana in February 2020 to extend Mercy Project’s impact through a job creation initiative to create entrepreneurial growth in the country. She developed and executed entrepreneurship curriculum for 40 Ghanaians.

Shannon also owns Oh. My. Word., a business empowering parents to have difficult conversations that equip their children for the journey ahead. Oh. My. Word. offers an online course to teach parents how to talk to their kids about sex, while injecting their own values into the conversation.


Shannon is the co-host, founder, and executive producer of Mays MasterCast, a podcast where business superheroes share insights and their lives through vulnerability and humor. Switching roles to be a guest on the show, Shannon shared insights into her background and research on this episode.


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