College to host former sex trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown Long

The University of Tennessee College of Law will host Cyntoia Brown Long at an upcoming event sponsored by the Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender and Social Justice. 

The event, titled Rethinking Reentry, features experts who will discuss the challenges people face when returning from prison as they work to obtain employment, connect with families and rejoin their communities.

Brown Long served 15 years of a life sentence for killing a man in Tennessee when she was 16 years old. Former Gov. Bill Haslam granted her clemency for what he called a “tragic and complex case,” and she was released from a Nashville prison in August 2019. 

Brown Long, who maintained she was a victim of sex trafficking and killed in self-defense, was featured in the documentary film “Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story” and eventually won the support of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna. 

Her case transformed Tennessee’s criminal justice system by creating protections for minors who are victims of sex trafficking. A Tennessee law passed in 2012 now defines any minor who performs a commercial sex act as a sex trafficking victim.

In addition to featuring Brown Long and her story, the Rethinking Reentry Symposium includes discussions on overcoming obstacles to reentry and restoring voting rights. The event will be hosted virtually and continuing legal education credit is available for those who are interested. 

The event will take place Feb. 23 and begins at noon. More information is available here.