Book Talk Features ‘Girls Like Us’ Author Rachel Lloyd

AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work welcomes author and activist Rachel Lloyd for a discussion of her book, Girls Like Us, Thursday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s UTOPIA Theatre. This event is co-sponsored by the School of Social Work and the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, a unit of the school’s Center for Social Work Research. The event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

In Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale, an Activists Finds her Calling and Heals Herself (2011), Lloyd tells her personal story as a survivor of the commercial sex industry.

At age 13, Rachel Lloyd found herself caught up in a world of pain and abuse, struggling to survive as a child with no responsible adults to support her. Vulnerable yet tough, she eventually ended up a victim of commercial sexual exploitation. It took time and incredible resilience, but with the help of a local church community, she broke free of her pimp and her past. Three years later, Lloyd arrived in the United States to work with adult women in the sex industry and soon founded her own nonprofit—GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services—to meet the needs of other girls with her history. She also earned her GED and won full scholarships to college and a graduate program.

Today, Lloyd is executive director of GEMS in New York City and has turned it into one of the nation’s most groundbreaking nonprofit organizations. Lloyd has devoted her career to activism and helping other young girls escape “the life.”

Parking: The School of Social Work is located on the university campus, 1925 San Jacinto Boulevard. Visitor parking is available at UT’s Trinity and Manor garages, near the School of Social Work for $6 (up to 2 hours). For more information on campus visitor parking, see There is also curbside metered city parking along Trinity and Red River near the School of Social Work. The School of Social Work is also accessible using Cap Metro buses (#1, #5, #7, #20, #101).