Sharmin Eshraghi Bock ’80, the recipient of the 2015 Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service, is a 26-year veteran prosecutor in California and a nationally recognized leader in the modern-day fight against human trafficking.
In addition to prosecuting human traffickers, Bock created a support system for the girls and young women they exploit. She also wrote California Proposition 35, the toughest anti-human-trafficking law in the United States.
In her speech accepting the Joan Shaw Herman award, Bock said the education she received at Concord Academy is the primary reason she has succeeded in her path-breaking career. “Concord Academy students do not accept the status quo,” she said. “It made us rigorous thinkers. The only reason I can do this is because of the start I got at CA.”
The Joan Shaw Herman Award for Distinguished Service was created by the Alumnae/i Association in 1976 to honor the example of service set by Joan Shaw Herman ’46 during her life. In introducing Bock as the recipient of the award for 2015, Head of School Rick Hardy noted that CA’s core value of common trust challenges our community to “balance individual freedom with responsibility and service to a larger community.”
In addition to writing Proposition 35, Bock also started the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit, the first program of its kind in the country dedicated to prosecuting human traffickers and rescuing victims. In 2008, the <em>Oakland Tribune</em> praised Bock as an “arsenal of compassion” who is “leading a statewide charge to spare teenage prostitutes and jail their pimps.”
Bock was on campus to celebrate her 35th reunion with the class of 1980. She advocated for working hard to change the world for the better. “CA teaches us to be trail blazers,” she said. “It is an amazing experience with a purpose.”
You can listen to Bock’s acceptance speech during Reunion Weekend below.