New Friends New Life (NFNL) announces Kerry Washington, an Emmy-winning, and SAG nominated actor, producer, director and lifelong advocate and activist, will headline its annual luncheon, a celebration of the nonprofit’s Silver Jubilee, on Friday, September 29 at 11:30 a.m., at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Luncheon co-chairs are Tracey Nash-Huntley and David Huntley and Elizabeth Carlock Phillips and Kevin Phillips. Honorary co-chairs represent several of the founding and early board members of NFNL: Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt; Gail and Dr. Gerald Turner; and Pat and Pete Schenkel.
Founded in 1998 when an exotic dancer walked into the local Preston Road Church of Christ seeking help, New Friends New Life has continued and expanded the work of the original and early board members who first helped the woman find employment while providing the ongoing support she needed to make a fresh start. The program grew beyond the ground-breaking church committee and became a separate nonprofit under the name of Amy’s Friends in January 2000. In 2001, the organization hired its first executive director, two skilled social workers and one part-time advocate. Later, in 2007, as more women came forward seeking help, Amy’s Friends revamped its presence and became New Friends New Life. Today New Friends New Life provides an extensive offering of evidence-based programs to help survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation recover from complex trauma, rebuild their lives, and thrive.
Luncheon Speaker Kerry Washington, known for her role as Olivia Pope on the hit ABC drama Scandal as well as her film credits in Django Unchained, Ray, The Last King of Scotland, Save the Last Dance, Our Song, The School for Good and Evil, and, most recently, Unprisoned on Hulu, is also an advocate and activist dedicated to using her voice to fight for justice. She has spearheaded an effort to support grassroots organizations that empower marginalized groups, fought violence against women, raised money to protect the civil liberties of minorities, advocated for the arts and more.
“Kerry is known for encouraging others to show up, answer the call, stand strong, and give other women a hand up just as the founders of New Friends New Life felt called to do 25 years ago,” said Bianca Davis, CEO of New Friends New Life. “We could not be more pleased to introduce her to our supporters at our Silver Jubilee Luncheon – a watershed moment to reflect on the impact we each can make when we choose to take a stand in this monumental effort to dismantle, disrupt, and disarm an industry that is victimizing 25 million people around the world, including 313,000 people right here in Texas.”
A native of The Bronx, New York, Washington is a versatile and fearless multi-hyphenate who has received high acclaim for her work in film, theater, digital media, advocacy and beyond. She received widespread public recognition for her role on Scandal, breaking barriers as the first Black woman since 1974 to headline a network TV drama. In 2016, she launched her production company, Simpson Street. Washington has been honored as one of Time magazine’s 2022 Women of the Year, in addition to appearing on the magazine’s Most Influential People list in 2014. She also received the 2013 NAACP President’s Award, the 2015 GLAAD Media Vanguard Award, and the 2016 ACLU Bill of Rights Award. In 2022, Washington partnered with LAUSD and others to launch The Roybal School of Film and Television Production, a magnet school aiming to drive transformational change across the entertainment industry for students from underserved communities.
This year’s luncheon co-chair couples are active community leaders entrenched within numerous nonprofits. Elizabeth Carlock Phillips has served as the executive director of Phillips Foundation since 2013. A longtime anti-trafficking advocate and supporter of New Friends New Life, she is also a Governor-appointed trustee of UNC Greensboro and volunteers as a board member for the National Center for Family Philanthropy; Texas Women’s Foundation; The Dallas Foundation; Mission Investors Exchange; and SMU’s Maguire Ethics Center, among others. Elizabeth and her husband Kevin, managing partner of Phillips Management Group, are co-founders of The ImPact and principals of Phillips Enterprises, a family office and portfolio of companies.
“I grew up at the church in which New Friends New life began,” shared Elizabeth Carlock Phillips. “At a young age, it was impressed upon me the difference we can make if we stand together on behalf of those who have suffered unimaginable trauma, especially the women and girls whose dreams have been shattered. To see how far we have come as a community on this issue, and to be a part of the work of NFNL after all these years is a rewarding, full-circle moment, and it inspires us to continue in the fight against human trafficking.”
Tracey Nash-Huntley, the immediate past board chair of New Friends New Life, serves on the board of Goodwill Industries, Dallas; the advisory board of SMU’s Maguire Ethics Center; and the executive committee of the Moody Fund for the Arts. As program chair of the Dallas (TX) Chapter of The Links, Inc., she is passionate about creating a pipeline to STEAM education and careers for underrepresented girls. She is a founding member of The Village Giving Circle at Texas Women’s Foundation and a Junior League of Dallas sustainer. David S. Huntley is AT&T’s senior executive vice president and chief compliance officer and has been a part of the senior leadership team since 2014. He is the recipient of the Carol R. Marshall Award for Innovation in Corporate Ethics, a member of New Friends New Life’s Men’s Advocacy Group, a trustee of SMU, and serves in leadership roles with AT LAST!, Dallas Citizens Council, National Urban League, and Methodist Health Systems. He is the Texas Business Hall of Fame’s 2024 president/chair-elect and serves on the board of Texas Capital Bancshares.
“Once you see how sex trafficking and exploitation has devastated the lives of the women and girls NFNL serves, you cannot unsee it,” said Tracey Nash-Huntley. “Life circumstances have left them without a safety net of support or hope and vulnerable to falling victim to traffickers. I knew I could not sit on the sidelines. Locking arms with the other board members, we encourage organizations and individuals to give of their time and resources, while also cheering on NFNL’s CEO and dedicated staff. They are in the trenches doing the hard work every day breaking through trauma to rebuild lives. It will take all of us in this fight to change the lives of women and girls impacted by this terrible crime.”
“When we look back at the first five years of our organization, Amy’s Friends provided financial and other assistance to approximately 87 women,” added Davis. “In 2022, we served 357 women and girls with the dedicated work of 25 staff, an esteemed board of directors, and scores of volunteers. Our Women’s Program, Youth Resource Center, Men’s Advocacy Group, and newly enacted Legal Advocacy Clinic ensure that we are removing some of the most daunting roadblocks from the path to self-sufficiency for the women and girls who turn to us for help. Our growth is possible only because of this incredible community that has supported us for 25 years.”
Underwriting sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,500. A limited number of individual tickets will be released closer to the date and will begin at $250 each. To reserve your sponsorship or seats, please visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org/luncheon, email email@example.com or contact Senior Development Director Priya Murphy at 214-217-8652.
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About New Friends New Life: Founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1998, New Friends New Life (NFNL) restores and empowers trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children, and drives awareness of the issue and its prevalence. The agency’s vision is to create a community where women and girls can soar above the limits of their past and achieve their dreams. In 2022, NFNL served 357 members (clients). NFNL also educates the community and works to eradicate the epidemic of sex trafficking through advocacy, legislative reform and strategic partnerships that address systemic causes. In 2018, NFNL opened a drop-in Youth Resource Center (YRC) in partnership with the Office of the Governor to serve trafficked and high-risk teen girls. Since its opening, we have served 546 girls. In 2015, NFNL organized its Men's Advocacy Group to engage men in the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation. For more information, visit http://www.newfriendsnewlife.org.