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Co-Chairs Shelly Slater and Clayton Huffstutter The family resides in Park Cities

New Friends New Life (NFNL), a Dallas-based nonprofit that restores and empowers formerly trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and their children, announces leadership for the 2019 Annual Luncheon on October 11 featuring Jada Pinkett Smith as keynote speaker. Luncheon Co-Chairs Shelly Slater & Clayton Huffstutter and Christa & Ketric Sanford are teaming up to lead what supporters hope will be one the most successful luncheons to date. Amy & Joe Crafton will serve as honorary co-chairs for the event that is expected to draw 1,000 attendees.

“This year we are excited to have couples chair the New Friends New Life Luncheon together because we know that sex trafficking is not a women’s issue, it’s a human issue that must be addressed by both men and women,” said Kim Robinson, CEO, New Friends New Life. “Survivors of trafficking and those living under the threat of falling victim at any moment need to know that there are men and women who are willing to stand on their behalf, helping them craft a future for themselves that they couldn’t otherwise imagine.”

Co-Chairs Shelly Slater and Clayton Huffstutter have been advocates for the work of New Friends New Life for several years. Shelly has been on the NFNL Board of Directors since 2016 and has served as emcee of multiple NFNL luncheons. Clayton is a member of the NFNL Men’s Advocacy Group that mobilizes men through education, awareness and volunteerism.

“We have a vested interest in supporting New Friends New Life, an organization that, for 20 years, has served as a lifeline for women who have been trafficked and exploited in our community,” said Shelly Slater. “To know that there are 400 trafficked teens on the street every night in Dallas, and that the average age of a girl entering the sex trade is anywhere between 13 and 15, we believe that it is our civic duty and responsibility to help end to this form of modern-day slavery.”

“New Friends New Life is doing an amazing job creating awareness of a problem that many people still don’t realize is happening in our own backyard,” added Clayton Huffstutter. “This luncheon inspires more people to get involved, which is critical for change to happen. We simply cannot stand by and let this continue.”

Clayton is a principal at Park Cities Asset Management, where he focuses on investor relations and capital markets. Shelly is a multi-Emmy-Award-winning journalist and a recipient of the National Edward R. Murrow Award. After ten years on the anchor desk at WFAA, she runs her own company to help corporations win business and trust through carefully crafted messaging. Additionally, Shelly and her sister are co-owners of The Slate, a new co-working space in the Design District that provides offices as well as a large studio, podcast room, and team-building room. The couple lives in the Park Cities with their three young boys.

Co-Chairs Christa and Ketric Sanford have been involved with New Friends New Life since 2011. Christa is a new member of the NFNL Board of Directors and past president of the agency’s Circle of Friends Board. Ketric is a member of the NFNL Men’s Advocacy Group.

“With three young kids, Ketric and I believe that our work with New Friends New Life is instrumental in helping keep children from becoming trapped in the sex trafficking industry,” said Christa Sanford. “By understanding and addressing factors like childhood sexual abuse, poverty and other complex trauma that make children, particularly young girls, more susceptible to being victimized by traffickers, New Friends New Life is breaking the cycle by creating a community where teen girls can overcome their backgrounds and thrive.”

“We are encouraged by the comprehensive work of New Friends New Life to address the issue from all angles,” added Ketric Sanford. “From advocacy and prevention to restoration and empowerment, we are disrupting the trafficking industry at its very core.”

Christa serves on the First Baptist Academy Board of Trustees and the Emerging Leader Board for SMU Dedman School of Law. She is a founding officer of The Village Giving Circle and an active member of the Junior League of Dallas. A partner at Baker Botts, Christa practices patent law, and Ketric is managing director of Corsica Capital Partners. Additionally, Ketric serves as treasurer on the Big Thought Board of Directors. The Sanford family resides in East Dallas.

Honorary Co-Chair Amy Simmons Crafton is a longtime supporter of NFNL. She and her husband, Joe Crafton, are committed to creating a society that is safe for women and girls. “NFNL not only brings hope to the women, it also changes their lives – and they experience the love of Christ while in the program. This is the kind of organization we like to stand behind,” said Amy Crafton.  The couple resides in Preston Hollow.

The October 11 luncheon, featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar St.  Pinkett-Smith, a successful actress, producer, director, humanitarian and activist, is passionate about fighting human trafficking, advocating for survivors and creating awareness in communities.

“When I realized it was such a huge problem for women and children all over the world, I really wanted to be a voice to let people know that human trafficking exists,” said Pinkett Smith. “Every last one of us has a job to do regarding combatting human trafficking – whether it’s looking at our own attitudes toward young women and men who get into these circumstances, how we label things, or how we love our children. Just making sure we are educating our own children about human trafficking helps this effort.”

Underwriting sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,500.  A very limited number of individual tickets at $250 each and above will be made available in September. To reserve your table, please contact Bianca Jackson, 214-217-8650, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org/luncheon or email events@newfriendsnewlife.org.

 

About New Friends New Life:


New Friends New Life, founded in 1998, restores and empowers formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women, teen girls and children.  By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps women, teenage girls and children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty and limited opportunities.  For more information about New Friends New Life, visit  www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214) 965-0935.

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A longtime anti-human-trafficking advocate, Hollywood Trailblazer Pinkett-Smith

has spearheaded multiple efforts to create greater awareness and educate the public on this worldwide issue

 

New Friends New Life (NFNL) announces Jada Pinkett Smith will headline the New Friends New Life Annual Luncheon on Friday, October 11, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar St.  A successful actress, producer, director, humanitarian and activist, Pinkett Smith is passionate about fighting human trafficking, advocating for survivors and creating awareness in communities.

Pinkett Smith was first inspired to advocate for those impacted by sex trafficking in 2011 when her then pre-teen daughter Willow watched a documentary at school and told her there were children her age being sold for sex in the United States. Pinkett Smith did not believe it until completing her own research, making her an immediate advocate against the practice.

“When I realized it was such a huge problem for women and children all over the world, I really wanted to be a voice to let people know that human trafficking exists,” said Pinkett Smith. “Every last one of us has a job to do regarding combatting human trafficking – whether it’s looking at our own attitudes toward young women and men who get into these circumstances, how we label things, or how we love our children. Just making sure we are educating our own children about human trafficking helps this effort.”

Pinkett Smith’s work led her to be featured on the special CNN Report Children for Sale: The Fight to End Human Trafficking in 2015 in which she traveled to the highly trafficked zone of Atlanta, Georgia.  This special documented Pinkett Smith working with local aid workers and officials to investigate, uncover, and rescue real-life victims of the crime. Pinkett Smith is an advocate for Don’t Sell Bodies, an organization that focuses on educating and preventing the spread of child sex slavery in America.  This organization supports and partners with Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), a New York State nonprofit serving girls and young women who have experiences commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), the largest direct service provider to survivors of human trafficking in the United States.

“New Friends New Life is elated to welcome the dynamic and multitalented Jada Pinkett Smith to headline this year’s luncheon,” said Kim Robinson, chief executive officer. “Jada is a resounding voice against sex trafficking, and her passion and commitment inspires those she encounters to join the fight to eradicate this horrific crime from our communities. She gracefully and skillfully utilizes the platform of her extraordinary 30-year career to sound the alarm about this issue, and our luncheon audience will, without question, be inspired to do the same.”

Jada Pinkett Smith is widely known for her acting career, which began with a role on the sitcom True Colors, followed by a breaking role on A Different World. In 1993, she starred in her first feature film Menace II Society, opposite Samuel L. Jackson.  Over the next three years, her career skyrocketed with roles in The Nutty Professor and Set If Off. Additional films include Scream 2, Ali, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Madagascar and its sequels, Bad Moms, and Girls Trip. She has also starred in the FOX television series Gotham. Upcoming work includes the action feature Angel Has Fallen, the third film in the Olympus Has Fallen trilogy, in which she will play the head of the FBI, opposite Gerard Butler. She has produced many projects including The Secret Life of Bees starring Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Fela, and the film remake of the 1982 musical Annie. Her executive producing credits include the 2010 film The Karate Kid, the 2014 documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners. She is currently a co-producer of the critically acclaimed Broadway production of American Son, starring Kerry Washington, as well as Hala, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where she also served as a judge.

Currently, Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch talk show titled Red Table Talk brings her knowledge and voice to a new platform.  Filmed in her family home, she hosts the show alongside her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. The multigenerational triad discusses a range of social and cultural issues to encourage an open discussion and dialogue between women of all ages.

She and husband Will Smith continue to dedicate their efforts to the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on the arts, education, sustainability, and social empowerment. The couple has two children, Jaden and Willow.

Underwriting sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,500.  A very limited number of individual tickets at $250 each and above will be made available in September. To reserve your table, please contact Bianca Jackson, 214-217-8650, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org/luncheon or email events@newfriendsnewlife.org.

 

# # #

 

About New Friends New Life:


New Friends New Life, founded in 1998, restores and empowers formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women, teen girls and children.  By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps women, teenage girls and children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty and limited opportunities.  For more information about New Friends New Life, visit  www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214) 965-0935.

 

 

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New Friends New Life 20th Anniversary Luncheon Honorary Luncheon Co-Chairs Mike and Marla Boone, Uma Thurman, NFNL CEO Kim Robinson, Luncheon Co-Chairs Connie Kleinert Babikian, McCall Cravens, Jill Meyer

Over 1,000 attended inspiring annual luncheon featuring Uma Thurman as speaker, honoring the organization’s three founders, and celebrating the restoration and empowerment of formally trafficked and sexually exploited women, teens, and children

 Over 1,000 guests joined New Friends New Life (NFNL) on November 9 at the Omni Dallas in celebrating 20 years of successful outreach to victims of human sex trafficking, increased awareness of this widespread problem, powerful legislative reform, and success stories of survivors, empowered to gain long-term stability.

The luncheon featured Uma Thurman as keynote speaker and raised $1.3 million to help the organization continue its mission to restore and empower formally trafficked and sexually exploited women, teens, and children. New Friends New Life Founders Nancy Ann Hunt, Pat Schenkel, and Gail Turner were honored for their vision and creation of the organization two decades ago to help one woman.  Today the nonprofit has reached thousands of women who have been victims of sex trafficking and has expanded its mission and services to encompass the broader scope of educating and preventing “modern-day slavery.”

Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson gave the invocation, and former NFL player and Men’s Advocacy Group board member Tyler Clutts introduced this year’s ProtectHER award recipients: Victor Boutros, founder of the Human Trafficking Institute (international recipient); Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms (national recipient); the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (state recipient); and The Dallas Morning News (local recipient). The award recipients were formally recognized at a VIP Platinum Dinner for top sponsors the evening of November 8.

New Friends New Life CEO Kim Robinson reminded attendees of the amazing work that the nonprofit has been able to accomplish as a result of their generosity of these 20 years and introduced a video which captured the three founders as they recounted the early days of the organization – one of the first of its kind in the nation to address human trafficking.  Especially touching was the story founder Pat Schenkel shared when she learned one of her daughter’s childhood friends had herself become a victim that was saved by the work of New Friends New Life and is now a mentor to women through the direct outreach of the organization.  Kim welcomed her along with three other survivors to the stage where they received a standing ovation by everyone in attendance.

Marla and Mike Boone served as the luncheon’s honorary chairs while Connie Kleinert Babikian, McCall Cravens, and Jill Meyer served as this year’s luncheon co-chairs.  Mrs. Babikian is the third generation of women in her family to work with New Friends New Life.  Her grandmother is founder Nancy Ann Hunt, and her mother is board member Ashlee Kleinert

The event culminated in a moderated conversation with Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award- nominated actress Uma Thurman and NFNL board member Shelly Slater.  Thurman continued to remark that she was “absolutely blown away by what’s going on” regarding the accomplishments of NFNL.  “I’m so moved by this love-based conversation,” she said.  “What I see in this room is what is missing in other parts of the world – a lack of judgment, love, and support…. We need more of a commitment to support that in women.”

After talking about the mission to end human trafficking, Thurman also discussed her personal life. She talked about her childhood growing up in a family with three brothers and going alone to New York City at the age of 15 to model. Highlights from Thurman’s remarks include: her favorite designer is friend Zac Posen, how long it takes to get ready for the Oscars, and the moment when she was in awe meeting Robert Redford and Paul Newman.  She is the proud mother of three children.  Her oldest daughter Maya is now following in her mom’s footsteps and is acting in the series “Stranger Things.”  Her son Levon is 16 and daughter Luna is 6.

Serving approximately 1,000 women, teens, and children annually, New Friends New Life provides holistic services for victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation including access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health counseling, and spiritual support. By partnering with law enforcement, corporate sponsors, community organizations, and individual donors and volunteers, New Friends New Life helps to provide legal assistance, medical services, budget counseling, job-readiness training, and educational opportunities.

Texas ranks 2nd in the country for the most human trafficking, and in Dallas, there are an estimated 400 trafficked teens on the streets each night. New Friends New Life believes this is a community-wide issue and advocates for the victims of sex trafficking by driving state and national legislation and establishing partner groups to raise awareness and encourage volunteerism, including its Circle of Friends board and Men’s Advocacy Group.

Media sponsor was WFAA Channel 8.

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Uma Thurman Keynote speaker for 20th Anniversary New Friends New Life Luncheon

New Friends New Life (NFNL) announces Uma Thurman, award-winning actress and activist, will headline the 20th Anniversary Luncheon on Friday, November 9, 2018, at 11:30 a.m., at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar Street. Previously scheduled speaker, Mandy Moore, will no longer attend the luncheon due to an unexpected production schedule conflict. 

“New Friends New Life is honored to bring the lauded and talented Uma Thurman to Dallas,” said Kim Robinson, Chief Executive Officer. “Ms. Thurman’s heart for those experiencing poverty, and her willingness to stand on behalf of those whose human rights have been violated, are just a few of the many reasons why we are honored that she has accepted our invitation to join us in celebrating survivors and advocates during this milestone event.”

Luncheon Co-Chairs are Connie Kleinert Babikian, McCall Cravens, and Jill Meyer, and Honorary Co-Chairs are Marla and Mike Boone.

Additionally, New Friends New Life announces the four 2018 ProtectHER Award recipients: Victor Boutros, founder of the Human Trafficking Institute (international recipient); Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms (national recipient); the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (state recipient); and The Dallas Morning News (local recipient). The award recipients were recently announced at a 20th Anniversary Luncheon Launch Party, at the home of Gigi and Roy Salley, and they will be formerly recognized at a VIP Platinum Dinner for top sponsors the evening of November 8, and celebrated at the luncheon on Friday, November 9.

“New Friends New Life is thrilled to honor these international, national, state, and local partners in our advocacy and prevention efforts to eradicate sex trafficking and exploitation,” Robinson shared. “Sex trafficking is a global issue that requires global, collaborative partnerships in order to save lives. Our ProtectHER awardees make us proud to be part of this dedicated network of advocates who are committed to safeguarding the rights of women and girls here in our city, across the country and around the world.”

International ProtectHER honoree Victor Boutros founded the Human Trafficking Institute in 2015. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the institute works to end trafficking at its source by empowering police and prosecutors to stop traffickers by working inside the criminal justice system using embedded experts, world-class training, investigative resources, and evidence-based research. The institute developed a groundbreaking model to train specialized trafficking enforcement units in six federal districts through two components: mastering core knowledge and working with experienced trafficking experts.

National ProtectHER honoree Becca Stevens is the founder and president of Thistle Farms. Its mission is to heal, empower, and employ women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners. The program offers a two-year residential program, based in Nashville, that provides housing, medical care, therapy, education, and job training free of charge for up to 32 women and serves hundreds more through advocacy and referral services.

The 2018 state ProtectHER honoree is the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. Founded by researchers at the University of Texas and headquartered in Austin, the institute advances knowledge about interpersonal violence through research, education, and service in multidisciplinary, strategic partnerships with researchers, educators, practitioners, policy makers, and other members of the community. The work of the institute has led to policy and program recommendations, now being constructed with a valid understanding of the scope of trafficking in Texas.

The Dallas Morning News, this year’s local ProtectHER honoree, supports the fight against human and sex trafficking by reporting on incidents within the DFW area and raising awareness in the local community that these crimes are happening right here, in our own backyards.

“All of our ProtectHER Award recipients are playing a key role in helping us put traffickers out of business,” Robinson added. “Collectively, we are sounding the alarm that our girls and our women are not for sale.”

A limited number of tickets for the 20th Anniversary Luncheon are available from $250; sponsorships are also available beginning at $2500. For more information, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org/luncheon, email development director Priya Murphy at pmurphy@newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214)-217-8652.

# # #

About New Friends New Life:


New Friends New Life, founded in 1998, restores and empowers formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and children.  By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps women, teenage girls and children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty and limited opportunities.  For more information about New Friends New Life, visit their website at www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214) 965-0935.

 

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New Friends New Life 14th Annual Luncheon Lisa Cooley, luncheon co-chair; Kelly Cruse, exec. dir., New Friends New Life; Joe Ehrmann, keynote speaker and co-founder of InSideOut Initiative; Tanya Foster, luncheon co-chair; Gail Turner, Dr. R. Gerald Turner, honorary chairs

New Friends New Life’s 14th Annual Luncheon on May 10 at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, raised over $1.06 million toward the work of the nonprofit, which restores and empowers formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women, teens, and children.  Honorary luncheon chairs were Gail and Dr. R. Gerald Turner and luncheon chairs were Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster. Joe Ehrmann, co-founder of the NFL Foundation-funded InSideOut Initiative and a former NFL Pro Bowl athlete, named by Parade Magazine as “The Most Important Coach in America” for his work empowering youth – a critical component to ending sex trafficking and exploitation – was keynote speaker.  Singer Songwriter Gayle Arbuckle provided a moving song, which inspired 1,060 guests to be the change needed to help prevent a crime that enslaves young American girls at an average age of 13.  David Pughes, Interim Chief, Dallas Police Department, gave the invocation and Shelly Slater directed the audience’s attention to the screens for the debut of a thought-provoking video portraying the scenario and thoughts of a young girl trapped in the life of sex trafficking.

Chris Kleinert, chair of the New Friends New Life Men’s Advocacy Group Board, was joined by Jeremy Hodge, a student at Parish Episcopal School, to honor four ProtectHer award recipients – international, national, state, and local partners in the organization’s advocacy and prevention efforts to eradicate sex trafficking and exploitation: INTERNATIONAL HONOREE: Airline Ambassadors International, the first-time international recipient, holds training sessions in airports around the world teaching all airline personnel the key warning signs of trafficking. Flight attendant Shelia Fedrick, who gained national recognition this year for rescuing a young girl on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco, was honored along with Airline Ambassadors International founder Nancy Rivard.  NATIONAL HONOREE: U.S. Senator Rob Portman is the founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking and has authored five federal anti-trafficking laws since 2012.  STATE HONOREE: Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team (CCST), which in 2016, changed the landscape of Texas’ fight against the horrific crime that is child sex trafficking.  LOCAL HONOREE: Parish Episcopal School,  piloted the New Friends New Life Men’s Advocacy Group’s manKINDness Project® High School Program, a 60-minute interactive learning experience teaching the next generation how to identify and execute healthy relationships with women and stop the cycle of sex trafficking. Jeremy Hodge was a member of the Parish team – the first to pilot the manKINDness Project Curriculum. Hodge told the audience that one of the most powerful things he learned was how society’s attitudes toward women and girls influence sex trafficking and exploitation. He wants to change that and feels that the program should be in every school in the nation.

Throughout the ballroom young men in a variety of colorful high school football jerseys represented five different teams from Berkner, Lake Highlands, Parish, Pierce, and Richardson High Schools.  Each school has participated in New Friend New Life’s manKINDness® Project curriculum for high school athletes in an effort to engage in dialogue about respect for young women and themselves.

“New Friends New Life has made great strides this past year through our Men’s Advocacy Group’s manKINDness Project® High School Program, a 60-minute interactive learning experience tailored to teen boys which aligns perfectly with Joe Ehrmann’s message to youth,” said Kelly Cruse, executive director, New Friends New Life. “Joe’s motivational message supports our philosophy that we must be proactive to create a long-term impact on this horrific and widespread industry.”

Mike Doocy, Fox 4 anchor and member of the Men’s Advocacy Group Board, took the stage to introduce keynote speaker Joe Ehrmann. He told the audience “while Joe Ehrmann gained notoriety due to his superior athletic acumen of the football field, he became a legend due to the investment he has made in the lives of men and young boys.”

Ehrmann captivated the crowd and encouraged the audience to work to understand “our own moral responsibility” relating it to New Friends New Life’s message, “Not our children, not our city.”  “We must create better citizens and contribute to our communities if we are going to eradicate this. Whenever you have empathy and can turn it into action that equals compassion which produces moral courage.”  He continued to say that apathy and indifference are our two greatest problems and encouraged the audience to step out of their comfort zones and have “our own personal transformation so that we can help transform others.”  Ehrmann now devotes his life to teaching young men a whole new meaning of masculinity. “Being a man means emphasizing relationships and having a cause bigger than yourself. It means accepting responsibility and leading courageously. It means that empathy, integrity, and living a life of service to others – all are more important than points on a scoreboard.”

Ehrmann’s NFL Foundation-funded InSideOut Initiative is a blueprint for systemic change, transforming the current “win-at-all-costs” sports culture into one that defines and promotes sports as a human growth experience. 

Serving approximately 1,000 women, teens, and children annually, New Friends New Life provides holistic services for victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation including access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health counseling, and spiritual support. By partnering with law enforcement, corporate sponsors, community organizations, and individual donors and volunteers, New Friends New Life helps to provide legal assistance, medical services, budget counseling, job-readiness training, and educational opportunities. The nonprofit’s High Risk and Trafficked Teen Girls Program offers abuse recovery groups for adolescents, teaching girls, ages 12 to 17, how to recognize and ultimately recover from abuse. The program is an intervention effort to help girls avoid a lifetime of exploitation as human trafficking victims.

Media Sponsors were The Dallas Morning News and WFAA.

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New Friends New Life Alan Schonborn, Assoc. Dir., Strategic Development, Child Sex Trafficking Team, Office of the Governor of Texas (representing the state ProtectHer recipient), Lisa Cooley, Wendy Messmann, Chris Kleinert, Kelly Cruse, and Tanya Foster

Four recipients – international, national, state and local – to be honored at May 10 Luncheon, featuring Joe Ehrmann

 

New Friends New Life (NFNL), a nonprofit that restores and empowers formerly trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and children, has announced its 2017 ProtectHer Award recipients.  Airline Ambassadors International, United States Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team and Parish Episcopal School will be honored at the May 10 New Friends New Life Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, for their visionary guidance and leadership in protecting the rights of women and girls.  The luncheon, featuring Joe Ehrmann as headliner, is chaired by Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster and Honorary Co-Chairs Gail and Dr. R. Gerald Turner.

“New Friends New Life is thrilled to honor these international, national, state, and local partners in our advocacy and prevention efforts to eradicate sex trafficking and exploitation,” said Kelly Cruse, executive director, New Friends New Life. “We are thrilled to add an international recipient for the first time this year.  The dedication of each of these recipients to this crime has saved lives. By working together, we will continue to safeguard the rights of women and girls who are at-risk or have already suffered the degradation and trauma of sex trafficking and exploitation.”

Airline Ambassadors International, the first-time international ProtectHer recipient, holds training sessions in airports around the world teaching airline personnel the key warning signs of trafficking. Once these signs are identified, flight attendants notify pilots, who notify ground crews to have police waiting at the gates upon arrival, saving the lives of children and young women.

“Perpetrators are trafficking 800,000 victims across international borders every year and are moving them frequently to keep them powerless,” said Nancy Rivard, president, Airline Ambassadors International.  “If you estimate that every flight attendant sees 4,000 people a month, that’s well over 2 million that will be scanned as a result of those who have been trained thus far. Whether a CEO of an airline, a flight attendant, a pilot…each wants to do the right thing, and we are teaching them how to recognize it, report it, and save the life of a child.”

National ProtectHer honoree U.S. Senator Rob Portman is the founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking and has authored five federal anti-trafficking laws since 2012: Bringing Missing Children Home Act; Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act; Combat Human Trafficking Act; End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act; and Child Sex Trafficking Amendment Signed Into Law As Part of Violence Against Women Act. Additionally, he works to combat illegal online marketplaces for sex, including an investigation into how sex traffickers use websites like Backpage.com – which is headquartered in Dallas. He has not only received praise from human rights organizations, but Congress unanimously passed Senator Portman’s resolution to require Backpage.com to submit documents relevant to his 18-month investigation of online sex trafficking. As a result, the CEO of Backpage.com now faces 2 years in prison.

The 2017 state ProtectHer honoree is Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team (CCST), which in 2016, changed the landscape of Texas’ fight against the horrific crime that is child sex trafficking. CCST began a study of the scope of child sex trafficking in Texas and identified gaps in victims’ services and law enforcement response along with best practice solutions to fill those gaps.  Additionally, CCST expanded existing therapeutic and trauma-informed services for victims of trafficking and trained law enforcement and the child welfare system on identifying and addressing child exploitation.

“In just one year, our Child Sex Trafficking Team has provided invaluable training and technical assistance to law enforcement, child protection services, juvenile justice and community and faith-based organizations tasked with combatting child sex trafficking,” said Governor Abbott. “I am grateful to New Friends New Life for their recognition of CSTT’s hard work, but there is much more to be done. I look forward to building on the success of this past year and continuing in our efforts to prevent and combat sex trafficking in the State of Texas.”

The 2017 local ProtectHer honoree, Parish Episcopal School, piloted the New Friends New Life Men’s Advocacy Group’s manKINDness Project© High School Program, a 60-minute interactive learning experience tailored to teen boys. Through candid conversations about value and respect, the learning objectives for the young men who complete the program are three-fold: learn the power of words and how thoughts influence behaviors and actions; examine ties between respect for women and girls and socialization of sex trafficking and exploitation where nightly in Dallas alone, 400 teen girls are trafficked, and identify solutions in school and community that demonstrate positive, healthy attitudes toward girls and women and themselves.

Parish Episcopal School Former Head Football Coach and Men’s Advocacy Group Member Scott Nady stated, “I’m in charge of 60 boys every fall, and I want to do the most I can to help them understand the issue, what starts the problem, and the chain of events that leads a young lady into this situation. If every coach in North Texas received this challenge, think of the army of men trained to help eradicate this problem. I challenge other coaches to come on board to help train the next generation to identify and execute healthy relationships with women and stop the cycle of sex trafficking.”

The international, national, state and local ProtectHer Awards will be recognized at the May 10 New Friends New Life 14th Annual Luncheon by the New Friends New Life’s Men’s Advocacy Group Board, formed in 2015, to mobilize men to take action against sex trafficking and exploitation by raising public awareness, legal advocacy, and corporate engagement.

“These awards recognize people who are effecting change – they are the catalysts making things happen to improve the lives of trafficked and exploited women and girls,” said Chris Kleinert, CEO and President of Hunt Consolidated Investments and Chair of New Friends New Life’s Men's Advocacy Group Board.  “It is our hope these awards will inspire and motivate other people to stand up and join us in this important fight.”

“All of our ProtectHer Award recipients are playing a key role in helping us move Texas closer to a no-tolerance zone for those who prey upon our children,” Cruse added. “Our women and girls are not for sale.”

Tickets for the 14th Annual luncheon available from $250; sponsorships are also available.  For more information, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214)965-0935.

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Joe Ehrmann to Speak Joe Ehrmann to Keynote New Friends New Life Luncheon on May 10

A former NFL Pro Bowler, named by Parade Magazine as “The Most Important Coach in America,” Ehrmann is an award-winning advocate for empowering youth through character-based education and transformational coaching

 

New Friends New Life, a nonprofit organization that restores and empowers formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women, teens, and children, announces Joe Ehrmann, co-founder of the NFL Foundation-funded InSideOut Initiative and a former NFL Pro Bowler, named by Parade Magazine as “The Most Important Coach in America” for his work empowering youth – a critical component to ending human sex trafficking – will headline the 14th Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar Street. Luncheon Chairs are Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster, and Honorary Chairs are Gail and R. Gerald Turner.  The previous speaker, Ashton Kutcher, canceled his appearance at the luncheon due to personal reasons.

 

“Joe Ehrmann is a passionate advocate of creating positive change among our youth, aligning perfectly with New Friends New Life’s goal of prevention as a critical way to end human sex trafficking,” said Lisa Cooley.  “He speaks across the country, motivating others to step up and be the change that we need to help prevent a crime that enslaves young American girls at an average age of 13 – a crime happening in our own backyard.”

 

Joe Ehrmann is co-founder of the NFL Foundation-funded InSideOut Initiative, a blueprint for systemic change, transforming the current “win-at-all-costs” sports culture – where the value is often defined by the scoreboard – into one that defines and promotes sports as a human growth experience.  An All American football player, Erhmann was named to Syracuse University’s All-Century Team. He lettered in lacrosse and received the Arents Award, SU’s Most Distinguished Alumni honor for his contributions to society.  He played professional football for 13 years and was named Baltimore Colt’s Man of the Year.  He was the NFL’s first Ed Block Courage Award recipient and named “The Most Important Coach in America” by Parade Magazine.  The Institute for International Sport chose him as one of The Most Influential Sports Educators in America, and his revolutionary concepts of transformational coaching are the subject of his book, InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives.  Joe is also the subject of The New York Times best-seller, Season of Life:  A Football Star, a Boy, A Journey to Manhood. Among many other awards, the Baltimore Business Journal selected him as the Renaissance Person of the Decade for his dedication and commitment to Baltimore City’s betterment.   He was the National Fatherhood Initiative’s Man of the Year and the Frederick Douglas National Man of the Year award recipient for empowering youth to prevent rape and other forms of male violence.  

 

“New Friends New Life has made great strides this past year through our Men’s Advocacy Group’s manKINDness Project® High School Program, a 60-minute interactive learning experience tailored to teen boys which aligns perfectly with Joe’s message to the youth of today,” said Kelly Cruse, executive director, New Friends New Life. “In fact, our local ProtectHer award recipient this year is Parish Episcopal School who by participating in this project, is teaching the next generation how to identify and execute healthy relationships with women and stop the cycle of sex trafficking. Joe Ehrmann’s motivational message supports our philosophy that we must be proactive to create a long-term impact on this horrific and widespread industry.”

 

“In Dallas alone, sex trafficking is a $99 million dollar criminal enterprise,” said Tanya Foster, luncheon co- chair.  “Enlightened by so many staggering statistics and stories from survivors, Lisa and I are committed to rallying the support needed to bring an end to this injustice. There is much work to be done. By joining us on May 10, you can help us expand outreach to connect with the highest risk children in our city before local traffickers do.”

 

Serving approximately 1,000 women, teens, and children annually, New Friends New Life provides holistic services for victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation including access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health counseling, and spiritual support. By partnering with law enforcement, corporate sponsors, community organizations, and individual donors and volunteers, New Friends New Life helps to provide legal assistance, medical services, budget counseling, job- readiness training, and educational opportunities.

 

The nonprofit’s High Risk and Trafficked Teen Girls Program offers abuse recovery groups for adolescents, teaching girls, ages 12 to 17, how to recognize and ultimately recover from abuse. The program is an intervention effort to help girls avoid a lifetime of exploitation as human trafficking victims. Beginning last year, New Friends New Life now offers community education through The manKINDness® Project curriculum for high school athletes in an effort to engage in dialogue about respect for young women and themselves.

 

Past New Friends New Life luncheon speakers have included Amal Clooney, Kevin Costner, Sally Field, Barbara P. Bush, Nicholas Sparks, and Harriet Miers.

 

Sponsorship and individual tickets are available. Contact Jennifer Yarbrough, events@newfriendsnewlife.org, (214) 965-0935.

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WINGS LUNCHEON Amal Clooney and Shelly Slater(Photo credit: Aaron Bensko Photography)

Amal Clooney shared her passion for human rights to a sold-out crowd of 1,700 on April 14 at the 13th Annual WINGS Luncheon, at the Hilton Anatole, helping New Friends New Life raise over $1 million to support victims of sex trafficking and commercial exploitation.

Multi-Emmy-award-winning journalist Shelly Slater of WFAA-TV, Channel 8, interviewed Clooney at the luncheon, which also featured an update on the work of the organization by New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo. Luncheon Chair was The Honorable Jeanne Phillips and Honorary Co-Chairs were Laura Bush, Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Annette Simmons. Board Chair is Nancy Ann Hunt.

 “As a human rights activist on a global scale, Amal Clooney is a strong voice to advocate against a crime that is happening in our own backyard,” said Jeanne Phillips.  “The subject of sex trafficking was rarely spoken of just a few years ago, but thanks to the work of organizations like New Friends New Life and a community willing to step forward with funding, we are making huge strides to end human trafficking in Dallas and throughout Texas.”

Amal Clooney’s accomplished career in the fields of international law and human rights has won her international acclaim. Her recent work as of 2015 has been in the field of advocating for the protection of women against physical and sexual violence in combat zones.  This was her first trip to Dallas and first time to speak in the United States.

Clooney encouraged the audience by letting them know they can make a difference and join the fight against human trafficking.

“You don’t have to be a lawyer…to show compassion,” said Clooney.  “Everyone can play a role. Everyone knows someone who is need.  By being here and being involved and supporting organizations like New Friends New Life.”

“Amal shares the organization’s passion to help women and children, and her perspective, insight and international acclaim, along with her wide appeal to the public, helped us to create an even greater awareness of this worldwide epidemic while raising critical funding to combat human trafficking in the Dallas area and throughout our state and nation,” said Katie Pedigo, CEO, New Friends New Life.

Samantha Casas, a student at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School spoke at the luncheon before Clooney.  She has worked on anti-trafficking projects and emphasized the importance of helping victims. 

“Without an organization such as New Friends New Life, these victims may never know what it means to be educated, loved and free,” added Casas.

New Friends New Life honored national, state, and local recipients of the organization’s ProtectHer Awards for their visionary guidance and leadership in protecting the rights of women and girls: U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Ted Poe; The 2015 Texas Legislative Session; and Playground Youth Curriculum.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, served as sponsors of a bill – The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, signed into law on May 29, 2015, to improve law enforcement’s ability to target traffickers and buyers and protect and expand the rights of trafficking victims.  

The 2015 Texas Legislative Session’s award was accepted by Rep. Tan Parker – District 63 and Rep. Morgan Meyer – District 108. With Texas ranking second in the U.S. for calls to the human trafficking hotline, New Friends New Life testified on behalf of the women and girls of Texas, and policy makers passed 20 bills to help Texas move towards a “no tolerance zone” for traffickers and exploiters. Playground Youth Curriculum impacts the lives of young girls by educating them and empowering them with the language, skills and resources they need to protect themselves and their peers from sexual exploitation and trafficking. New Friends New Life was honored to serve as the curriculum’s facilitators in Dallas area schools this past fall.

Serving approximately 1,000 women and children annually, New Friends New Life provides holistic services for sexually exploited girls, women, and their children, including access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support.  By partnering with law enforcement, corporate sponsors, community organizations and individual donors and volunteers, New Friends New Life helps to provide legal assistance, medical services, budget counseling, job-readiness training, and educational opportunities. The nonprofit’s High Risk and Trafficked Teen Girls Program offers sexual abuse recovery groups for adolescents, teaching girls, ages 12 to 17, how to define, recognize, and ultimately recover from abuse.  The program is a therapeutic intervention and prevention effort to help girls avoid a lifetime of exploitation as human trafficking victims. 

Attendees included Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt; April and Mark Anthony; Gene Jones; Ashlee and Chris Kleinert; Pat and Richard Lawson; Carolyn and David Miller; Caren Prothro; Pat and Pete Schenkel; Debbie Tolleson; Lisa Troutt; Lana Andrews; Martha Lou and Dan Beaird; Nancy Best; Elizabeth Carlock Phillips; Laura Barker Carlock; Nancy Carter; Lisa and Clay Cooley; Lydia Addy; Kathy Crow; K.J. Murphy; Nancy Dedman; Tammy Ellis; Aliya Khatri; Joyce Lacerte; Pat McEvoy, Shelle Sills; Linda B. McFarland; Mary M. Jalonick; April Box; Justine Mullen; Sandy Nachman; Gayla Plunkett; Sharon Popham; Kathy Helm; Annette Simmons; Amy Simmons; Marianne Staubach; Sue Strauss; Betty and Steve Suellentrop; Dr. Melissa D. Tonn; and Gail and Gerald Turner.

Media Sponsors were D Magazine and WFAA.

“If nonprofits can make a difference to just one woman, the work is worth it,” added Clooney.  “New Friends New Life gives hope.  It’s about being resilient and never giving up.”

Past WINGS luncheon speakers have included Kevin Costner, Sally Field, Barbara P. Bush, Nicholas Sparks, and Harriet Miers. Visit newfriendsnewlife.org.

 

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New Friends New Life WINGS Launch Party Chief David Brown, Caren Prothro, U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, Katie Pedigo, Nancy Ann Hunt, Libby Spears, Jeanne Johnson Phillips, Rep. Tan Parker, Rep. Morgan Meyer

 

Three recipients – national, state and local – to be honored at April 14 Luncheon, featuring Amal Clooney 

New Friends New Life (NFNL), a nonprofit that restores and empowers formerly trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and children, has announced its 2016 ProtectHer Award recipients. U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Ted PoeThe 2015 Texas Legislative Session; and Advocate Libby Spears, Playground Curriculum  will be honored at the April 14 New Friends New Life WINGS Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, for their visionary guidance and leadership in protecting the rights of women and girls.  The luncheon, featuring Amal Clooney as headliner, is chaired by The Honorable Jeanne Phillips and Honorary Co-Chairs Laura Bush, Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Annette Simmons. 

“New Friends New Life is thrilled to honor these national, state, and local partners in our advocacy and prevention efforts to eradicate human trafficking,” said Katie Pedigo, chief executive officer, New Friends New Life. “We are grateful for their dedication to this crime that is happening in our country, in our state, and in our backyard. By working together, we will continue to safeguard the rights of women and girls who are at-risk or have already suffered the degradation and trauma of human trafficking.”

The 2016 national ProtectHer honorees, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, served as sponsors of a bill – The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, signed into law on May 29, 2015, to improve law enforcement’s ability to target traffickers and buyers and protect and expand the rights of trafficking victims.  The act, which increases criminal fines on convicted traffickers and child predators, will create about $60 million in federal grants that state and local governments can use for more shelter space, specialized court programs and law enforcement programs targeting human trafficking.

 “The law changes the focus of criminal prosecution from the sex workers to those who traffic or buy trafficked labor or sex,” Rep. Poe said. “With the passing of the act, law enforcement has more power to seize traffickers’ assets and use the money for victim restitution.”

The 2016 state ProtectHer honoree is The 2015 Texas Legislative Session, accepted by Rep. Tan Parker – District 63 and Rep. Morgan Meyer – District 108. With Texas ranking second in the U.S. for calls to the human trafficking hotline, New Friends New Life testified on behalf of the women and girls of Texas, and the results were positive.  Policy makers listened and passed 20 bills to help Texas move towards a “no tolerance zone” for traffickers and exploiters.

 “The accomplishments of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session will serve to protect our citizens and our children from the horrors of human trafficking,” said Rep. Meyer. “As a father, it is an honor to continue to advocate for education and legislation that supports and protects the victims of these crimes in the overall fight against human trafficking.”

The 2016 local ProtectHer honoree, Playground Curriculum’s Libby Spears, impacts the lives of young girls by educating them and empowering them with the language, skills and resources they need to protect themselves and their peers from sexual exploitation and trafficking.  Spears directed “PLAYGROUND: The Child Sex Trade in America,” a documentary film produced by George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh and Abigail Disney that investigates the underground epidemic of child sexual exploitation and trafficking in North America.  Through the NEST Foundation, Spears launched an educational curriculum to take directly into communities across America. New Friends New Life was honored to serve as the curriculum’s facilitators in Dallas area schools.

The national, state and local ProtectHer Awards will be presented at the April 14 New Friends New Life 13th Annual WINGS Luncheon by the New Friends New Life’s Men’s Advocacy Group Board, formed in 2015, to mobilize men to take action against sex trafficking and exploitation by raising public awareness, legal advocacy, and corporate engagement.

“These awards recognize people truly impacting change to improve the lives of trafficked and exploited women and girls who need our voice,” said Chris Kleinert, CEO and President of Hunt Consolidated Investments and Chair of New Friends New Life’s Men's Advocacy Group Board.  “It is our hope these awards inspire and motivate other people to stand up and join us in this important fight.”

 “All of our ProtectHer Award recipients are playing a key role in helping us move Texas closer to a no-tolerance zone for those who prey upon our children,” Pedigo added. “Our women and girls are not for sale.”

Tickets for the 13th Annual WINGS luncheon available from $200; sponsorships also available.  For more information, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214)965-0935. 

 

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Amal Clooney Clooney makes first trip to Dallas to headline New Friends New Life's WINGS Luncheon on April 14

 

Internationally Known Attorney and Human Rights Activist Shares Nonprofit’s Passion to Protect Women and Children,

Combat Human Trafficking and Provide Healing and Hope

 

New Friends New Life, a nonprofit organization that restores and empowers formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and children, announces that Amal Clooney will headline its 13th Annual WINGS Luncheon on Thursday, April 14, 2016, at the Hilton Anatole Dallas.  She and her husband, famed actor and director, George Clooney, share a passion for philanthropic work with a focus on protecting human rights.  This will be her first trip to Dallas.

The Honorable Jeanne Johnson Phillips will serve as luncheon chair for the second year in a row.  Honorary Co-Chairs the former First Lady Laura Bush and Ruth Altshuler, also in their second year with the WINGS Luncheon, are joined this year by Caren Prothro and Annette Simmons as well as Board Chair Nancy Ann Hunt.

“As a human rights activist on a global scale, Amal Clooney is a perfect voice to advocate against a crime that is happening in our own backyard,” said Jeanne Johnson Phillips.  “The subject of sex trafficking and the sex industry as a whole were rarely spoken of just a few years ago, but thanks to the incredible work of organizations like New Friends New Life and a corporate community that is willing to step forward with funding, we are making huge strides to end human trafficking in Dallas and throughout Texas and empower its survivors. Clooney’s knowledge, experience, and presentation will help us educate the community and send a strong message that Dallas is a no tolerance zone for human trafficking as we strive to protect our children, an estimated 400 teens on the streets each night – the most vulnerable targets of human traffickers.”

A Lebanese-British barrister, human rights activist, philanthropist, and author, Amal Clooney’s long and accomplished career in the fields of international law and human rights has won her international acclaim. Her recent work as of 2015 has been in the field of advocating for the protection of women against physical and sexual violence in combat zones. 

“New Friends New Life is elated to bring Clooney to Dallas for so many reasons,” said New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo.  “She shares the organization’s passion to help women and children escape physical and sexual abuse, and her perspective, insight and international acclaim, along with her wide appeal to the public, will help us create an even greater awareness of this worldwide epidemic.   Without question, this will enable us to raise more dollars to combat human trafficking in the Dallas area and throughout our state and nation.” 

Serving more than 1,200 women and children annually, New Friends New Life provides holistic services for sexually exploited girls, women, and their children including access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support.  By partnering with law enforcement, corporate sponsors, community organizations and individual donors and volunteers, New Friends New Life helps to provide legal assistance, medical services, budget counseling, job-readiness training, and educational opportunities. The nonprofit’s High Risk and Trafficked Teen Girls Program offers sexual abuse recovery groups for adolescents, teaching girls, ages 12 to 17, how to define, recognize, and ultimately recover from abuse.  The program is an intervention and prevention effort to help girls avoid a lifetime of exploitation as human trafficking victims. 

Past WINGS luncheon speakers have included Kevin Costner, Sally Field, Barbara P. Bush, Nicholas Sparks, and Harriet Miers.

Sponsorships are available, ranging from $2,000 to $100,000.  Contact Kelly Cruse, wings@newfriendsnewlife.org, (214) 965-0935. 

ABOUT NEW FRIENDS NEW LIFE: New Friends New Life, founded in 1998, restores and empowers formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and their children. By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps teen girls, women and their children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty and limited opportunities. For more information about New Friends New Life, visit the agency’s website at www.newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214) 965-0935.