EXPERTS, SURVIVORS, HEROES
GATHERED FOR ONE DAY
Founder & CEO, Made in A Free World
Justin Dillon is an artist, entrepreneur, public speaker, and abolitionist. He spent most of his life as a singer-songwriter touring the world and working with such companies as Universal, WB, and Capitol Records. His music has appeared in films and on several TV networks such as MTV and CBS, as well as on records with other artists such as John Mayer and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
In 2008, Justin made his directorial debut in the film, “CALL+RESPONSE". This “rockumentary” film was theatrically distributed and become one of that year’s top documentaries. The film combined commentary by social luminaries, such as Cornel West, Madeleine Albright, and Nicholas Kristof with musical performances by artists such as Moby, Natasha Bedingfield, Cold War Kids, and Matisyahu.
In 2011, Dillon founded the website Slavery Footprint. Partnering with the U.S. State Department, they launched a multiple-award-winning website that asks the question, “How Many Slaves Work For You?” The website and associated mobile app, allows consumers to visualize how their consumption habits are connected to modern-day slavery and provides them with an opportunity to have a conversation with the companies that manufacture the goods they purchase. Last year, President Obama acknowledged his organization’s work in his speech on slavery to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Dillon has appeared on and been covered by CNN, Katie Couric, Dr. Phil, MSNBC, New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Ad Week, CBS, Fox, NPR, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Fast Company and others. He has spoken at the White House, UN, Clinton Global Initiative, Global Philanthropy Forum, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and many other venues. He has also served on advisory groups for the UN, State Department, and White House.
Love Never Fails
Vanessa Scott is passionate about young people volunteering as a Youth Dance Director since 2001; teaching hundreds of children, ages 3-25, the gift of praise dance. In 2010 one of her 15 year old students was sold into the Bay Area sex trafficking industry. Although she was eventually located and is now being restored, Vanessa encountered many other children and young adults who, like her student, were US born women, men and children trapped in modern day slavery.
Her response was to launch Love Never Fails, a nonprofit dedicated to the restoration, education and protection of young people at risk or currently being sexually exploited. Vanessa is an accomplished Sr. leader at Cisco Systems as well as a Mom of two children, singer, song writer and musician.
She graduated from University of San Francisco and is pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology. Though successful, Vanessa has experienced first hand what it means to be a foster child, on welfare, abused and abandoned. She believes the issue of sex trafficking will be solved with committed demonstration of love through prayer, safe housing, mentoring, job training, outreach and education; all services that Love Never Fails provides.
Bradley Myles currently serves as Polaris's Chief Executive Officer. He has been working on combating the issue of human trafficking for the past ten years since 2002, and he is regarded as one of the leading advocates in the anti-trafficking field. Mr. Myles played an instrumental role in building Polaris’s national programs focused on systemic change in the areas of policy advocacy, training, and capacity-building. He also helped create and launch Polaris’s operation of the United States’ national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888. This national model is now regarded as one of the best-functioning anti-trafficking hotlines in the world, and it has played a role in identifying nearly 11,000 survivors of trafficking over the course of fielding over 85,000 calls.
Mr. Myles has provided consultation, training, and technical assistance on anti-trafficking strategies to hundreds of audiences, including human trafficking task forces and coalitions across the nation, government agencies, federal and local law enforcement, U.S. Members of Congress, foundations, corporations, media outlets, service providers, and foreign delegations.
In addition to overseeing all of Polaris’s day to day programmatic and operational areas, Mr. Myles is currently focusing his efforts on Polaris’s future strategy for the next decade, entitled Vision 2020, which includes building an alliance of all anti-trafficking hotlines around the world, launching a global coordination center and response network, and crafting an innovative research and data initiative designed to identify strategic intervention points that will target the vulnerabilities in human trafficking networks and syndicates.
CEO, Polaris Project
Playwright: 52 Letters and Regina's Door
Regina Y. Evans, a native of Oakland, California, is a Poet, Playwright, Social Justice Performer, and a Modern Day Abolitionist in the fight against sex trafficking.
Her most current stage play, 52 Letters, is a one-woman stage play designed to bring awareness to the horrific and brutalizing circumstances surrounding sex trafficking and its affects upon American youth and women. 52 Letters was honored to win a Best of 2013 San Francisco Fringe Festival Award. Ms. Evans has also performed 52 Letters as a part of the 2013 DIVAS Tell All series, curated by Catherine Debon, at The EXIT Café in San Francisco, CA, 2013 DIVAfest, at the EXIT Studio in SF, CA (as a part of the DIVAS Tell All Series), and at the 2013 SF Fringe Festival, EXIT Stage Left, SF, CA.
Additionally she has performed 52 Letters throughout the Bay Area for events including the Love Don't Hurt Trafficking Awareness Community Event, Oakland, Ca, Rescue Is Not Enough Trafficking Awareness Event, San Jose, Ca, YWCA of Silicon Valley Anti Trafficking Freedom Week Event, San Jose, Ca, the Ignite Conference/UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Ca, and the Human Trafficking Freedom Seder, Beth Am Congregation, Los Altos, Ca.
As a Modern Day Abolitionist, Ms. Evans works as a part of the leadership team of Love Never Fails, a Bay Area Anti-Trafficking organization, founded by the extraordinary Vanessa Scott, committed to compassionately serving sex trafficking victims and survivors. In partnership with Love Never Fails to serve the Oakland community, Ms. Evans also founded Regina's Door a vintage boutique specializing in one-of-a-kind and beautifully exquisite vintage dresses and gowns from the Victorian Era to the 1980s. Go check it out.
Photo Credit: Sian Taylor Gowan
NANCY E. O'MALLEY
SPECIAL MUSICAL GUEST
To celebrate 20 years together as a band, Jars of Clay has taken 2014 to throw themselves a yearlong birthday party. Not only have they spent the year performing a series of online StageIt concerts commemorating their previous albums, but they have also crafted a uniquely special, fan-curated retrospective double album of re-recorded favorites appropriately titled 20.
As the band reflected on their previous twenty years, they wanted to mark the milestone in a way that seemed true to the spirit they had cultivated within their first two decades. Not wanting to just compile their own favorite songs for an uninspired greatest hits package, the band looked for an opportunity to once again serve and thank their fans in a genuine, tangible way. They decided on the retrospective re-recording approach and as keyboardist Charlie Lowell explains, “We wanted to really honor the fans by letting them choose the songs.” By allowing the fans to say which songs they would do and allowing themselves to decide how they would do them, the adventurous 20 ends up feeling both nostalgic and now, simultaneously looking back and facing forward.
Jars of Clay has always been a band that has leaned forward and focused on what their next creative endeavor could be. Each new album has pushed off in a new direction from the previous one, showing a trend of transformation that has become a calling card of the band.
JARS OF CLAY
GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning band
More speakers+artists to come....
SIAN TAYLOR GOWAN
Film: Surviving International Boulevard
Sian Taylor Gowan is making her directorial debut with the documentary short film, “Surviving International Boulevard,” revealing the tragic reality of domestic child sex trafficking through the intersecting experiences of two local women from Oakland, California. Driving along International Boulevard’s dark streets, a mother recounts her own wild determination to rescue her 15 year old daughter from a sex trafficker "boyfriend". Night after night, combing the dangerous streets of East Oakland, she never gives up on her child. Switching to daylight, a nonprofit advocate and survivor of sexual exploitation shares her 14 years of experience helping young victims get the help they so desperately need. Driving along The Blade as they call it, Sarai T. Smith Mazariegos, co-founder of MISSSEY.org, breaks down the raw truth about victims and traffickers as it unfolds on the street around her.
With a passion for social cause work, Sian has nearly 10 years of advertising and marketing experience helping nonprofits maximize their reach to specific audiences. Traveling as a delegate to Iran in 2006 and Afghanistan in 2010 furthered her advocacy for women’s rights and cross-cultural understanding and she has recently served on the Board of Directors for Afghans4Tomorrow 501(c)3 nonprofit to help Afghans rebuild sustainable lives. She has earned a M.A. Degree in Human Rights Education from University of San Francisco and a B.A. Degree in Broadcast Communication Arts from San Francisco State University.
At the 2014 MISSSEY.org Inspire Change Gala, Sian was touched by the brave stories of trafficking survivors and couldn’t turn away. She hopes the film, "Surviving International Boulevard," will shine a light on the complexities of this crime while empowering communities to stand up against sex traffickers.
SARAI THEOLINDA SMITH-MAZARIEGOS
Sarai has been helping high risk youth in various capacities for over 14 year and has achieved groundbreaking strides in her field. She has worked with survivors of domestic violence, domestic minor sex trafficking, runaway/homeless youth, foster care/probation minors, group homes/shelters, juvenile courts, and the last 12 years supporting CSEC-specific services. Sarai is a specialist in crisis intervention and trauma informed care services for women and children who are at risk or has experienced domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), sexual abuse. Great Knowledge in residential and direct services management, victimology, youth development, program and resource development, community building though awareness and teach in events, advocacy in addressing gender violence, social injustice with young girls.
She is a member of the Alameda County Teen Dating Violence Task Force Steering Committee, SFCAHT, City of Oakland CSEC Task Force, OUSD-CSEM Task Force, Former Co-Chair of Alameda County Sexually Exploited Minors Network-sunsetted. Sarai is also one of the four Co-Founders of MISSSEY and Chairwoman for MISSSEY's Board of Directors. She was previously the Youth Support Center Site Supervisor & CSEC Program Coordinator for a Runaway/Homeless Youth Services Division with a local non-profit where she managed a support center, provided a variety of support services to high risk youth and coordinated the development of the first Alameda County CSEC Emeryency Home with the same non-profit..-opening soon.
She is also CEO of Survivors, Healing, Advising, Dedicated and Empowering (S.H.A.D.E) - Against Sexual Abuse, a consulting group, Independent Contractor, providing advocacy, training, technical assistance, program development and advisory on county pilot programs, etc to agencies creating new programs or residential services for commercially sexually exploited youth, domestic minor sex trafficking victims.
Sarai's commitment to the youth she works with has proven her to be a prevailing force in the area of CSEC-specific services. The level of commitment and the amount of actual work that Sarai puts forth is rarely seen in any field of work. She hopes to show all youth that if they want something positive and different in life all they have to do is have faith, reach wide and they can achieve it! Survivor Leadership!
ROBBY AND BRIA
As writers and recording artists, Robby and Bria inspire and empower this generation to dream again. R&B teamed up with Mason Jar Music (Josh Garrels, Feist) to produce their Sweet EP, which charted at #11 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter category and received 45 five-star ratings in its first week out. Soon after, the music video for their single “Sweet” released, capturing the warmth of R&B against the stunning backdrop of NYC’s Highline Park. R&B saw their music downloaded in over 55 countries, supported by West Coast, South American, and European tours.
R&B have kept busy in 2015 with live appearances (weddings, corporate events, private parties), blogging, and launching GateWay Creative Academy, a non-profit where SF Bay Area students “unlock potential through music and the arts”. Most recently, R&B was one of 40 artists invited to the exclusive Kingdom Songs Retreat, which facilitates co-writing sessions with many of the top Nashville songwriters.
Their brand-new single "Night on the Town" shines light on the injustice of sex slavery. Preview and download it at www.robbyandbria.com (all proceeds go to organiztion that fight human trafficking).
Email email@example.com for booking inquiries and follow @robbyandbria on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Larry Grant is an NFL linebacker, most currently noted for being a linebacker for the SF 49ers. He grew up in the Hunter's Point area, has lived around the country from LA to Atlanta and strives to make an impact in the lives of underprivileged youth, as he went through the foster care system at one point in his childhood.
Grant attended City College of SF before finishing his career at Ohio State. In 2005, Larry was named JUCO National Player of the Year. He played in four straight national championship games (two at City College and two at Ohio State). For his entire collegiate career, Grant started 38 of 49 games he played in, registering 244 tackles (162 solos) with 15.5 sacks and 30.5 stops for losses and caused eight fumbles, recovered three others and had nine pass break-ups. Following the season, Grant was named the No. 1 junior college prospect from the state of California by JCGridiron.com.
He was drafted by the 49ers in 2008. He was signed by the St. Louis Rams at the end of the 2008 season from the 49ers practice squad.
Supervisory Special Agent, Doug Hunt of the FBI supervises the violent crimes against children and human trafficking squad for the Bay Area.
Leah Albright-Byrd is a known leader, speaker, and survivor-activist in the fight against human trafficking. Her strong voice and unwavering commitment to “help victims become survivors and learn to dream again” inspires people to wage war against social injustice. Coming from a family life marked by abuse and addiction, dropping out of high school at the age of 14, and becoming a victim of sexual exploitation were obstacles that did not prevent her from becoming the vibrant woman she is today. At the age of 18 she refused to allow her pain determine her destiny, completed her GED, and began attending Sacramento City College. She eventually transferred to William Jessup University where she earned a B.S. in Psychology and Theology. And went on to receive her Coaching certification from Western Seminary.
Since 2002, Leah has served her community as a mental health counselor, youth advocate, and motivational speaker. Leah’s love for seeing people’s lives transformed led to the development of Bridget’s Dream, an organization founded in 2011 to fight sex-trafficking in memory of a close friend of hers who was murdered in Las Vegas and was also a victim of child sex-trafficking. In 2012, she co-signed and served as a highly influential political advocate for a California record-breaking proposition (Prop 35) to increase the penalties against human- traffickers. She is a subject matter expert in the development of law enforcement training curriculum and sits on California’s state-wide CSEC Action Committee to influence service provision for domestic minor victims of sex-trafficking. Media appearances include the Oprah Winfrey Show, Katie Couric and interviews on local, national, and international news and radio stations. In 2013, she was awarded an Emmy for her interview on the topic of Human Trafficking.
Ms. Albright-Byrd is on a mission to restore hope and inspiration in the lives of others; compelling them to take a strong stand for justice. Her message is one of enduring faith, a hope that does not disappoint, and most of all a LOVE that never fails...
Speaker, Writer, Survivor Advocate
Brooke Axtell is the Director of Communications and Engagement for Allies Against Slavery, a non-profit devoted to ending human trafficking. She also founded Survivor Healing and Empowerment (S.H.E.), a healing community for survivors of rape, abuse and sex-trafficking.
As an advocate, Brooke supports survivors through their recovery process with a particular focus on creative expression. Her commitment to international women’s rights issues has led her to serve on The Gender Equality Impact Panel for Katerva, a community that identifies and funds the world’s leading sustainability initiatives.
She is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (R.A.I.N.N.), the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the U.S. Brooke, also, serves on the board of The Refuge, the first long-term therapeutic care program for survivors of child sex-trafficking in Austin, Texas. She spoke at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Her speech has been shared around the world.
Her work as a writer, speaker, performing artist and activist has been featured in many media outlets, including the New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal and CNN. Brooke has published several award-winning poetry books and released three CDs of original music to critical acclaim.