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.
|Kelly Cruse, Pat Schenkel, Ashlee Kleinert, Gail Turner|
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.
|Tanya Foster, luncheon co-chair; R. Gerald Turner and Gail Turner, honorary luncheon co-chairs; Lisa Cooley, luncheon co-chair|
“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.”
|Eric and Elizabeth Gambrell|
|India Session, Paula Stein, Irie Session|
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.
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
|Chris Kleinert, Michael Studer, Bill Morse, Richard Eiseman|
|Shelly Slater, Clay Huffstutter|
“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.”
|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|
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.