Meet Shamere McKenzie, the recently-appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Sun Gate Foundation, a national organization focused on providing support to survivors of human trafficking who wish to gain access to private, continuing, and/or higher education. Why is this mission important to Shamere? Because she herself was once a victim of sex trafficking, and as a young adult pursuing a college education, she has had to overcome many obstacles. “As a survivor, I know firsthand the stigma and difficulties faced by survivors of sex trafficking,” Shamere says, “And, as the recipient of the first Sun Gate Foundation scholarship, I am a walking example to other survivors that they too can pick up the broken pieces and live a life of their choosing.” Click here to read the entire article written by Holly Smith.
Tag Archives: anti-trafficking
On February 19th, Shamere presented at Howard University again, this time she was among other experts in the field. Those presenting included Nick Sensely, Stacy Lewis, Det. Bill Woolf, Deepa Patel, Christine Raino from Shared Hope International, and more.
Stacy Lewis opened the panel discussion with her motivating spoken word, “Ten Years and one Day.” Shamere closed the conference with a powerful speech.
Read the full article published in Howard Univerity’s School Paper-The Hilltop on page 4.
Click here to read Shamere’s story written by fellow survivor Rebecca Bender.
Are people just insensitive or is it that they really don’t understand the issue of human trafficking? My dear friend and fellow survivor – Holly Smith – wrote a great article to her fellow survivors of trafficking. She informed us that we are more than our stories. Many times survivors are asked to speak about the gruesome experiences while enslaved. Would you like to stand up before a crowd a tell them about your first sexual encounter? Read the article and leave comments for Holly.
Who is Holly Smith:
Holly is a survivor of child trafficking and an advocate against all forms of human trafficking. In order to raise awareness of human trafficking within the United States, Holly has appeared on the Dr. Oz show and has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Holly is requested on a regular basis to provide testimony and input to law enforcement officials, social service providers, human trafficking task forces, legislators, educators, and journalists.
Most recently, Holly was the keynote speaker for the April 2012 Trafficking in Persons Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT, an event hosted by the United States Department of Justice. Holly works with survivors and anti-human trafficking organizations across the country.
When she isn’t speaking, Holly is working on a memoir about her experience with falling victim to child traffickers at the age of fourteen. Holly earned a B.A. in Biology with a Minor in Writing from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She currently lives in Richmond, VA with her husband and their Miniature Schnauzer. Holly invites you to join her on Facebook or Twitter and to seek additional tips on her personal blog.