Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Happy Spring! March was a very busy month for us, with trainings and dedicated advocacy work. Our girls were up in Albany advocating for the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Safe Harbor funds to be properly allocated this year. They’re continuing a decade long tradition of GEMS members advocating in our state capitol, and it was their collective voice that pushed the nation’s first Safe Harbour Act for Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth law to pass!
In GEMS’ offices, we all watched in anticipation as President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in March and acknowledged our staff member, Tye, who was on stage at the signing.
Tags: Educational Initiative, Facebook, GEMS Newsletter, GEMS shop, Girls Are Not For Sale, Girls Like Us, Leader, Male Allies Award Breakfast, New York Times, Safe Harbor for Exploited Children Act, Survivor, Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, Twitter, Victim, Violence Against Women Act, Youth Advocacy
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
With fall here and everyone headed back to school, we are celebrating the educational achievements of our girls and young women!
At our recent Educational Initiative award ceremony, we recognized 17 new members in the program, 4 graduates from the pilot program GED for MOMS, and three high school & GED graduates! Two members completed the New York State Certified Nurse-Aid Training, one member earned a Security Guard Certificate, and 15 members successfully completed the spring 2012 semester. We also awarded five scholarships, generously funded by V-Day. I am so proud of each one of our girls and young women who are making significant strides toward their educational and career goals!
Tags: commercial sexual exploitation of children, Diamond of the Month, ESSENCE, GEMS Newsletter, GEMS shop, Girls Are Not For Sale, Girls Like Us, Girls Like Us Benefit, Huffington Post, Twitter, Very Young Girls, Youth Leadership, Youth Outreach Team
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Thanks to everyone who came out for our bowling event last night to kick off End CSEC Week! We hope you’ll join us at events planned throughout the week, and in Central Park this Saturday, June 16, for our seventh annual End CSEC Day to help raise awareness about CSEC and domestic trafficking! This year’s theme is “More Than a Survivor,” and the posters, poems, and materials that our members are creating are incredibly inspiring. Also, be sure to come out for a conversation with Ted Bunch from A Call to Men and me this Thursday! The conversation will be on men’s role in the fight to end CSEC. Afterward, pick up a signed copy of Girls Like Us to give to a man in your life this Father’s Day!
We are also busy at work on a number of exciting initiatives. We are thrilled to have received a generous grant from the New York State Health Foundation to fund a two-year project to provide training and technical assistance to New York City emergency department personnel. The project will identify CSEC victims and connect them with services during critical points of contact with medical professionals. Stay tuned for more information about this important initiative!
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
Greetings from GEMS! As we head into the fall season, I’m happy to report that we’ve made a critical partnership with Free the Slaves, mtvU, and Polaris Project for the “Against Our Will” campaign. I worked closely with them on a PSA on johns that captures the reality of the life in just 60 seconds. I hope you will check out this video–and the several other videos and resources–and circulate this campaign info widely. The campaign shows that even if you only have one minute, one hour, or one day, you can make a real difference in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking!
On the home front, I am thrilled to tell you that our Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, Tiffany Rivera . . .
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
Exciting things are happening this summer! First off, GEMS has premiered a new and entirely survivor-written Victim, Survivor, Leader training curriculum. We’ve been highlighting the great work that direct service providers can provide to victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, and the trainings have been going really well. I feel incredibly proud to be co-facilitating a totally survivor-written curriculum about our Victim, Survivor, Leader model with two incredible survivor leaders.
Last month, we celebrated the achievements of GEMS members who are participating in our Educational Initiative program. It was such a moving night, and I’m so proud of all of our girls who are furthering their education. . . .
Tags: Betty Shabazz, curriculum, Educational Initiative, End CSEC Day, Family Court Advocacy, Kalima DeSuze, Karen Zaremba, Katherine Mullen, Lawyer's Manual on Human Trafficking, Leader, Malcolm X, NeNe Ali, Sheila White, Survivor, Tiffany Rivera, True Poetess, Tysheena Rhames, Victim, VSL, Youth Leadership
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Summer is almost finally here! I had an amazing time in L.A. reading from Girls Like Us with Annette Bening, Minnie Driver, and Taraji P. Henson for Human Rights Watch–talk about a pinch-myself moment!–but I’ve got to say it’s good to be back home with the GEMS team.
Allies in the anti-trafficking movement have made major strides in bills and laws across the nation. Let’s congratulate Missouri, Vermont, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia for comprehensive human trafficking laws! Also, Georgia and Tennessee’s new laws have critical Safe Harbor components.
Be sure to sign the petition to help Hawai’i get its very first human trafficking laws, and take a few seconds to…
Tags: AKA, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, American Folk Art Museum, commercial sexual exploitation of children, Community, Community Outreach, Cornell, CSEC, Diamond of the Month, Dignity U Wear, Domestic Trafficking, GEMS, GEMS Newsletter, Inc., Ithaca, Judge Toko Serita, Manhattan ADA, New York Vacating Convictions Law, News, Newsletter, Outreach Team, Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award, SASSY, Yelling to the Sky
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
Happy Spring! Despite the snow (!) we’ve been getting in NYC the last few days, everyone here at GEMS is filled with hope and excitement about the upcoming months and several of the great changes we’ve recently made.
After a thorough renovation, our new office is up and running! For the last 10 years, the GEMS office has been a home for the girls and young women we serve, and we are excited to bless the revamped space with new memories and the people who make the office a home. Through the generosity of Perkins + Will Design firm and our many in-kind donors, GEMS’ drop-in space perfectly reflects the great beauty and worth of every young woman and girl who walks…
Tags: commercial sexual exploitation of children, Community, Community Outreach, CSEC, Diamond of the Month, Domestic Trafficking, Dorchen Leidholdt, Educational Initiative Ceremony, GEMS, GEMS Newsletter, Girls Like Us, Homeless and Runaway Youth, Museum of American Folk Art, News, Newsletter, Nicholas Kristof, Perkins + Will, petition, Poetry 4 Power, Renovation, Sanctuary for Families, Very Young Girls, Women's Media Center
Saturday, April 30th, 2011
Greetings! April has been a whirlwind month! I am sending this message from the west coast, where for the last week I have been having conversations about the importance of survivor- and community-led organizing and activism. These conversations have reinforced the GEMS principle that the only way to end the commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of girls and young women is to address the issues that perpetuate them, including racism, poverty, police brutality, and other forms of violence and oppression. And we must ensure that the most impacted, the most marginalized, are leading the fight!
I’m happy to report that at the end of last month, GEMS members and staff met with NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to talk about importance of…
Tags: Bronx District Attorney’s Office, Bronx Women’s Bar Association, commercial sexual exploitation of children, Commissioner Kelly, Community Outreach, Craigslist, CSEC, Domestic Trafficking, GEMS, GEMS Newsletter, Good Housekeeping’s SHINE ON: Celebrating Women Making History, Mary J. Blige, National Crime Victims’ Week, National Women’s History Museum, Newsletter, Sinead O'Connor, Survivor Leadership, The Bronx County Gender Fairness Committee, The Gender Fairness Committees of New York County Courts, Women of Achievement Award, “This Is to Mother You”
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Samantha Choy
GIRLS LIKE US
Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
January has been another inspiring and productive month here at GEMS!
I recently conducted a special survivor-focused train-the-trainer training for GEMS’ Youth Outreach Workers. As survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, GEMS’ Youth Outreach workers are…
Tags: BigBrothers BigSisters, commercial sexual exploitation of children, Community Outreach, CSEC, Domestic Trafficking, GEMS, GEMS Newsletter, HIV/AIDS Awareness Week, News, Newsletter, Outreach Team, Poetry 4 Power, Valentine's Day