Diamond of the Month
We’re so excited to announce that Drew is our May Diamond of the Month! Drew is a joy to see in the office–her warm personality and brightness is a constant–and she has a growing belief in herself and a drive to keep pushing forward, no matter the obstacles she faces. A graduate of our Alternative to Incarceration program, Drew has successfully exited the commercial sex industry. She has begun to engage in weekly therapy sessions with a crime-victims therapist, and is committed to her healing and recovery. One of our first members to participate in the Educational Initiative program, she has been very committed to her weekly tutoring sessions to increase her literacy levels and has grown leaps and bounds! She also recently decided to testify against her former trafficker. We are so proud of Drew! She has made very intentional and focused decisions to create positive changes in her life. She is an inspiration to GEMS’ members and staff alike!
Just in Time for Father’s Day!
If you are in NYC this Thursday, you have the opportunity to get the perfect gift for a man in your life in honor of Father’s Day! At 7pm at the Auburn Theological Seminary‘s Refectory Room at 3041 Broadway, Rachel Lloyd will be participating in a public conversation with Ted Bunch, Co-Founder of A Call to Men, and following the talk she will be signing copies of Girls Like Us–a great Father’s Day gift! Topics for this dynamic discussion will include men’s support in the fight to end CSEC, Backpage.com and the current attitude toward CSEC in the media, and more! See you there!
End CSEC Day!
Join us at Merchants’ Gate in Central Park this Saturday, June 16, from 12-4pm for GEMS’ seventh annual End CSEC Day! The event will be a day of awareness-raising and fun for the fight to end CSEC! This year’s theme is “More Than a Survivor,” and our members have been working hard to create poetry, posters, masks, and more to mark the event! Join us on this important day!
Rachel Gives a Talk at TEDxUChicago!
Rachel recently gave an incredibly powerful talk at the TEDxUChicago conference, speaking about the power of sharing stories, changing public perception of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, youth empowerment, and the importance of survivor leadership within the anti-trafficking movement. Check it out here!
GEMS Wins the National Crime Victims Service Award!
We are thrilled to announce that on April 20, GEMS was awarded the Office for Victims of Crime’s National Crime Victim Service Award, which recognizes programs and individuals whose work exemplifies the long-term commitment that characterizes many of our nation’s victim service providers. It was an incredible honor to receive the award from Attorney General Eric Holder, who said, “This year’s 12 awardees have touched, improved and even saved lives. Perhaps most impressively, many of today’s award recipients have achieved these results by transforming their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change.” The Office for Victims of Crime recognized GEMS’ work as “groundbreaking, far reaching, and unparalleled.”
GEMS been advocating in Albany and NYC recently, and hearing our members’ testimonies and witnessing their courage in speaking out has been incredibly inspiring. As a direct result of this advocacy work, the NY’s seminal Safe Harbor for Exploited Children law has been partially funded. GEMS members and staff continue to advocate for restored funding for runaway and homeless youth.
New Groups for Members
GEMS’ latest calendar of daily positive youth development activities includes a number of new and exciting groups, including a Know Your Rights group that is being run by NYU law students and is designed specifically for our members who are participating in the Alternative to Incarceration program. Youth Leadership is currently open to all GEMS’ members; participating members will be eligible for the summer intensive session! We also have a new drama group, called There She Is, a new yoga group, and our Poets & Writers creative writing group is also starting up again!
Shout Out to Staff, and GEMS Is Hiring!
We are SO EXCITED to welcome Fathima P. Torres to the GEMS’ team as our new COO! Dedicated to ending gender-based violence, Fathima has found a home at GEMS, and we are so happy to have her!
Interested in working at GEMS? Our team is made up of passionate and dedicated individuals, and we are hiring! Check out our current job listings here!