Longtime anti-human-trafficking advocate, Hollywood trailblazer Jada Pinkett Smith has spearheaded many efforts to create greater awareness and educate the public on this global issue. This October, she will headline the annual New Friends New Life luncheon.
New Friends New Life, founded in 1998, works to restore and empower formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women, teen girls, and children.
The annual luncheon will take place at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 11 at the Omni Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar St.
“New Friends New Life is elated to welcome the dynamic and multitalented Jada Pinkett Smith to headline this year’s luncheon,” said Kim Robinson, chief executive officer. “Jada is a resounding voice against sex trafficking, and her passion and commitment inspire those she encounters to join the fight to eradicate this horrific crime from our communities. She gracefully and skillfully utilizes the platform of her extraordinary 30-year career to sound the alarm about this issue, and our luncheon audience will, without question, be inspired to do the same.”
Pinkett Smith was first inspired to advocate for those impacted by sex trafficking in 2011 when her then pre-teen daughter Willow watched a documentary at school and told her there were children her age being sold for sex in the United States. Pinkett Smith did not believe it until completing her own research, making her an immediate advocate against the practice.
“When I realized it was such a huge problem for women and children all over the world, I really wanted to be a voice to let people know that human trafficking exists,” said Pinkett Smith. “Every last one of us has a job to do regarding combatting human trafficking – whether it’s looking at our own attitudes toward young women and men who get into these circumstances, how we label things, or how we love our children. Just making sure we are educating our own children about human trafficking helps this effort.”
This special documented Pinkett Smith working with local aid workers and officials to investigate, uncover, and rescue real-life victims of the crime.
Pinkett Smith is an advocate for Don’t Sell Bodies, an organization that focuses on educating and preventing the spread of child sex slavery in America. This organization supports and partners with Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), a New York State nonprofit serving girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), the largest direct service provider to survivors of human trafficking in the United States.
Jada Pinkett Smith is widely known for her acting career, which began with a role on the sitcom “True Colors,” followed by a breaking role on “A Different World.” In 1993, she starred in her first feature film “Menace II Society,” opposite Samuel L. Jackson. Over the next three years, her career skyrocketed with roles in “The Nutty Professor” and “Set It Off.”
She is currently a co-producer of the critically acclaimed Broadway production of “American Son,” starring Kerry Washington, as well as Hala, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where she also served as a judge.
Underwriting sponsorship opportunities for the luncheon begin at $2,500. A minimal number of individual tickets at $250 each and above will be made available in September.