Award-winning actress and activist Julia Ormond inspired a crowd of nearly 800 attendees at the New Friends New Life (NFNL) Luncheon Nov. 4 at the Hyatt Regency.
“While the issue of human trafficking is heavy, heartbreaking, and hard, you will learn today the New Friends New Life is offering hope, healing, and a measure of happiness to hundreds of brave survivors and vulnerable youth each year,” emcee Shelly Slater said at the start of the luncheon.
Slater introduced luncheon co-chairs Katherine Wynne, Kristi Sherrill Hoyl, and Melissa Sherrill Martin. Wynne then recognized honorary co-chairs former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk.
Following an invocation by Dr. Cynthia Mickens Ross, Matt Osborne and Priya Murphy of NFNL presented the 2022 ProtectHER recipients: Lynn McBee, a biochemist who spent years as a research scientist, McBee now serves as CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, Santander Consumer USA Foundation, which provided the funding for an on-site Legal Advocacy Clinic with a staff attorney working at NFNL to help members with legal contracts and cases, and Dr. Nissi Hamilton, a child sex trafficking survivor turned award-winning advocate.
New Friends New Life CEO Bianca Davis then introduced Ormond, the event’s keynote speaker, a former United Nations Goodwill Ambassador against Trafficking and Slavery, and founder of the nonprofit ASSET Campaign, which is the source of global legislation the Transparency in Supply Chains Law that requires major businesses to publicly disclose their policies to prevent human trafficking and forced labor in product supply chains.
“Enslavement and forced labor are like the cancer in humanity. With cancer you do chemo to get right to the tumor. With trafficking we also need to take a laser-like approach that gets right to the tumor,” Ormond said. “We need to understand that when we buy a product from a supply chain, we are supporting value chains, the people who are in forced labor.”
At the conclusion of the luncheon, the impact of Ormond’s words was evident when day-of donations totaled $99,000 helping NFNL surpass its goal with $560,000 in net proceeds raised.