About Us

Our mission is to prevent human trafficking through partnership, education and outreach.

Central Valley Justice Coalition is a faith-based community benefit organization made up of passionate individuals who are responding to an urgent need to prevent human trafficking in California’s Central Valley.

The Justice Coalition began as an all-volunteer prayer group in 2009, eventually becoming a ministry under the wing of Fresno First Baptist Church in 2010. Jessica Pittman, then a missions pastor at the church, had a bold vision to pioneer a new kind of organization that would build bridges across many sectors in order to prevent human trafficking and other types of injustice. On January 11, 2011 we held our first large event, We Are One, at the University Vineyard Church. In September 2015, we hired Ryan Townsend to serve as executive director and filed for our 501(c)3 status, becoming a stand-alone organization in 2016.

justice coalition staff team photo

Our partners in fighting human trafficking in the Central Valley include Breaking The Chains, Fresno EOC, Fresno Police Department Vice Unit, Department of Homeland Security, F.B.I, Margaree Mason Center, Fresno Police Chaplaincy, Youth For Christ, Centro La Familia, U.S. Department of Labor, and many local faith congregations representing a diverse range of beliefs.

Ryan Townsend, our executive director, has nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit work. He graduated from CSU Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in communications and earned a master’s degree in ministry, leadership and culture from Fresno Pacific University. Ryan is on the advisory board for the Women in Leadership Executive Program at University of California Riverside Extension alongside executives from Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, SpaceX and Amazon. Currently, he is involved in several subcommittees for Central Valley Freedom Coalition which includes every agency involved in Central Valley anti-human trafficking work and is a co-founder of Pledge 2 Stop Trafficking, a collaborative project organized alongside Central Valley Community Foundation.

Justice Coalition staff also includes founder Jessica Pittman, Christa Wiens, Dan Carter, Marissa Garcia, Arien Pauls and Brenda Zavala.

View a snapshot of our 10-year cumulative numbers, and contact us to learn more about what they mean.

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  1. I think I have filled out all the information, I really want to volunteer to help. Please let me know how I can help.

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