The 50/50 Challenge is a virtual event taking place during the month of June 2017. 50/50 is all about taking a stand against human trafficking because we believe that every life is equally valuable! Accepting the challenge means publicly declaring that no life is more important than another; we are all equal in God’s eyes.

We love banquets, concerts and charity runs but those type of fundraising events can take a lot of resources to pull off.

We know people are super busy and don’t always have time to come to special events. Plus, Fresno in the summer is hot!

So, taking inspiration from a certain delicious ice cream/popsicle treat, we came up with an idea that we think can be innovative and fun at the same time.

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A lot can happen in only a month.

According to data from Central Valley Against Human Trafficking, nearly 18 victims have been identified on average during the first three months of 2017. The Fresno Police Chaplaincy reports that in a 30 day period from 04/11/17-5/11/17 there were 203 calls for runaway juveniles. In the past, as many as 20% of those runaway youth have been identified as victims of trafficking.

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we work together to prevent young people from being exploited by traffickers.

As part of the 50/50 Challenge, Central Valley Justice Coalition is looking to raise $2500 in new pledged monthly support. 50 new partners giving $50 a month would make it possible for us to sustain our current prevention/education work and expand it to reach more vulnerable people in the future. Any combination of monthly donors adding up to $2500 works, so $50 is simply a suggestion!

The best things in life are those that we share with others, so it is our hope that 50/50 is something that you will be willing to tell friends, coworkers, family members and neighbors about. We will be using posts, videos, memes, songs, instant messages, tweets, snaps and more to spread the word. If you are already supporting us, we aren’t asking you to GIVE more just to help SHARE this opportunity with those in your social circle!

During the month of June, new pledge partners will receive some special gifts for signing up! A 50/50 refrigerator magnet, free music downloads, and Sno Café desserts are just a few of the ways we want to appreciate those who are coming alongside us.

Will you join us in June for the 50/50 Challenge? Together, let’s take a bite out of injustice!
– Ryan Townsend, executive director.

As part of our new data-gathering focus, we are proud to have partnered with Fresno Pacific University’s Center For Community Transformation to submit a formal report to the new mayoral administration’s far-reaching Fresno Public Policy Initiative.

This data will provide a basis for the initiation of a larger scale, comprehensive study in this geographic area to encourage a cooperative sharing of organizational data among anti-human trafficking entities.

Chaired by Dr. Randy White and Jessica Pittman, the paper is the result of a working group established to advise the city on a key issue related to public safety: human trafficking.

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Using data from 16 different anti-trafficking organizations, the report highlights best practices and makes recommendations for future city involvement and organization in partnership with Community Benefit Organizations and faith groups. Most importantly, this report recognizes the need to find uniform terminology and data collection methods that can allow for comprehensive data of the problem of trafficking. Solutions will be achievable as the scope of the problem becomes clear.

If you’d like to read the whole report, download it here.

Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

On behalf of the Justice Coalition, I am writing to invite your church/faith community to participate in this year’s Freedom Sunday on February 26th. We are busy putting together special “Freedom Sunday in a box” packs that will make it simple for your church to host anywhere from a 5-minute window to an entire worship service.

Freedom Sunday 2017 is coming! from Central Valley Justice Coalition on Vimeo.

Freedom Sunday is an internationally recognized day for the church body to focus on worship, prayer, and action in response to human trafficking (and other forms of slavery), the fastest growing crime in the world.

We will have all of our resources, including a brand-new Freedom Story video, ready to be distributed by January 24th, when we will host a training and informational meeting at Northpark Community Church from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm in Room 202. You, or a representative from your church, are invited to join us to learn how to simply engage your church in responding to human trafficking from a Christ-centered perspective.

For the first time, this year, we have the capacity to send as many as 15 different speakers to churches across the city. If you’d like to book one of our educators to come speak please reply to this email or call us at 227-8001.

Hope to see you all on January 24th!

Northpark Church is located at 2297 E. Shepherd Ave Fresno, CA 93720.

God bless,

Ryan

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CVJC Numbers: What we mean by …

Victims, Survivors and Advocates Resourced

94 people were resourced in a tangible way – this includes groceries, clothing, backpacks, emergency housing, consultations, referrals, transportation, advocacy, and prayer. These 94 people were victims or survivors of trafficking or advocates who identified a direct relationship with a victim or survivor.

My Life My Choice Girls

55 girls ages 12-18 participated in a one-day workshop or a 6-8 week program focused on preventing commercial sexual exploitation of children. These girls were incarcerated in juvenile hall, in group homes, or local churches in high-risk areas.

Presentations and Trainings

68 provided to adults and youth, including Human Trafficking 101 and more!

Individuals Educated

3,343 or more received person to person education about preventing human trafficking. 112 people attended our full three-hour workshop, “Human Trafficking 101”. This does not reflect numbers from television, radio, or online communication.

Prayer Events

We did 19 both on our campus and in areas of Fresno most known for exploitation

Hours Volunteered

803 hours were reported as given by our volunteers to fulfill our mission of preventing trafficking

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Last week, as we sat down to celebrate Thanksgiving, I was struck by the enormity of what we are attempting. We are taking on the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprise … in so many ways, that is a crazy thing to do!

But I’m thankful. For you all. That’s what I thought as I sat down to eat turkey. We are not alone in this fight. We set out to raise $30,000 in 30 days, and thanks to your generosity we did it. Even more, we raised nearly $35,000. Around our office, we are celebrating this significant victory! But we are also planning for next year. December will fly by and in January, Human Trafficking Prevention Awareness Month, we have multiple opportunities to get educated, to serve and to advocate for those who aren’t yet free.

So a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this year possible! Let’s keep moving the ball forward, together.

– Ryan Townsend, executive director

Freedom Fund Thank You from Central Valley Justice Coalition on Vimeo.