Joined by survivors, including our own Arien Garcia, as well as Fresno’s mayor and police chief, Assemblymember Jim Patterson announced the passage of a bill that would allow human trafficking survivors to have their records cleared of non-violent crimes within a reasonable amount of time after escaping the life.

At the Justice Coalition, we sincerely believe that legislation like CA Assembly Bill 262 represents a step in the right direction for survivors of human trafficking who have been coerced into committing crimes by those who enslaved and exploited them. We are grateful that Governor Newsom signed this bill into law and are so proud to stand beside Arien Pauls Garcia as she tirelessly advocates for change. Not only does Arien use her voice publicly but she also privately has helped dozens of pre-victim adolescent clients this year alone through our youth prevention programming.

Read more about the process of getting AB 262 passed and signed into law:

KMJ story from Reporter Liz Kern

Fresno Bee article by Melissa Montalvo

It would be an understatement to say that the last 18 months have been a challenging time for us at the Justice Coalition. As the light dawned on 2021, we were presented with an opportunity to streamline our operations through converting two vacated part-time positions into a full-time associate director role. We conducted a thorough search and found the perfect candidate, Dan Carter, for the job.

Only trouble was, as she is a foreign national from Australia, we would need to get a work visa. What we thought would take 6 weeks wound up taking 22 instead but praise God, she has now finally been able to start! I can’t thank all you enough for your support, encouragement and prayers during these trying times.

As an education organization working with vulnerable populations, primarily through in-person presentations, trainings and gatherings, it’s been difficult (the last year plus) to measure our impact using the methods we spent years developing. Yet, even when we haven’t been able to see our efforts produce the numerical impact we desire, this time has been far from wasted.

Currently, we are doing the hard work to streamline our systems and increase our capacity because we know that our mission has never been more important than it is now! With Dan, Arien and myself we now have three full-time staff for the first time in our history and we are joined by Christa, Marissa and Jessica in part-time roles. As we move into the always busy fall season, requests for speakers and classes are skyrocketing. Like a cellphone plugged in overnight (or in this case for the last 8 months) we are charged up and ready to go!

Some ten years ago, on the campus of Fresno First Baptist Church, a movement began. It was fueled, at first, by a not-yet-informed yet determined passion. We started to see things on the streets and in our neighborhoods with new eyes.

We started listening to stories of real women and men whose lives had taken unforeseen turns.

We saw the pain in the eyes of those who felt they had no options.

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We prayed. We asked questions, often of ourselves. We researched, listened, and asked more questions. We gathered others, and the movement continued to grow.
On 1.1.11 we launched. From the beginning, Fresno First Baptist Church has been integral to our work. Many people have supported us through prayer, giving, advocating and volunteering. Each Pastor that has led FFBC has taken on the charge of calling the Church in the Valley to fight for freedom.

We really can’t express our gratitude for the gifts and grace given to us by this community. From Pastor Willie Nolte and Pastor Bryan Hitch when we first began to our current champions Pastor Manny Collazo and Brooke Ortiz, we truly could not have done it without you! And we will keep doing it with you. This tribute comes with deep sincerity as we now look to the future.173013_10150150548721145_2814810_o

So it is a bittersweet time but we are looking to a future filled with possibilities! As a team, we have prayed for over a year about the potential of moving. We are thankful that our partners at Fresno First and Aspen Public School are growing and there is a shortage of space!

We know we leave them well-trained and equipped to continue as a light and beacon of hope to the people in the neighborhood around 1400 E Saginaw. Now, God has a whole new neighborhood for us to influence less than 2 miles away.

We moved into our new space February 1, 2018. We are grateful for the partnership with Aplos Software who is renting their facility to us.

We couldn’t be more thrilled about this new chapter that is just beginning. Will you help write it?

chained hands

Come join Central Valley Justice Coalition in kicking off National Human Trafficking Awareness Month!

Monday, January 6, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Fresno First Baptist Church Parlor (1400 W. Saginaw Ave., Fresno 93704)

The evening includes a brief training for Freedom Sunday

Freedom Sunday is February 2, 2014! CVJC wants to equip you and your church (or place of worship) to join in this day of prayer, worship, and response on behalf of those who are trapped in modern day slavery. This 30 minute training includes resources and tools for sharing 5 minutes (or more) at your church about human trafficking in the Fresno area and how to partner with us to end it

Followed by a time of prayer

Prayer is central to all we do – God moves and acts when we gather together in his name! We want to begin 2014 (and National Human Trafficking Awareness Month) on our knees. We will be praying for God’s freedom and justice to flood our Valley, bringing transformation to the lives of all affected by human trafficking. The time will be guided with scripture, media and specific prayer points, held just across from the Parlor in the Memorial Chapel.

If you can’t attend Monday night, come for 

Freedom Sunday Training & Prayer    

Tuesday, January 7th, 12p-1pm (doors open for networking until 1:30p)

Fresno First Baptist Church Parlor.  Beverages provided, bring your own lunch          

Find Freedom Sunday resources on our website here

freedom sunday

“It is for freedom that Christ set us free!” Gal 5:1

February 2, 2014  churches across the Central Valley are uniting to proclaim freedom for all who enslaved in modern day slavery.

Join in standing against human trafficking and other forms of slavery and FOR the freedom found in Christ Jesus! Sign up here to let us know you are participating. See our new Freedom Sunday page for more info and resources.

Feb 2nd is around the corner and we want to equip YOU with tools and resources for your congregation. Please join us for Freedom Freedom Sunday Training!

When: Tues, Jan 7th, 12 – 1pm (doors open until 1:30)

JUST ADDED! Monday, Jan 6, 7pm. This evening includes brief training, and a larger focus on worship and prayer for 2014 (in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness month).

Where: Fresno First Baptist Parlor (on southeast side of campus, close to Lansing Ave)

1400 E Saginaw Way

Fresno 93704

Click on the following link for a short video on Human Trafficking in Fresno: http://vimeo.com/66281458.

Don’t wait til after Christmas to bring this to the attention of your church leaders!