Explain New Friends New Life’s mission and how you got involved.
New Friends New Life restores and empowers women and girls who have been trafficked or sexually exploited. I joined the agency as Chief Development Officer about two years ago, inspired by the opportunity to be a voice for women and girls trapped in this evil, illegal industry.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I describe myself as an island girl who is making her way in the big city. I’m originally from the Bahamas, having moved to Dallas nearly 20 years ago after graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia. I spent the first 10 years of my career in healthcare communications and then transitioned to the nonprofit sector. I believe that my calling is to use my voice to shape the narrative around social issues in a way that inspires others to make an impact.
What makes New Friends New Life events so special to the Dallas community?
Our events create a space for us to educate our community about a topic that is often difficult to discuss or to accept as an issue that is happening right in our own backyard. Through events like our annual luncheon, which has seen celebrity activists from Kevin Costner to Uma Thurman, or our men’s advocacy group breakfast that brings 350 men to the Dallas Country Club each year, attendees and supporters learn that, yes, sex trafficking is a problem in our community, but they also get to be a part of the solution for these brave women and girls.
What do you enjoy the most about being a part of New Friends New Life?
There are so many aspects of my work that I love! One of the things I enjoy the most is building relationships and partnerships here in Dallas. I always say that this city is filled with people who have both the passion to tackle social issues head-on and the resources to provide the practical support agencies like NFNL need in order to fulfill our mission. I count it as a blessing to be a part of this community, and to have made so many authentic friendships and connections during my time here.
How does support from community partners like Highland Park Village help New Friends New Life have a greater impact?
Highland Park Village helps us have a greater impact by creating new avenues and opportunities for people to learn about and support our mission. Because Texas ranks second in the country for highest number of trafficking survivors, and Dallas is second highest in the state, it is critical that we continue to sound the alarm to change these statistics. From hosting launch parties and lunches, to contributing to our event sponsor gifts, Highland Park Village provides a recognizable and engaging platform for our cause.
What are some ways people in North Texas can get involved with New Friends New Life?
The best way to get involved is to be in the know about what’s going on at our agency. I encourage people to follow us on social media or to visit our website at www.NewFriendsNewLife.org. In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hosting more virtual events, like our men’s breakfast and our annual luncheon on September 18. It’s important for our community to remember that the pandemic has not stopped sex trafficking from happening. In fact, the needs are even greater, and we need your support more than ever.
Where would we most likely find you in Highland Park Village?
I believe that friendships and food go hand-in-hand, so you’ll most likely find me at The Honor Bar or Bistro 31 making new connections or catching up with a friend while eating something yummy.
Highland Park Village is proud to spotlight our very own dynamic personalities and community partners in the Village Voices series. Get to know our past features.