Global Center for Women and Justice Chosen by U.S. Department of State for Community Solutions Program in Hosting Co-Founder and COO of Mercy Wings, Libya

Costa Mesa, CA, August 25, 2014 – Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) has been honored by the U.S. Department of State as a host organization for the Community Solutions Program to work with Zakariya El Zaidy, co-founder and COO of Mercy Wings in Libya. The fellowship will begin August 25th and end in December 2014.

Through the Community Solutions Program, El Zaidy will be joining the GCWJ to learn about issues related to human trafficking and partnering with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. In addition, he will be working on a strategic assessment and outreach plan to assist in raising awareness of human trafficking among Arabic speaking communities in Orange County.

“The Global Center for Women and Justice has a history of global impact in anti-human trafficking providing education and partnership,” says Dr. Sandra Morgan, director for the global center for women and justice. “Hosting a Community Solutions fellow from Libya is a unique opportunity to build international collaboration. It will be a win-win for all of us and build momentum in ending human trafficking.”

The Community Solutions Program is a professional development program for global community leaders (fellows) working in matters such as environmental Issues, tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender issues. Participating in the 2014 program are sixty eligible individuals from Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, South and Central Asia, Near East & North Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. During the program fellows will work at U.S. host organizations, like the GCWJ, on projects of mutual interest and will participate in the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) developed Community Leadership Institute, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.

“Trafficking is not only a local issue, it’s a global issue,” said Derek Marsh, retired deputy chief of Westminster Police Department, and member of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. “We need to address this issue more holistically rather than county or country specific. The more we understand that, the more we can create best practices and prevent future trafficking here and abroad.” Marsh will work alongside El Zaidy weekly to study how the Arabic speaking community addresses human trafficking issues in Southern California.

Host organizations, like the GCWJ, play a distinct role in the success of the Community Solutions Program by providing fellows with fundamental experience and involving them in significant projects to enhance their Community Leadership Institute coursework. This individualized fellowship placement at the GCWJ will give El Zaidy the chance to provide his own expertise to an American organization, which, like El Zaidy’s own organization called Mercy Wings, is dedicated to making change in the local community.

To learn more about The Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, visit


To request an interview, contact:

Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626



Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit


The Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University is a faith-based organization that exists to advance the global status of women through research, education, advocacy, collaboration and hope. The Global Center for Women & Justice promotes gender reconciliation and the inherent dignity of all persons. For more, visit