Costa Mesa, CA, September 17, 2014 – Vanguard University’s revered Global Center for Women and Justice (GCWJ) was host to over 300 supporters at the annual More Priceless Than Diamonds luncheon at the Balboa Bay Club on September 13, 2014. Success stories of human trafficking survival, awareness, and prevention were shared, along with the winners of the Center’s inaugural Diamond Award.
The annual luncheon raised awareness on one of the growing crimes in southern California, human trafficking. Jody Hassett Sanchez, formerly of ABC News and CNN, now acclaimed news and documentary producer, took the stage as keynote speaker. Hassett Sanchez spoke on human trafficking as a global issue, and gave her first-hand experience in the production of her film SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade. Ed Arnold, retired news anchor, KOCE-TV/PBS SoCal, served as emcee for the afternoon, and introduced an exclusive interview with Maria Hall Brown, of PBS SoCal, and survivor advocate and author, Shyima Hall. Hall spoke on her profound experience as a human trafficking victim, freed at age 12 from an upscale community in Irvine, CA.
A lively fundraiser bidding and opportunity drawing raised net over $75,000 combined for the GCWJ, going directly towards advocacy, education, and training programs in Orange County and around the world. At the close of the luncheon, the Global Center for Women and Justice announced the first-ever Diamond Award winners for those whose activities and commitment promote justice and dignity for human trafficking victims in Orange County. TAALK (Talk About Abuse to Liberate Kids) founder, Diane Cranley won for Outstanding Business, Bobbi Dauderman, advocacy chair for Women of Vision won for Outstanding Individual, and Nicole Morris, youth volunteer for Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, took the award for Outstanding Youth.
“This year’s More Priceless than Diamonds built on last year’s success, bringing amazing people together to study the complex issue of human trafficking in our own backyard and beyond,” said Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of the GCWJ. “But it went further than that, by resourcing education and training to equip our own community and beyond with excellence and building hope for a world without slavery.”
The Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, a faith based organization, seeks to create a just world where women and children are safe, respected and valued. The GCWJ carries out this mission through education, research, advocacy and collaboration, working with students, educators, law enforcement, healthcare, and community leaders, to end human trafficking and the cyber-exploitation of women and children in Orange County and worldwide.
To learn more about The Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University, visit www.vanguard.edu/gcwj