Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago
JCAST Chicago Welcomes New Interns

We are excited that three dynamos have joined our JCAST Chicago team as Interns:
  • Latasha Williams, MA student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Latasha will work on outreach and programming
  • Brooke Morse-Karzen, PhD student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Brooke will work on assessment and evaluation.
  • Molly Narrod, Avodah participant. Molly will work on public policy and advocacy.

JCAST Chicago Website
The JCAST Chicago website is up and running. There you will find news and information, links to valuable resources, ways to take action, and programming information.  Please visit often as we will be updating the content frequently.  If you have any ideas for content that you would like to see on the website, please email communications@jcastchicago.org.

At least once each month, our website will feature a new blog post.  We are looking for passionate JCAST Chicago volunteers to write for our blog.  If you have idea for a topic you would like to write about or would like a topic to be given to you, contact info@jcastchicago.org.
JCAST Chicago Blog
For our first installment of the JCAST Chicago Blog, our intern Latasha Williams writes about her experience as a law enforcement officer and that connection to her passion for working to eradicate sex trafficking.  

My name is Latasha Williams and I am a Master's student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. My field of study is Forensic Psychology which is the intersect between law and psychology, a most intriguing field, especially when the United States is number one for incarcerated individuals.... While on the job I was always intrigued with the vice unit which is a specialized unit that individuals are appointed to when positions become available. The information that flows from these units are usually on a need to know basis and there is not nearly enough awareness about the inner workings of the sex trade or the many different lives it affects. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL BLOG POST.
JCAST Chicago Action Teams
Our JCAST Programming Action Team held its inaugural meeting on Tuesday evening, April 14th, at the Evanston Public Library. We are excited to be planning a community-wide educational and awareness-raising event, and at least 3 synagogue or other organizational events. 

We are working on a summertime progressive Havdalah program, both in the city and in the suburbs; a home-based anti-trafficking Shabbat 'toolkit;' offering book group materials on books about Jewish women that have been trafficked; and putting together a menu of 'offerings' for synagogues and other organizations.

We will only be as effective as those working with us. Want to make a difference? Please contact Julie Newman to join in the Programming and Outreach effort! julie@ncjwcns.org or 847-853-8889.

Other Action Teams are in formation: Advocacy, Trafficked Teens, and Membership. Please email us if you'd like to join ( julie@ncjwcns.org).
Freedom Forum
May 14, 6:30pm
Serendipity Labs, One South Wacker, Chicago

Join Traffick Free for the annual Freedom Forum - a panel of experts shedding a layer of insight regarding the truth of human trafficking as it affects Chicago. This year's panel will center around how human trafficking relates directly to the overall violence in Chicago. Wine & small bites will be provided. 
  Click here for more information.
Participate in a Webinar

JCAST Chicago members and supporters can  participate in a webinar targeting faith based organizations and their role/efforts on issues of human trafficking. The webinar has been scheduled for APRIL 28, 2015 from 2:00-3:30 PM (EST). This event is hoping to bring faith based leaders/groups from across US to share their efforts, best practices, and identify what are next steps as well as what is the role of the faith based community. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCME) is sponsoring the webinar. If you would like to participate, contact Ana at ACody@NCMEC.ORG
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Upcoming Events in the Chicago Metro Area 

For information, visit jcastchicago.org/programs

Public Safety Forum: "Technology and Pornography - Keeping Youth Safe"
College of Lake County, Auditorium C-005
19351 W Washington Street, Grayslake

May 12; 10:00 am
NCJW Book Salon: Bodies and Souls
Northbrook Location given with RSVP

May 14; 6:30 pm
Freedom Forum: Human Trafficking and Violence in Chicago
Serendipity Labs, One South Wacker, Chicago

May 14; 5:15 pm
Film Screening & Discussion: Dreamcatcher
5:15 pm - Wine & Food at The Bottle Shop, 1148 Central Avenue, Wilmette
6:30 pm - Film Screening & Discussion at Wilmette Theater, 1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette.
JCAST Chicago Membership

JCAST Chicago is a collaboration of Jewish organizations and synagogues, as well as secular non-profit organizations and individuals.  We have created a membership and partnership structure and we invite you all to become a part of our coalition more formally.  Learn more on our Membership Page.

Dreamcatcher

The award winning documentary Dreamcatcher is a powerful look into sex trafficking in the Chicago area.  JCAST Chicago is hoping to schedule a screening of the film, but in the meantime, you can attend the May 14 showing sponsored by the YWCA (see Upcoming Events above).


 

Brenda Myers-Powell was a drug-addicted teen prostitute until a violent encounter with a 'john,' caused her to change her life. Today she dedicates her life to helping women and girls who want to change their own lives. Dreamcatcher is not to be missed.  Click here for the trailer and an overview of the film.


 

At the JCAST Chicago March meeting, volunteers packed dignity bags for Brenda to distribute.  Watch your emails for more JCAST Chicago community service projects.
 

Sex Trafficking in the News
More and more our news feeds are filled with stories about sex trafficking - some positive and some negative.  Here are a few article links that may be of interest.



Resources

 

Trafficked Teens? consists of life-sized silhouettes of teenage girls with accompanying personal stories and fast facts about sex trafficking. Figures are used as part of an NCJW awareness campaign to educate Chicago-area congregations, organizations, parents of adolescents, youth groups and college groups on this pernicious form of modern slavery. To learn more visit the NCJW Chicago North Shore website.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created an antitrafficking initiative called the Blue Campaign. Working with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the right of freedom & bring those who exploit human lives to justice. 

EXODUS: NCJW's Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiative  aims to create important social change through supporting the passage and enforcement of state and federal laws that prevent sex trafficking, protect its victims and survivors, and punish its perpetrators.  EXODUS  has various materials ranging from tool kits, talking points and fact sheets.  

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) is a JCAST Chicago partner and has a variety of resources including the Engaging Jewish Communities in Ending Sexual Exploitation Toolkit and resources for parents, teachers, students, mental health professionals and others. 

National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national anti-trafficking hotline and resource center serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States.  The NHTRC has a searchable resource directory. 

The  Polaris Project serves victims of human trafficking as well as works to create long-term solutions that affect systemic and social change. Visit their website for information and action alerts.

Take Action

Take Action

Here are three things you can do today to take action against Sex Trafficking:

* Sign up for Action Alerts
Visit our website to keep up-to-date with the issues most relevant to you.  Sign up for JCAST Chicago, NCJW or Sex Trafficking Action Alerts today! www.ncjwcns.org/jcast.

* Send a Letter
Send a letter calling on local leaders and law enforcement to enforce laws and end demand. Visit our website to print out constructions and a sample letter.

* Hang a Flyer
Victims may visit bus stations, grocery stores, currency exchanges, and gas stations.  Hang a poster featuring the hotline for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. and help them escape to safety! Visit our website for more information and to print flyers.

* Write a Letter to the Editor
Write a letter to the editor when you learn publicly about arrests of perpetrators of sex trafficking? Commending the media, the police departments involved, and local authorities keeps sex trafficking in the news and encourages more enforcement. Visit our website for a sample letter to the editor.


Support JCAST Chicago

Click here to donate to JCAST to help subsidize the cost of Dignity Bags or our other projects.  Please indicate on the form where you'd like the donation to be directed - i.e., JCAST Chicago.  Thank you for your support.
Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago