JCAST Chicago January Blog
#SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
These are just a few hashtags relating to trafficking, harassment and exploitation. We see the hashtag symbol on social media but what is it, why do we use it and why are there so many of them! In short, hashtag is used on social media to categorize and track content. It helps a user search for posts on specific topics. But there is a lot more to using social media as an advocacy tool. Here is a quick primer on social justice and social media.
Social media is as important to today's activist as a letter to the editor or even a protest rally. It's an open forum for social engagement. Social media allows you to communicate directly with decision makers, spread and share news quickly and mobilize members and supporters.
In 2018, The Jewish Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (JCAST) Chicago is planning many great events to foster awareness and combat sex trafficking in the Chicagoland area. Please add these events to your calendar and share them with your neighbors and friends.
I am Jane Doe Screening with Panel Discussion
Sunday, January 21, 2018- 2:00-5:00PM
Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Ln.
JCAST leaders are excited to kick off 2018 with a movie screening and panel discussion including Yvonne Ambrose, mother of a Chicago teen murdered by her purchaser after he bought her on Backpage.com. The movie is an eye-opening documentary about sex trafficking in our community and how it is hurting our young women. Viewers are introduced to teenagers who were recruited by pimps who knew exactly how to prey on vulnerable, self-loathing girls who've run away or simply felt alone and alienated. The girls enduring this appalling abuse are frequently featured in explicit online ads on the website Backpage.com.
The discussion following the movie will also include Yvonne's attorney, Gina Arquilla Deboni and will be moderated by Marian Hatcher, Cook County Sheriff's Office. JCAST Chicago co-sponsors are the Northbrook Library and National Council of Jewish Women Chicago NorthShore.
Evanston/Skokie Community and Advocacy Forum
Jan 25, 2018 9:00AM-12PM
YWCA Evanston Northshore, 1215 Church St., Evanston
Are you a Skokie or Evanston nonprofit leader, first responder or government representative? Learn more about sex trafficking and how you can combat it in a forum specific to the Evanston and Skokie area. JCAST Chicago is partnering with Chicago Alliance Against Sex Trafficking (CAASE), Northshore YWCA, and Evanston LINKS to provide this program. Speakers include Megan Rosenfeld, CAASE Policy Director and Caleb Probst, CAASE Education Manger.
Stopping Traffic (3 screenings)
Jan 30, 2018 12:30-2:30 pm
Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Rd., DesPlaines
Jan 31, 2018 6:30-8:30 pm
Oakton Community College, 7701 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
March 4, 2018 2:00-4:30 pm
Vernon Area Public Library, 300 Olde Half Day, Lincolnshire
Movie screening followed with discussion. See sex trafficking from a global perspective and hear how it is occurring in the Chicagoland area. Learn how you can be part of the solution. Movie discussion will be led by Gayle Nelson, JCAST Chicago Engagement and Development Director and Assistant Professor Charles Hounmenou, Phd of the Jane Addams School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Let's Talk About Boys: Sexuality, Consent, & the Internet Age
February Date and Location to Be Determined
Our kids are growing up in a world very different than previous generations. They have easy exposure to pornography (90% of kids ages 8-16 have seen pornography online) and cultural attitudes towards "hooking up" often impact their sexual development and safety. This program will help adults understand the risks kids face, and the opportunities we as parents and grandparents have to impact boys' development through appropriate (sometimes uncomfortable) conversations with our sons about sexuality and relationships.
A Taste of Freedom: Passover Tasting and Educational Program
March 25, 2018 (time and location to be determined)
JCAST Chicago is looking forward to partnering with Na'AMAT to offer this fun event. Share your favorite Passover recipes and pick up some new ones. Learn about sex trafficking, a form of modern day slavery. Watch for a Chicago city event as well!
Let's Talk About Girls Sexuality, Consent, and the Internet Age
April date and
location to be determined
Our kids are growing up in a world very different than previous generations. They have easy exposure to pornography (90% of kids ages 8-16 have seen pornography online) and cultural attitudes towards "hooking up" often impact their sexual development and safety. This program will help adults understand the risks kids face, and the opportunities we as parents and grandparents have to impact girls' development through appropriate (sometimes uncomfortable) conversations with our daughters about sexuality and relationships.
Surviving Human Trafficking - An Awareness Art Exhibit Pop Up in the Atrium at the Thompson Center
January 17 - 19, 2018
In honor of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force presents 'Surviving Human Trafficking' - A three day pop up awareness event and art exhibit in the Atrium Ringwall at the Thompson Center.
for more information.
Chicago Bar Association
Human Trafficking Committee:
Joint meeting with Labor & Employment Law Committee
February 14, 12:00
The CBA Human Trafficking Committee furthers the trafficking discussion both within and outside the legal community.
Speakers include: Lydia Colunga-Merchant at Raise the Floor & Darci Flynn at Heartland Alliance discussing the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. For information contact the CBA at (312) 554-2000.
The Role of Survivor Testimony in Personal Healing and Social Change
Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL
Survivors from across the globe are increasingly using their own stories to challenge legal and social responses to gender-based violence. In this session participants will learn about a growing body of research that establishes links between the power of telling stories and healing from trauma - what has been called "post traumatic growth". Presenters will also discuss "the ethics of story sharing," how testimony can change public attitudes, and the important considerations to be weighed before a survivor makes the decision to publicly share a deeply personal story. The presentation incorporates lecture, moderated group dialogue & the award-winning photography of Patricia Evans, a survivor of sexual violence. For more information & to register visit
Selah Freedom training
Core Values Training
Core Value Training is important for all volunteers to watch in order to create a strong united support for the survivors we serve at Selah Freedom. This training will be presented by Laurie Swink, VP of Culture and Co-Founder of Selah Freedom. It is a one time mandatory training for all volunteers. This training is available exclusively online. Watch Core Values Training Online:
Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children 101
This multi-media educational training offered by Selah Freedom is open to the community. Receive in-depth training around the issue of sex trafficking and learn more about how Selah Freedom serves this population. All Selah Freedom volunteers are required to participate in CSEC 101. This training is available live and online. Watch CSEC 101 Online: https://www.selahfreedom.com/trainingvideos or participate in person on
Saturday, March 10th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, d
owntown Chicago location to be determined.
*Please note that not all of these events are sponsored or hosted by JCAST Chicago but are listed here as a convenience to those who might be interested.
Toiletry and Gift Card Donations Needed Year-round to support young women trafficked in Chicago that are helped by the Dreamcatcher Foundation.
Donation Drop off locations:
Encore & More: 1107 Central Ave, Wilmette
Hadassah Thrift Shop, 405 Lake Cook Rd, Deerfield
Hadassah Office, 60 Revere Dr #800, Northbrook
Temple Sholom, 3480 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago
If you or your organization would consider organizing a collection drive or a packing program, please contact Donna Fishman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Street Dignity Bag Packing List:
These items are needed in small, travel sizes. One of each item will be packed in a gallon ziploc "street survival" bag. These items may be packed in ziploc or other small tote bag, or donated in bulk. ( You might even Ask your local businesses if they have items to donate and share this list.)
toothbrush and toothpaste (*ask your dentist!)
granola or power bar
pack of tissues
Gallon Ziploc Bags
$5 McDonald's Gift Cards
Prevention Bag Packing List:
The Dreamcatcher Foundation regularly visits girls living in at-risk communities, including teen-aged single mothers. These items may be packed in a tote bag and donated in bulk.
liquid body soap
lotion or moisturizer
perfumed body spray
Gift or tote bags
*Bulk items, hotel toiletries and gift cards to McDonalds ($5), Target, Dollar Store, CVS or Walgreens (any amount) are always welcome*
JCAST Chicago on the Move
JCAST Chicago has been busy giving presentations across the Chicago Metropolitan area, for Jewish and secular groups. Please help JCAST Chicago secure speaking "gigs" at Jewish organizations. Contact Donna at email@example.com
with names and contacts at synagogues, chavurot, and other Jewish organizations.
Ensure there is a Chicago Jewish voice against sex trafficking and that we are able to continue our important work throughout 2018 and beyond. Make your gift on our secure website.
JCAST Chicago is governed by a Steering Committee of dedicated individuals. If you would be interested in serving on the steering committee or one of our Action Teams, email
Steering Committee Co-Chairs:
Donna Fishman, NCJW
Susan Rifas, JUF, JWF
Ronna Ash, Hadassah
Susan Block, Hadassah
Cathy Carmody, NCJW
Donna Gutman, NCJW, ICJW, CEASE Network
Fiedler Hillel at
Betsy Lazerow, JCFS, JCARES
Carole Levine, NCJW
Rae Luskin, NCJW
Sherry Petlin, NCJW
Bonnie Ribet, NCJW
Heather Ross, NCJW, Hakafa
Mara Ruff, JUF
Stacy Saef, NCJW
Joan Zahnle, NCJW CNS
Rochel Ray & Samantha Spolter, SHALVA
Gayle Nelson, Engagement and Development Director
Jewish Coalition Against Trafficking
Around the world, an estimated 20.9 million people are currently being trafficked-hundreds of thousands of those right here in the United States. But the Jewish community refuses to stand idly by.
The Jewish Coalition Against Trafficking, convened by NCJW and T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, created the following statement of values to guide our work combatting modern-day slavery.
1. Every human being deserves respect and dignity.
2. Every human being has the right to make their own decision about their body, life, and future.
3. The fight to end human trafficking must be rooted in both justice (
tzedek) and compassion (
4. Survivors of trafficking are the experts of their own experience.
5. Survivors of trafficking are not criminals.
6. We must address the root causes of trafficking in the United States.
7. We must dismantle our culture of sexual violence and objectification.
8. We must commit to changing the dynamics of an economic system where the constant demand for cheap goods and cheap labor directly contributes to modern-day slavery.
9. The White House and government agencies must continue to prioritize anti-trafficking efforts.
10. We must work towards comprehensive immigration reform.
Here are some things you can do today to take action against Sex Trafficking:
* Sign up for Action Alerts
Visit our website
to keep up-todate with the issues most relevant to you.
for JCAST Chicago, NCJW or Sex Trafficking Action Alerts today!
* 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.
Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara
Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World where Girls are not for Sale by Rachel Lloyd
The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy it by Victor Malarek
The Natashas: Inside the Global Sex Trade by Victor Malarek
Women Hold up Half the Sky: Turing Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Sheryl Wudunn and Nicholas Kristof
IN PLAIN SIGHT Podcast
to End Human Trafficking Each week, the IN PLAIN SIGHT Podcast features a an inspiring speaker who may educate you in your work to end human trafficking around the globe.
for a link to the website.