Sex Trafficking in the St. Louis Region & Beyond: Funder Strategies & Responses

September 26, 2016

img_4204Sex Trafficking in the St. Louis Region & Beyond: Funder Strategies & Responses

Blog post by Hudson Kaplan-Allen, Gateway Center for Giving intern, about a recent GCG topical program.

Gateway Center for Giving Members and other philanthropic leaders recently convened to learn from three experts on human trafficking, which, according to the U.S. State Department is “one of the greatest human rights challenges of this century, both in the United States and around the world.”  Sex trafficking, in particular, was the topic of the morning’s discussion.  Amanda Colegrove, Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking and Exploitation (CATE), Kathy Doellefeld-Clancy, Executive Director of the Joseph H. & Florence A. Roblee Foundation, and Rhonda Brewer, Vice President of Sales at Maritz Travel all shared the steps they are taking to raise awareness and implement preventative measures against sex trafficking in the St. Louis region and beyond.

St. Louis has been listed as one of the top 20 trafficking jurisdictions in the United States. It is located in the center of the country, where many highways meet and, thus, it is a prime transit point for traffickers bringing their victims across the country.

Colegrove started the conversation with a definition of human trafficking.  On the most basic level it is the “exploitation of persons for commercial sex or forced labor” that “involves recruiting, transporting, harboring, receipt of and transferring of persons.”  Children are often the victims of sex trafficking. In particular, children who identify as LGBTQ or who have disabilities are generally more vulnerable and easier to separate from their families.  Organizations like CATE have taken steps to put an end to sex trafficking and create safe spaces for survivors by taking part in trainings and outreach as well as expanding the network of organizations involved in the cause.

Doellefeld-Clancy then spoke about the Roblee Foundation’s involvement. The Foundation decided that it wanted to devote its time and resources to an emerging issue and a cause where they could truly make an impact.  They started by educating their board on sex trafficking, reading the book Walking Prey by Holly Austin Smith, a sex trafficking survivor.  The Foundation wanted to pinpoint the best curriculum for training the region on the issue, and they identified CATE as a partner.  Subsequently, there has been increased interest among local organizations to partake in this training and participate in the fight against sex trafficking.

Lastly, Brewer told the audience about the focus that the company has taken on the issue of human trafficking.  Maritz recognizes that “the travel industry is unwittingly used by the chain of human trafficking” and by taking steps to put an end to trafficking, they have the power to help break that chain. Maritz has made a commitment to assist in the fight against human trafficking by agreeing to “The Code”– a promise they have made to “encourage the practice of responsible, sustainable tourism” along with a number of other tourism-related companies. In addition, Maritz has also partnered with ECPAT-USA, an organization devoted to ending the sexual exploitation of children, to raise awareness as well as provide training on the indicators and steps that can be taken by individuals when they see possible signs of trafficking.


Giving is ON TIME Award Winner- Maritz

December 13, 2011

The Gateway Center for Giving celebrates the work of our St. Louis area grantmakers through our Excellence in Grantmaking Awards by honoring donors who fund programs, efforts, or initiatives that have made a significant impact in the region.  Over the the next few weeks we will share with the community both the winning nominations as well as some of the other great nominations that will be considered for an award in 2012. Awards will be handed out at our 2011 Annual Meeting PhilanthroPLAY which will take place at The Magic House on January 30, 2012.  Click here to register.

Our Giving is ON TIME award recognizes a grantmaker who either abandoned traditional funding requirements to meet the immediate and/or emergency needs of nonprofits and clients in the community OR worked closely with a nonprofit to help them realign their programs and strategies to better meet the needs of their clients and the community during these difficult economic times.

The winner of the 2011 Giving is ON TIME award goes to Maritz from the Arts and Education Council. Since 2009, the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers has helped fill the gap in funding for arts education. This unique grant offers individual teachers, schools, and non-profit organizations the opportunity to apply for funding to support projects and arts-related programming that encourages artistic endeavors and creativity in the classroom.  Read the rest of this entry »

Registration for our 2011 Annual Meeting is Now Open!

December 5, 2011

Register now for PhilanthroPLAY- our 2011 Annual Meeting taking place at The Magic House on January 30, 2012.

When: Monday, January 30,2012
11:00 – 11:30 AM: Registration & Networking
11:30 – 1:00 PM: Lunch, Presentation, & Grantmaking Awards
Where: The Magic House, 516 South Kirkwood Road
Cost: $45 per person
RSVP by Jan 6: or by emailing Beth Grady
We sold out early last year so register now!

As always, at our Annual Meeting we will award three grantmakers for our Excellence in Grantmaking Awards.  See below for information on the award categories and the winners.  We will be highlighting the winner grantmakers and the nonprofits who nominated them on our blog in the coming weeks.  Thank you to all of the organizations that took the time to nominate a grantmaker for an award. Read the rest of this entry »

Congratulations to our 2011 Excellence in Grantmaking Award Winners!

November 11, 2011

The Center received over 20 nominations from nonprofits for our annual Grantamakers in Excellence Awards! We were thrilled with the response from the nonprofit community and excited that such a wide range of grantmakers were nominated this year.  While we plan to recognize all of the nominated grantmakers at the Annual Meeting, three grantmakers will receive special recognition at the meeting.

See below for the list of winning grantmakers and the nonprofits that submitted them. Over the next few weeks we will be profiling these grantmakers and share with you the great stories that the nominating nonprofits submitted. Read the rest of this entry »

St. Louis Focus Forum on Community Investment in Education

October 5, 2011

On Tuesday, September 27, Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC), Nine Network of Public Media and Maritz hosted an event on corporate community investment priorities in education. The event took place at the Maritz headquarters in St. Louis. The event brought together businesses, associations, and community leaders to discuss education priorities, challenges, and opportunities in the region to help sustain competitiveness and long-term development of their communities.

The group plans to develop a mission along with a list of priority goals that achieve measurable outcomes and to continue to collaborate and connect in order to share ideas and best practices.  The goal is to move the issue beyond awareness to  mobilization in order to move the needle on education priorities in the community. BCLC will continue to foster conversations with Maritz, St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association, Nine Network of Public Media, and other companies in the area on collaborative opportunities.

Attendees included Enterprise, Wells Fargo, Boys and Girls Club, Washington University, Deaconess Foundation, Express Scripts Foundation, and many more.

GCG Corporate Members Take the First Steps Towards Sustainable Business Practices

March 3, 2011

Thirteen Gateway Center for Giving Corporate Members have signed up to be a part of the 2011 St. Louis Green Business Challenge. The Challenge is organized by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) and is in its second year.  The Challenge inspires businesses to form green teams and implement strategies to reduce energy and waste, expand sustainability programs and reduce your company’s environmental impact.

How the Challenge Works
The Challenge requires participants to complete sustainability strategies from a scorecard that contains categories of outreach, energy reduction, indoor environmental quality, waste reduction, and clean transportation options. Each sustainability strategy is worth a specific number of points. In 2010, 150 points were possible with extra credit points given for innovative activities.

Read the rest of this entry »

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