Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 7 p.m.
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55105
This event is open to the public. Tickets are free, but required to assure seating. Reserve them online at oshag.stkate.edu or by phone at 651.690.6700.
An international change-maker who has shifted public perception and policy on sexually exploited girls and young women, Rachel Lloyd founded Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS) in 1998, when she was 23 years old. She had escaped sexual exploitation herself as a teenager, immigrated to the United States where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and a master’s in applied urban anthropology from the City College of New York.
She has used her unique voice to advocate for trafficked girls and shift perceptions of them from criminals to victims. GEMS helps trafficked girls and young women to become survivors and leaders. In addition to direct support to over 450 girls and young women annually, GEMS provides preventive outreach and education to 1,500 youth and training for over 1,300 professionals.
She was among those responsible for New York State’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Act, which in 2008 became the first law in the nation to protect and not punish trafficked and exploited youth. Since then 13 other states have followed suit. She co-produced the groundbreaking Showtime documentary Very Young Girls, and wrote the critically acclaimed book Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls are Not for Sale.
Nationally recognized for her innovative work in transforming the movement’s understanding of survivor leadership, Lloyd has been honored as one of the “50 Women Who Change the World” by Ms. Magazine and with a Reebok Human Rights Award. She was also a recipient of a 2009 Ashoka Fellowship, the Frederick Douglass Award from the North Star Fund, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization for Women, among many others.