Happy Black History Month! We want to celebrate just a few of the many Black colleagues and partners who are shaping our history as an organization and fighting to address disparities in their work ending child trafficking and helping support children in their vulnerabilities.
Also – if you’d like to explore resources around diversity and the cause of child trafficking, scroll to the bottom of this post and find some places to start.
ARIA FLOOD BRINGS UNFILTERED JOY.
Aria has been with Love146 since 2015, and leads our Prevention efforts in the United States. Aria is a voice of joy and truth – a mentor and friend to many, she is always ready to celebrate personal and professional victories small and large for her friends and colleagues. Her joy comes with a commitment to truth telling, and she consistently calls others to look at wider context and unseen angles. With these gifts, she has shaped Love146 and the anti-trafficking movement in important ways, including bringing more integrity in addressing disparities, and furthering a public health approach to preventing exploitation. Aria has also served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, where her cohort focused on “Address Institutional Inequities and Barriers to Accessing Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking and Communities of Color.” Prior to joining Love146, Aria worked for Teach for America and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas.
JENNY MILER BRINGS STEADY PERSEVERANCE.
For nearly four years, Jenny has been reaching children with the Not a Number prevention curriculum, amplifying the voices of marginalized youth, and advocating for greater reach of the curriculum across the state of Minnesota. She honors the unique experiences of children of color who live within systems that exacerbate vulnerabilities. She’s one of the first people not on Love146’s staff to train other professionals to use the curriculum, and has provided us with valuable feedback to improve the curriculum itself. We’re honored that her commitment and thoughtful impact extends to her work with Love146 and the children we are impacting together.
JESSICA STEWART BRINGS RELENTLESS ADVOCACY.
Jessica trains and supports the many professionals who implement our Prevention curriculum, Not a Number. Her role has a specific focus on expanding prevention programming in the Atlanta area. Jessica’s background as a mental health clinician gives her vision for how unique individuals matter within systems, and helps her coach professionals within our communities to respond to children’s vulnerabilities. Jessica is passionate about communities being included in the solutions to their problems. Jessica is shaping Love146 to be increasingly inclusive. She challenges our team to think about increasing access to prevention work, especially for vulnerable populations of youth, and is actively recruiting leaders in those communities. She helps us name the voices missing from the table, and is proactive about finding ways to bring those valuable perspectives in.
LANARIA BARNES BRINGS DELIBERATE COLLABORATION.
You may not think about someone in the field of finance as “mission-driven,” but for 5 years LaNaria has shown up each day at Love146 with purpose. She is in constant collaboration with each stakeholder’s needs, and she leads us away from a sense of scarcity and competitiveness around resources (which is hard work at any nonprofit!). LaNaria helps us balance the health of the organization with the real needs of children impacted by trafficking. She is committed to the ethical handling of each dollar that passes through our organization, and she knows the ability to be there for children over the long-haul means financial stability and planning — and every bill paid matters. At Love146, we know when LaNaria speaks, something important needs to be asked or addressed – and it’s always done with intentionality, gentleness, and power.
MARLENA KING BRINGS STEADY PERSEVERANCE.
Marlena manages Love146’s Employment and Education program, and has nearly a decade of experience helping people achieve their vocational goals, particularly those affected by mental health issues. Marlena is always cultivating a long-term vision and naming the next steps – for youth in our care, for Love146, and for herself! Marlena joined our team weeks before the pandemic struck – and if it weren’t her, we don’t know if Love146 would have the successful Employment and Education program that she built today. She sees that the needs of youth aren’t siloed and tenaciously collaborates with her colleagues and partner organizations. Marlena brings life experience to her work, as a first-generation college graduate and someone whose life was changed by vocational support.. She sees the potential of every single young person in our care, and is passionate about seeing them fulfill it, celebrating each step forward. She always wants to know what a child’s dreams are, and is convinced that children belong in the driver’s seat of their own lives.
TAMARRA CLARK BRINGS INTENTIONAL THOUGHTFULNESS
Tamarra leads our Survivor Care program in Connecticut. She is a thought partner who continually learns and implements what is most effective for youth. She builds and supports a team that reflects the diversity in the youth we serve. She believes everyone has a life purpose and is passionate about helping others recognize their strengths. In high-level conversations, she reminds us at Love146 to ask about everything we do: “what is the purpose?” In doing so, Tamarra helps us produce more intentional, focused impact for children. Tamarra is an empathetic leader who balances direct service provision with staff wellness.
YVETTE YOUNG BRINGS RELENTLESS ADVOCACY
Yvette has shaped how Love146 thinks about human trafficking, and raised critical awareness of the racial disparities that exist among victims. She has recently developed a training on the intersection between race and human trafficking. In addition to supporting families and children impacted by systemic racism, Yvette volunteers as a Team Lead at Shop Black CT to support Black-owned businesses locally. Yvette has been featured by Forbes, and has helped lead the Human Anti-trafficking Response Team (HART) for state of Connecticut. As she shared in her TEDx talk on the issue, she will not stop until she can uphold the meaning of a Masai greeting that inspires her: “all the children are well.”
As we celebrate history & heritage months throughout the year, we’d love to highlight some Love146 resources & content that discuss the general issues of trafficking and equity in greater depth. Here are a just few resources to browse: