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Dear Friend,

Welcome to our inaugural message! We on the ALIGHT team are reaching out to you because you are friends, colleagues and fellow community members with whom we want to share our work. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we look forward to working together to grow and support the global movement to end human trafficking.

What if each one of us was not alone in our work, desire and vision to end human trafficking and ensure that people can live the lives they deserve? At ALIGHT, we are passionate about breaking down barriers that prevent us from coming together to connect, empower and build a solution to a human rights epidemic that ruins too many lives. 21 million lives too many.

ALIGHT is developing the first online networking portal that connects anti-trafficking advocates and legal practitioners across the world. We envision a world where anti-trafficking professionals have the resources to achieve justice and restitution for victims of trafficking. ALIGHT will amplify the valuable resources and efforts of anti-trafficking advocates to tackle the problems too big for any one person to handle.

In the past few months we’ve had the opportunity to connect with anti-trafficking innovators and communities impacted by human trafficking. We did this with the intent to learn, question and share so that best practices can bring more light to dark corners.

Spotlight: Bahrain
In their meeting with officials from the Bahrain Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), ALIGHT Founder & Executive Director Marianna Kosharovsky and Director of Operations Holly Redmond discussed forced labor and fraudulent recruitment practices. Bahrain is a country where over 50% of the population of 1.4 million people is estimated to be migrant workers, a population that is often vulnerable to trafficking. Meanwhile, only 30 cases of trafficking were reported last year, which underscores how thousands go unaided.

Spotlight: Nigeria
On October 3rd, we presented at the National Council for Women Societies, USA Conference on human trafficking issues facing the Nigerian community. Marianna discussed the infamous 2013 Kizzy Kalu labor trafficking case, in which a naturalized US citizen of Nigerian origin was convicted for luring nurses from the Philippines to Colorado on H-1B specialized worker visas. We also addressed how trafficking can happen in the US Nigerian community. In particular, how some Nigerian children are trafficked into the US to work as domestic servants. As is common with many communities, vulnerable individuals may be exploited by members of their own ethnic group.

Our very own Strategic Development Advisor Jill Monum has sparked what we hope will become a trend — a Marathon with a Mission. Jill is training for the New York City Marathon and is dedicating this effort to victims of human trafficking by raising funds for ALIGHT. For more on this initiative that has raised over $5,300 towards Jill’s goal, visit her Marathon with a Mission crowdrise campaign and consider supporting.

To all of you who have already come forward, through your donations, support and collaboration we are able to make a difference together. A huge thank you!