Toni D. Rivera, Sex Trafficking Survivor and Activist's childhood forced her to confront the toxicity of sexual abuse and the destructive cycles of trauma that followed as a direct result of profound betrayal.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, “child sexual abuse is [unfortunately] not rare. Retrospective research indicates that as many as 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. 1 However, because child sexual abuse is by its very nature secretive, many of these cases are never reported.”
Although Rivera’s trauma first lead to years of hopelessness, insurmountable grief, drug-addiction, and sexual exploitation she hit rock bottom after being kidnapped.
Rivera, now a mother, wife, and a proud medical professional, has surpassed recovery, having become a pillar of support for kids and women in crisis battling similar circumstances, and, sadly, sometimes worse. Rivera debunked the myth survivors never recover.
Rivera launched Helping Hand Youth and Adult Services helps, “to establish housing, establish jobs, help to find a safe place for at-risk teens. Giving a safe place for battered women and abused kids who the system has pushed out due to age.”
Toni has taken her painful experiences of being molested and sex and human trafficking and turned them into fuel for her mission as New York’s one-woman army taking on the streets of New York in an attempt to save the youth. Inform the public and community on whats lurking in their backyards for our children.
Toni Rivera is the Founder/ CEO of Helping Hand Youth and Adult Services. Her book, Silent Screams retells the riveting accounts of Toni's life as Sex-Trafficker. It's a guide to keeping our children safe, a person who went from being abused as a kid and a teen through adulthood and mother of five. This is a story of pain sex trafficking and so much more of life issues, including situations that included being homeless, not have a penny living in a car eating out of the trash. She brings you in with a horrific beating and rape she went through that nearly took her life. The reader goes deep into her life growing up in Calhoun Falls SC. These events planted a seed in Toni that grew into the desire to empower other people the youth especially , but empowering herself mostly.
Leading with empathy and emotional intelligence, Rivera invests in supporting her victims and survivors to foster healing. In 2017, Toni D. Rivera launched, Saving Our Sisters (S.o.S.) which offers phenomenal guidance and mediation services when you or the ones you love are in a crisis.
In 2018, Toni lead the campaign to raise awareness around human trafficking by promoting the Mountain Retreat Thriller 'Traffik' starring Hollywood stars Paula Patton and Omar Epps in U.S. theaters in April 27, 2018.
Tonya Turner served as the National Training and Technical Assistance Director during her tenure at GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring services). GEMS is the only organization in New York State designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
With extensive prior experience working within Fortune 500 companies at all organizational levels, where she created, promoted and delivered solutions designed for large scale growth. Tonya is considered a master trainer and business strategist leader.
During her recent tenure at GEMS she led a team to conduct hundreds of trainings and to provide technical assistance across the country for legal professionals, law enforcement, and social service directors, start-ups on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
Notable past participants include the Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Education, New York’s’ Police Task Force, and various government agencies.
Ms. Turner is a highly sought keynote speaker, and strategist focusing on assisting organizations in defining program gaps, restraints and drivers, and develop business plans to achieve overall goals in alignment with their missions.
Dr. Coralanne Griffith-Hunte is a Human, Trauma & Industrial Psychologist. As a certified clinical trauma specialist, Dr. Hunte seeks daily to create a safe space to empower individuals to unmask their dividedness, affirm their true identities and welcome their souls to wholeness. She’s the founder and chairwoman of Created for Greatness Leadership Group, Inc. In addition, she is a professor at the College of New Rochelle. Dr. Griffith-Hunte, works tirelessly with key government officials and other organizations at the state, local and federal level to pass legislation favorable to the educational mission, human rights, domestic violence, anti-gang, community engagement and empowerment for New York City families.
Dr. Griffith-Hunte, was appointed as the Vice Chair and Long Island Director for Not On My Watch Inc, in July of 2018. She is also a member of Senator James Sanders Economic and Marking Committee. Dr. Griffith-Hunte serves as an Executive Board Member for several other public and private schools and organizations. She has over 25 years’ experience as an Orator, Educator, Mentor, Community Advocate, Humanitarian and the creator of the A. T. T. Model of Living.
In 2007, she was elected as the Vice President and then President for School Board 27, where she governed over 60 schools and was the adviser to the Mayor and Chancellor of New York City. She served in these capacities until 2015. In addition, she was appointed as the educational and community representative for the President of the Borough of Queens for the late, Honorable Helen Marshall. She’s the recipient of copious public service, educational and religious organizational awards including the Citation of Honor from the Office of the President of the Borough of Queens, New York, The Distinguished Alumni Award of 2014 and the Community Leader’s Award. She has been appeared in several well-known publications.
In 2014, Dr. Hunte was characterized as the walking representation of Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Dr. Griffith-Hunte’s various leadership positions afford her the ability to govern effectively, her goal is to deliver vital strategies that produce growth within organizations and communities resulting in positive and beneficial outcomes. Thus, she actively seeks out and develop relationships with various professionals within the local and state government, The Police Department, Clergy members, the local community boards, health services professionals and financial institutions. Through collaborative efforts with these various organizations, she’s able to organize and execute organizational, community and school district programs, initiatives, and events with the purpose of exposing stakeholders (i.e. teams, communities, families) to strategies and resources available to them. She is one of the well-known and actively sought after public and motivational speakers.
Dr. Griffith-Hunte, has been married for 20 years and is the proud mother of four beautiful children.
After spending years in the working-class culture, I decided to join the intellectual crowd and pursue a degree in Public Administration. I have years of sales, hospitality, brand ambassador and administrative background and wanted to increase my skills and future earning potential so attending college was the best option for my goals. I enjoy being challenged and expanding my network and CUNY has provided both elements in my experience. Since attending school, I have discovered my desire to practice Law and pursue a career as an attorney in NYC. With my current continuing education, and my multi-faceted career skills I am currently seeking a position in a Law Firm as an administrative assistant, or a marketing firm as an entry level brand ambassador. I enjoy interacting with people, expanding my network, and love doing research! With all the vast variety of fields I have had the opportunity to work in, I believe that I am able to quickly adapt to any work environment and possess competitive skills that prove I can be an asset to any organization. I look forward to networking with you!
Dawn Shawnt'e Blackman, Sex trafficking Survivor, and Domestic Violence Activist Against Human trafficking.
Dawn's life work is to educate communities on the dangers of Sex-Trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children.
to empower young women around the world. Her message to the trafficked community is,WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE MORE THAN SURVIVORS. WE ARE WARRIORS."
As a survivor, she is committed to using her personal journey out of "the life," to empower young women around the world. Her message to the trafficked community is,, "WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE SURVIVORS. WE ARE MORE THAN SURVIVORS. WE ARE WARRIORS."
Jonesy is a brave mother of a sex trafficking survivor. As a parent who has witnessed the horrors of sex trafficking, she has turned her pain into power, by speaking publicly about her experience.
Jonesy, has traveled to Washington, D.C. urging Congress to support both FOFSTA, and SESTA legislations banning sex advertisements on Backpages.com. She currently is active in her community by attending the NYPD community and safety meetings and spreading awareness about trafficking. Most importantly, she was invited to be the only parent advocate on the New York Mayors Traffic-Free NYC, which meets monthly with various providers to combat human sex trafficking in New York City.
Last year, NYC lost 2300 children to trafficking, Jonesy hopes to lower the number of children exposed by collaborating strategies with Traffic Free NYC. She had extensive experience working with children and was a previously mandated reporter for Administrative Services For Children.
Besides,serving as Parent Advocate, Jonesy is the Manhattan Borough Director of Not On My Watch, Inc. NOMW is the only service organization made up of survivors of domestic violence and sex and human trafficking.
During her spare time, she is an Advisory Board Member and volunteers to many community service organizations that serve children including: Not On My Watch, Inc., The Harlem Childrens Zone, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The African American Day Parade, The Parentjobnet, The Grassroots Aspen Experience, Children For Children, Kids Who Cook, Inc., The YMCA Teen Action Program, SANKOFA, Inc., the NAACP ACT-SO, The March of Dimes, Gladiators Sports, The Wendy Hilliard Foundation, The Stay Strong Foundation, FC Harlem Youth Soccer, The Ludacris Foundation, People United For Children, Inc., Future Leaders Institute, and Women In Need, Inc.
She resides in New York with her 19-year old twins who have appeared on CNN, New York Times and in the Daily News with President Barack Obama and with Soccer star, David Beckham.