This presentation was given at the Freedom from Sexploitation Agena national briefing in the U.S. Capitol, hosted by The National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Details about the agenda are at endsexualexploitation.org/freedomagenda/.
Shamere speaks about the need to address the role of demand both for prostitution and sex trafficking in order to make any significant national progress combatting sexual exploitation.
Shamere McKenzie is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sun Gate Foundation, an anti-trafficking organization that provides educational opportunities for survivors of human trafficking. In addition, she is the anti-trafficking program director for the Salvation Army of Central Maryland where she designed an emergency program to meet the needs of adult survivors of human trafficking, survivors with children, transgendered survivors, and foreign national survivors.
Shamere works tirelessly to raise awareness of human trafficking both nationally and internationally by speaking at various universities, conferences, community events, and with government officials. She has used her personal experience as a survivor of sex trafficking to train various professionals including law enforcement on how to identify and respond to victims of human trafficking, to inform policy initiatives and provide support to various organizations. Additionally, she serves on the speaker’s bureau for the Fredrick Douglas Family Initiative and Survivors of Slavery organizations. She is also a trainer with Airline Ambassadors where she trains airport personnel how to identify and respond to human trafficking. She is a member of the National Survivor Network and the Survivor Leadership Institute, and a mentor to survivors of sex trafficking.
Her story has been featured in several books including a college text book focused on social justice. In addition, her story has been featured on various television and radio programs, in magazines and newspapers, and on several blogs. She holds an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola University Chicago in Criminology and Criminal Justice.