Blog Archives

On July 25-26, 2018, the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) hosted the first form of its kind to be convened in the Caribbean – “The Hard Road to Recovery: From Victim to Survivor”. The inaugural international conference was held at the Melia Braco Village Hotel in Trelawny, Jamaica.

The main objectives of the conference were to:

  • Increase public awareness to discourage these activities and to warn those who are unaware.
  • Train officials throughout the public and private sectors on identifying victims of trafficking.
  • Build capacities through legislation and institutional strengthening.

“The opening ceremony included the sashing of the island’s first-ever Human Trafficking Ambassadors, Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair, and Founder of The Sun Gate Foundation and human trafficking survivor, Shamere McKenzie, who also delivered the keynote address.”

“There can be no more powerful voice than that of a person who has survived and who has recovered to speak to the challenges faced by victims of trafficking on their journey to recovery from the pain and trauma they have experienced. She is one of two ambassadors who have agreed to lend their public image and voice to Jamaica’s national effort to fight against human trafficking.” Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice.
“It is such an honor to serve my country in this capacity. Over the years I have been making strides in the US to combat the issue of human trafficking but deep down I wanted to be involved in my birth country. I have laced up my boot strings, put on my boxing gloves and is ready to join efforts with the NATFATIP and others in Jamaica fighting trafficking.” Shamere McKenzie

Other speakers and presenters include:

  • Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, MP – Minister of National Security
  • Mrs. Carol Palmer, CD, JP, – Chair, NATFATIP
  • Her Excellency Ms. Magorzata Wasilewska – Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica
  • Her Excellency Ms. Laurie Peters – Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica
  • Mr. Mark Seibel – Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Embassy
  • Speakers from Romania, New York, Interpol and others
Left to right: CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, Shamere McKenzie; Ms Jamaica World 2017,, Solange Sinclair; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Chair of NATFATIP, Carol Palmer

Left to right: CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, Shamere McKenzie; Ms Jamaica World 2017,, Solange Sinclair; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Chair of NATFATIP, Carol Palmer



The Cornerstone Church in partnership with Shared Hope International and the Defenders USA is hosting the Equip for Freedom Conference.

Speakers include:

  1. Beth Grant, Co-founder and Director of Project Rescue
  2. Vincent DeVivo, Community Outreach Specialist for the United States Attorney’s Office
  3. Shamere McKenzie, CEO Sun Gate Foundation

Corner Stone

Our CEO, Shamere McKenzie will speak at the University of Delaware on November 18, 2015. The event is sponsored by IJM, Amnesty International, Greek Council, and the Department of Women and Gender Studies.

4W (Women Well-being Wisconsin World) is hosting a conference in Madison, WI entitled, VOICES OF HOPE Listening to and Supporting Survivors of Human Trafficking.  

Date: July 15-16, 2015

Venue: University of Wisconsin-Madison – NANCY NICHOLAS HALL

Our CEO, Shamere McKenzie will serve as the Keynote speaker.  Additional speakers include:

Rebecca Bender –  a Survivor Leader and Advocate in the efforts to eradicate modern day slavery. Rebecca is a well sought after conference presenter and keynote at some of the largest anti-trafficking events in the country, including President Jimmy Carter’s World Summit.

Christine Stark –  an award-winning writer, visual artist, national and international speaker of Anishinaabe & Cherokee ancestry.




Join our CEO Shamere McKenzie at Loyola University for an event entitled, “Slavery Still Exist: A Slavery & Abolition Symposium”. Shamere is one of the Keynote speakers in addition to Kenneth Morris, Jr., President and Founder of the Frederick Douglas Family Initiative.

The event begins with a panel discussion at 4 pm.  Panelists include:

  1. Sheriff Tom Dart – Cook County Sheriff
  2. Katherine Kaufa Walts, JD – Director of Center for Human Rights of Children at Loyola University and International Expert on Human Trafficking
  3. Kaethe Morris Hoffer – Executive Director of Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE).
  4. Marian Hatcher – Human Trafficking Survivor, Human Trafficking Coordinator and Project Manager at Cook County Sheriff’s Office
  5. Laura Ng – Executive Director, Traffick Free


slavery &Abolition


Our CEO, Shamere McKenzie and our Senior Advisor to our Board of Directors, Kevin Bales, will speak at the University of Hull’s Anti-Slavery Usable Past conference today, which will bring together experts from around the world at its Wilberforce Institute of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) to discuss what lessons can be learned from history in tackling slavery today. Click hereKevin and Shamere Yorkshire to read full article written by Yorkshire Post UK

“But we believe everyone has a role to play in fighting slavery, even if it is just thinking about the goods you buy.” Click here to read the full article written by Hull Daily Mail UK on the work of our CEO Shamere McKenzie and Senior Advisor to our Board of Directors, Kevin Bales in Hull, England.

Hull Article

Sun Gate Foundation sole purpose is providing access to education for survivors of human trafficking.  We strongly believe education is one avenue survivors can reclaim their lives and live a life they imagine.  Our CEO Shamere McKenzie is living proof that survivors can reclaim their lives through education. On May 8, 2015 she graduated with her B.S. in Criminal Justice & Criminology.  This milestone was covered by CBS Chicago and you can read/watch the full story here.



If anyone knows the words persistence and hard work, it’s our CEO Shamere McKenzie.  As Loyola is preparing for graduation next week, four graduates were highlighted and Shamere was one of them.

Click here to read the featured story on Loyola’s website.


holly article 11-23-14Meet Shamere McKenzie, the recently-appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Sun Gate Foundation, a national organization focused on providing support to survivors of human trafficking who wish to gain access to private, continuing, and/or higher education. Why is this mission important to Shamere? Because she herself was once a victim of sex trafficking, and as a young adult pursuing a college education, she has had to overcome many obstacles.

“As a survivor, I know firsthand the stigma and difficulties faced by survivors of sex trafficking,” Shamere says, “And, as the recipient of the first Sun Gate Foundation scholarship, I am a walking example to other survivors that they too can pick up the broken pieces and live a life of their choosing.”  Click here to read the entire article written by Holly Smith.