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Shamere McKenzie of the Sun Gate Foundation talked with York College students Tuesday about how the sex trafficking industry is able to thrive. (SEAN COTTER —

Shamere McKenzie of the Sun Gate Foundation talked with York College students Tuesday about how the sex trafficking industry is able to thrive. (SEAN COTTER —


“You’re smart — how could you be trafficked?”

“It’s a question Shamere McKenzie has faced from everyone from the crowds to whom she’s told her story to the judge who sentenced her to time in jail.

“On Tuesday night, she took the stage in front of a packed auditorium at York College to tell her story — that of a survivor of the expansive American underground sex-trafficking industry, using her own tale to drum up support for the anti-trafficking cause and show that question isn’t the right one to ask.” Click here to read the first article






York College

York College


“Throughout the talk, she emphasized one point: people have to be the change they want to see in the world. She encouraged the audience to stand up for what they believe in no matter how hard it seems because it only takes one person to start a life changing movement.”

Click here to read the second article

Sun GaKeisha Head Ebonyte Board Secretary, Activist, Advocate, Motivational Speaker and Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking – Keisha Head, featured in the November 2014 issue of the Ebony Magazine. “You’re being raped, you’re being beaten and you’ve been kidnapped. Every night a different horrific thing is happening and you’re escaping with your life.” Pick up this month issue of Ebony Magazine to read more about Keisha and her experience to being a leader in the anti-trafficking movement . Read more about Keisha here…  GET YOUR COPY TODAY!!!

5 for Five Campaign Final

Due to increasing awareness and support, survivors of human trafficking have begun receiving some assistance in important areas such as housing and health care.  However, EDUCATION is also a key component to a sustainable and fulfilling life.  There is an old saying, “give a man to fish he will eat for a day, teach him how to fish he will eat for a life time.”  With a meaningful education, survivors can be empowered to confidently pursue their dreams and become more active and vital members of society. They also often position themselves to “give back” after completing their education, by using their combination of training and direct experience to actively assist other trafficking victims.

Purpose & Goal of the 5 for Five Campaign

Through the 5 for Five Campaign, Sun Gate Foundation is raising funds to help purchase text books for survivors of human trafficking enrolled in a post-secondary educational program in Fall 2015.  This is an important first step in launching our effort to provide increasing levels of financial support for survivors’ educational needs.  The average cost of a semester’s worth of text books is around $600.  Our goal is to raise at least $3000.  This can finance the text books for Fall 2015 for at least five survivors.

We need your help!!!

If you are a believer in education, and would like to empower survivors we ask that you donate $5 or more to Sun Gate Foundation.  Also, please forward this campaign to 5 of your friends or family who may be interested in donating $5 or more and ask them to forward the campaign to an additional 5 individuals who may be interested. Click here to make your donation now. 

We thank you for helping us with a successful campaign.


First of all, as a survivor of Human Sex Trafficking here in the United States, there are already many judgments against me. That is just the reality. I was trafficked for over 10 years between Orlando, Florida and Chicago. I am an overcomer!

I was rescued in May of 2012 in Orlando, Florida by a Jail Chaplain who had been reaching out to me for years. I was finally able to speak up and then my healing and journey began! It was clear from the start that my calling was to help others like me. So after reuniting with my family and child, I began that journey. I found that as a survivor there are many opportunities for me to speak and share my story but it is a challenge for me to get a job in the field. Recently, I have taken a position managing a home for women. I have dreams of working for a larger anti-trafficking organization one day but I know it requires some education. In order for me to counsel professionally, I must attend college. Recently I started college, but the Pell did not cover my full tuition. Student loans are tough and I have difficulty getting a job due to my past, but I had to accept a job to survive while in college. Receiving a Grant would allow me to continue in my dream. It would allow me to be able to reach out to women on a deeper level one day and go where very few are willing. Right now, I am just a survivor to many, but if I continue college, I will be a survivor with a degree and that means something! It means showing a great example to my now 8 year old daughter that Mommy overcame and so can she! It means telling my past that it did not kill me, it only made me stronger. Although my family and society say the odds are against me, I say differently. I will do this!

As survivors, we do need a hand up in the beginning. This would be my hand up to a brighter future, to a stable future for me and my child. It would mean showing other survivors that they too can find meaning in all of the hurt and move on.

Another road block for me was that during my years being Trafficked, I was arrested many times. Society does not care about why it happened, just that I have a record. I am working to get it cleared now under Florida’s new laws. However, if I am able to get a degree, I believe employers will validate that when considering me for employment. A survivor with a degree – watch out world! I am not just another statistic, I am somebody! I am asking that you help me reach this goal and fulfill my dreams of reaching others on a professional level.

Written by Aubree Alles

kevin_bayneSeptember 20, 2014 – Our board member Kevin Bales talk about how the global economy has changed the slave trade and what we should be doing to eradicate it on CCTV America’s show “Full Frame.” Click here to watch it.

Colombia-pictureSeptember 20, 2014 – “Human Trafficking: International Awareness Event Draws Together Survivors and Government Leaders” On July 30th, 2014, advocates across the globe united in observance of the first annual World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Participants included Shamere McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sun Gate Foundation; Juan Camilo Restrepo, Deputy Minister of Interior; Mauricio Castro, Delegate of the Government of Valle; Felipe Montoya, Peace Advisor to the Mayor; David Alamos, Officer in Charge of the UNODC; Carolina Lopez, Program Coordinator, Trafficking and Gender, IOM; and eight survivors of human trafficking, including Beth Jacobs, Founder of Willow Way; Evelyn Chumbow, Survivor Consultant at Humanity United; Holly Austin Smith, Author of Walking Prey; Ima Matul, Survivor Organizer for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST); Norma Bastidas, Author of Running Home: A Journey to End Violence; Rani Hong, UN Special Advisor for Victims Survivors; and Trong Hong, Co-Founder of the Tronie Foundation
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