In the spirit of the season of gratitude, our team at the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking has been spending time this month reflecting on the past year. In particular, we’ve been thinking about our community of supporters (people like YOU) who are champions of anti-trafficking progress in Colorado.
We asked our team this question: Who is someone making a difference in the anti-trafficking movement that you’re grateful for? Why? Keep reading to meet three of the many individuals who came up in conversation that we want to express gratitude for this year.
Hotline Backup Manager Alexis Martinez Lives Her Values Every Day
Lauren Holsombeck, our Program Coordinator, is grateful for “our exceptional backup managers who steadily support Colorado’s 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline.” Specifically, she would like to spotlight Alexis Martinez, who has served as a volunteer Hotline Advocate since 2020, and as a dedicated Backup Manager for the past two years. In this role, Alexis supports our current team of volunteer Hotline Advocates—where she showcases her consistent dedication to the Hotline. She is an important champion to Colorado’s anti-trafficking movement.
“What really sets Alexis apart is her drive for improvement as a Backup Manager and in the efficacy of our Hotline,” continues Lauren. Alexis is always looking for ways to continue her learning, and even attended the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance conference with our Hotline team last year. Her support of LCHT extends beyond the Hotline program, as we can always count on Alexis to engage in various events throughout the year.
Lauren reflects, “Alexis is one of those people who lives out her values every day. She consistently shows up with a positive spirit and a deep dedication to serving others. Her role as a volunteer Backup Manager serves as an example that one doesn’t have to be on the front line of anti-trafficking operations every day to make a substantial impact in this work!”
Attorney Caleb Stewart Shares His Talents and Expertise Freely
Multiple staff members shouted out Caleb Stewart, Senior Staff Attorney with the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network’s (RMIAN) Anti-Human Trafficking Project. Caleb has contributed so much this year to champion Colorado’s anti-trafficking movement. Katlyn Pryshlak, our Hotline and Advocacy Manager, reflects, “Not only does Caleb work tirelessly for his clients who have been trafficked and are often stuck in immigration detention, but he also finds time to share his talents with many community partners across the state.”
As an immigration attorney working specifically on human trafficking cases in Colorado, Caleb has a unique set of skills that his clients—and others who get to learn from him—benefit from. Adds Katlyn, “He conducts all interactions in such a kind, compassionate and non-judgmental way that is so key when working with survivors.”
Caleb shares his time and talents with us at LCHT very graciously. Katlyn specifies, “Throughout the years, Caleb has co-presented alongside our training and education team, helped onboard our new cohorts of volunteer Hotline Advocates, contributed to focus groups and interviews to inform The Colorado Project research, and is one of our referral partners in the Resource Directory for when we need to make a legal referral for one of our Hotline callers or texters.” Thanks for all the work you do, Caleb!
Beth McNalley is a Champion for Anti-Trafficking Awareness
When Kara Napolitano, our Research and Training Manager, first met Beth McNalley a few years ago, she was working as a detective for the Boulder Police Department. Kara remembers, “[Beth] reached out to LCHT wanting to get more involved with anti-trafficking efforts. She wanted to go that extra step to better understand human trafficking and how it may be showing up in the community she was serving. She was also helping to establish a human trafficking unit and response within the Boulder District Attorney’s Office and Boulder Police Department.”
When Beth moved into a new role as the Program Manager for Public Safety Youth Programs at the City and County of Denver, she stayed connected to our team at the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking and to the anti-trafficking movement in general. Kara adds, “In both of the roles I have known her in professionally, Beth has championed anti-trafficking awareness and training, and developed specific protocols and programming to address trafficking when it affects youth.”
Beth has always given her time to better understand how she can collaborate with other agencies and organizations. Kara reflects, “Beth is the kind of person who shows up, listens actively, and is willing to put in the hard work to support survivors with diverse lived experiences and identities who have individualized needs, in a trauma- and violence-informed way.” She’s always on the lookout for ways that we can share resources and lift one another’s work up—so that as many people as possible can benefit from it. Thank you, Beth, for the thoughtful way you approach this important work!
Thank YOU for Your Own Contribution to Eliminating Exploitation
We deeply appreciate your own unique contribution to the movement to end human trafficking. To our volunteer Hotline advocates, survivor leaders, staff members, Lab Catalyst monthly donors, professional partners, Leadership Development Program interns, Board of Directors, supporters, and community members: thank you for answering calls on our 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline, participating in an anti-trafficking training, reading The Colorado Project Report & Action Plan 2023, standing up for human rights, and giving back. You are supporting survivors and making our communities safer. Because of you, we are getting closer every day toward eliminating this crime for good.
3 Ways to Give Back This Giving Season
The holiday season is a great time to expand your knowledge about human trafficking, get inspired by leaders taking action in our community, and discover how you can amplify this cause. Here are the top three ways you can be a champion for Colorado’s anti-trafficking movement:
- DONATE: Your gift today will support anti-trafficking training, community-based research, Colorado’s 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline, and the development of future human rights leaders. Every dollar you can give will advance progress!
- GET TRAINED: Book a training for your organization, agency, or community group in 2024. You’ll learn how to identify and respond to the signs of human trafficking in your workplace.
- VOLUNTEER: Become a volunteer Hotline Advocate for Colorado’s 24/7 Human Trafficking Hotline. Learn how to respond to call or text scenarios, and provide survivors and individuals reporting a tip with the resources they need.