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- Women's Initiative luncheon brings awareness of Human Trafficking in Valley

The fifth annual Women’s Initiative luncheon marked a new chapter for this network of influential women in Fresno County . Not only did the Women’s Initiative introduce a new mission – to shed light on human trafficking in Fresno County – but the luncheon also served to honor exiting co-chairs Susan Anderson and Lynne Ashbeck for their dedication to the Women’s Initiative since 2007.



Over 150 guests filled The Loft’s beautifully decorated banquet room to learn how the Women’s Initiative would move forward to combat human trafficking lead by new co-chairs Melissa White, JD General Counsel of Trinity Fruit Company, and Elana Landau, JD an Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of California. Keynote speaker Carissa Phelps, JD, MBA shared her own juvy-to-justice story of human trafficking in Fresno . Carissa now advocates for exploited youth as an attorney, author, and public speaker.



The Women’s Initiative was sponsored by generous donations from Lynne Ashbeck, Fresno Regional Foundation, Trinity Fruit Company, Fresno Heart and Surgical Hospital , Fresno Housing Authorities, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Kathy Eide Casas, PG&E, and The Painted Table.



The next Women’s Initiative meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM at

United Wayof Fresno County . The new co-chairs will discuss new membership and begin a collective brainstorming session on how the Women’s Initiative can best combat human trafficking in Fresno County . For more information, please contact Sarah Hutchinson at or 559.243.3685.


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