- learn & action
Invidiata moved to the United States at 18 to pursue a degree in Advertising at Hawaii Pacific University, which is where her journey began in her fight against human trafficking in 2003. Invidiata graduated with an associates in Marketing from HPU and a BA in Religious Studies from The University of British Columbia. Today, Invidiata is an entrepreneur and business professional. Invidiata is Sales Representative at The Invidiata Team - #1 REMAX Team in Canada, and #1 RE/MAX Team Worldwide 2012. Daily Invidiata uses her platform in the business realm to raise awareness and educate on the issue of human trafficking. In January 2010, Invidiata founded [free-them] an initiative dedicated to raising awareness and funds to abolish human trafficking in Canada and abroad by partnering with people, organizations, & businesses to fight human trafficking – slavery today. Invidiata has appeared on and been interviewed by many national and local media sources, including but not limited to, The Globe and Mail, CBC, CBC Radio, CTV, The Toronto Star, GlobalTV, CityNews, CP24 News, The Toronto Sun, The Morning Live Show CHCH News, MetroMorning, Metro News, Inside Halton, Cogeco and Rogers TV. Invidiata was recognized in Canadian Women’s Fashion Magazine Chatelaine in the "Top 20 under 30" for “Canada’s Women of the Year 2011″ for her work and dedication to fight human trafficking and raise up others to join in the worthy fight. Invidiata was recognized with the YMCA Peace Medallion 2011. In June 2012, Invidiata was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, being recognized for Invidiata’s dedication and service to citizens of Canada. In October 2012, [freethem] was award the National Freedom Award being recognized as one of Canada’s heroes for the work [freethem] has done to combat human trafficking in Canada. Follow Shae on Twitter Follow [free-them] on Twitter
"Human trafficking is more than just a 'cause' its a global crisis and we all need to take action to eradicate it." -Randy Phipps After watching a film on human trafficking, Randy sought out more information about this crime and was horrified with what he discovered. He began to quietly support organizations tackling the problem overseas and then soon learned that the issue is prevalent in Canada as well. This led Randy to join the [free-them] Executive Committee in 2010, shortly after the organization was founded. After meeting Shae Invidiata at a Toronto gala, he began his [free-them] involvement by participating in the original Freedom Walk. His skills in PR became evident when he raised the highest amount of funds in Canada for the event, so [free-them] quickly snatched him up and put him to work. Randy now manages [free-them]’s social media in addition to liaising with television and print media. You can usually find him diligently tweeting and snapping pictures. Randy has also been been the lead in our celebrity relations which has garnered support from local and international entertainers to bring awareness to human trafficking within and outside of our borders. Follow Randy on Twitter Follow [free-them] on Twitter
"Without love, one's dreams would have no meaning" -Paulo Coelho As [free-them]’s Event Co-ordinator, Sheila can usually be found behind the scenes working a headset with her trusty clipboard. With over 9 years of experience directing various events like IFATI Fashion Art Toronto, corporate affairs and weddings, it’s no wonder that people go to her whenever they need a problem solved. Driven by her passion for giving back to the community, Sheila co-founded the event planning firm, +One Community Events, as well as after-school program, [FAB] Fashion Art Brookview. When she's not behind the scenes at an event, Sheila is a full time mom to her son and to the committee members. Sheila became aware of modern day slavery in her own community through meeting Shae Invidiata, in 2010. Feeling compelled to join the fight, she put her event planning skills to use in order to assist [free-them] in creating awareness and raising funds for the cause. In addition to planning the annual Freedom Walk and many other [free-them] events, she currently sits as an Executive Committee Member.
Once Daphne learned about human trafficking through a movie in 2003, she had wanted to learn how she could get involved to do something about this injustice. Daphne was introduced to a project called Hope House a rescue and rehabilitation home in Calcutta which would provide girls from the sex trade an opportunity to get an education and aftercare that they needed. During this time, Daphne met Shae and became involved with evolving [free-them]. As a founding member, Daphne has played in intricate role in establishing the annual [free-them] Freedom Walk, along with major initiatives that have brought forth change within the municipal government. Daphne spearheaded a collaboration with the City of Toronto in 2011 to combat human trafficking, and has initiated several projects aimed at raising awareness during sporting events. Currently, Daphne is working with municipal and provincial governments to create a plan for the 2015 PanAm games.
With a degree in Criminology and diplomas in Police Foundations and Human Resource Management, Lori Folkerson has dedicated the past eight years to researching and finding ways to prevent Human Trafficking in Canada and in her community. She began her journey in Ottawa by volunteering in Member of Parliament Joy Smith’s office in 2009. Since then she has lived in both the GTA and Calgary where she continuously devoted her time to raise awareness around the issue. Lori has been with [free-them] since 2010, has been interviewed for television, the radio and has been published in local newspapers. Lori is one of [free-them]’s official speakers and is currently our Halton representative.
Ofra has been with [free-them] since its inception in 2010. Ofra’s passion for stopping human trafficking began long ago, and stemmed from an experience in her early 20's when she was confronted with human trafficking first hand. This experience led her to watch the movie, Human Trafficking and shortly thereafter she began researching organizations and hosting fundraisers. Ofra is now on the Executive Committee for [free-them] where she works on projects such as the [free-them] Freedom Walk in the fall, various events, and with the City of Toronto to implement new strategies to prevent human trafficking.
Becky is a student of social work in the Niagara Region and a [free-them] committee member. Her skills in networking and empowering individuals to fight against human trafficking have created quite the stir in Niagara. She first learned about human trafficking in 2009 while involved in humanitarian work in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She was working with both the homeless and those being sold behind the windows of the Red Light District. Her experiences there opened her eyes to the issue and when she returned home, they motivated her to get involved in any way possible. Unfortunately, there were few ways to get involved locally at the time. It was not until 2011 that she became familiar with [free-them] and initiated contact with Shae Invidiata. In September 2012, she became further involved with [free-them], and was reminded of the still lacking presence of an organization such as [free-them] in Niagara. She decided to take action, and with [free-them]’s help, she is making her goal a reality. "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." -Elie Wiesel
Joelle’s passion to help eradicate the organized crime of human trafficking stems from her need to stand up for the oppressed. Joelle had not heard of human trafficking before March 2010, after coming across an article in a magazine about women in the Congo who were being trafficked for the purpose of sex. She was shocked and immediately felt compelled to get involved in this specific area of social justice. She began to research the topic and attended a banquet fundraising dinner. It was here that she realized she needed to connect and find like minded individuals who believed in fighting for the cause as much as she did. Joelle first learned of [free-them] through MP Joy Smith’s website. She volunteered to assist with our First Annual Walk and was moved by the many people already involved in the fight against human trafficking including police officers, politicians, survivors, community workers and advocacy groups. As a committee member for [free-them], she contributes suggestions and ideas about various subject matters pertaining to victims’ issues, women’s rights, criminal justice issues and network with various community agencies, attend fundraising and education events and host resource tables whenever possible and also liaise with law enforcement on how to bridge gaps within the criminal justice system that prevent traffickers from being convicted. Being part of an organization that fights for the necessity of human rights is a great privilege and an endless task that will always be close to her heart.
The first time Nathan heard about human trafficking he was a participant in the Poverty and Advocacy track for a conference in the United States. Nathan was influenced by some of the leaders of World Vision and International Justice Mission (IJM) into understanding that modern day slavery exists. This lead Nathan on a journey of learning about why human trafficking exists, how we in Canada influence it, and how young Canadians are trafficked along various routes. Nathan first connected with [free-them] volunteering as a photographer the annual Freedom Walk. Nathan saw a passionate group of men and women dedicated to fighting human trafficking in Canada and abroad. From there Nathan kept coming out to support [free-them] events; sometimes that is the most important thing one can do to raise awareness for an important cause, be patient and keep showing up. Today Nathan is the Community Coordinator and Partnership Coordinator for [free-them].