Contact: Andreas Runggatscher
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New York
The Penn Club
30 W 44th Street
Btw. 5th & 6th Avenues
New York, NY  10016
United States of America
SPEAKER: Rachel Lloyd – Mar 14
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
Featured at our Thurs Mar 14 luncheon will be Rachel Lloyd. In 1998, Rachel founded GEM to give the girls and young women of NYC who had been commercially sexually exploited a place for support and a place to create positive change in their lives. Their vision is to end the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and young women.
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Founder and President - Girls Educational and Mentoring Services

In 1998, at just 23 years old, Rachel Lloyd founded Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) at her kitchen table with $30 and a borrowed computer. She was driven by the lack of services for commercially sexually exploited and domestically trafficked girls and young women and the incredible stigma and punishment they faced from service providers, law enforcement, the courts, their families and society.

Twenty years later, her indelible impact on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking has helped shift the perception of trafficked girls from criminals to victims and now to survivors and leaders. GEMS is now the largest service provider of its kind in the nation providing intensive services and support to over 400 girls and young women, preventive outreach and education to 1,000 youth, and training over 1,400 professionals each year.

Rachel is well-known for her tireless dedication to the girls and young women she serves and has impacted thousands of individual lives through her love and commitment, but she is also passionate about changing public perception and policy. Her courageous advocacy ensured the passage of New York State’s Safe Harbour for Sexually Exploited Children Act, which in 2008 became the first law in the nation to protect and not punish trafficked and exploited youth. Since then 28 other states have followed suit.

She co-produced the ground-breaking Showtime documentary Very Young Girls, which has been seen by over 4 million people and created a national dialogue on the issue. Rachel is also the author of the critically acclaimed Girls Like Us, and has used her unique voice to advocate for survivors at the White House, the United Nations, and before Congress.

Nationally recognized for her innovative work in transforming the movement’s understanding of survivor leadership, to further empower survivors across the country and to change the public’s view of survivors she created GEMS national Survivor Leadership Institute and Resource Center. She was honored as one of the “50 Women Who Change the World” by Ms. Magazine and recognized with a Reebok Human Rights Award. She was also a recipient of a 2009 Ashoka Fellowship, the Frederick Douglass Award from the North Star Fund, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization for Women, among many other accolades. Most recently she is the recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize, an award that was voted on by 1.2 million children globally and has previously been awarded to Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai.

Additionally, Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon’s company, JuVee Productions, is partnering with EveryWhere Studios to produce a movie adaptation of Rachel Lloyd’s critically acclaimed novel “Girls Like Us.”

Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Marymount Manhattan College and her Master’s in Applied Urban Anthropology from the City College of New York.

Non-Member Guests and Visitors may register by contacting Andreas Runggatscher at
Meetings convene 11:45 am with starting bell at noon.