Internationally Known Attorney and Human Rights Activist Shares Nonprofit’s Passion to Protect Women and Children, Combat Human Trafficking and Provide Healing and Hope 

Amal Clooney headlined the New Friends New Life 13th Annual WINGS Luncheon, raising critical funding to support victims of sex trafficking and commercial exploitation, on Thursday, April 14.

Multi-Emmy-award-winning journalist Shelly Slater of WFAA-TV, Channel 8, interviewed Clooney on stage at the luncheon, which featured an update on the work of the organization by New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo. Luncheon Chair was The Honorable Jeanne Phillips and Honorary Co-Chairs were Laura Bush, Ruth Altshuler, Caren Prothro and Annette Simmons. Board Chair is Nancy Ann Hunt.

 “As a human rights activist on a global scale, Amal Clooney is a strong voice to advocate against a crime that is happening in our own backyard,” said Jeanne Phillips.  “The subject of sex trafficking was rarely spoken of just a few years ago, but thanks to the work of organizations like New Friends New Life and a community willing to step forward with funding, we are making huge strides to end human trafficking in Dallas and throughout Texas.”

WINGS speaker Amal Clooney’s accomplished career in the fields of international law and human rights has won her international acclaim. Her recent work as of 2015 has been in the field of advocating for the protection of women against physical and sexual violence in combat zones.  This will be her first trip to Dallas and first time to speak in the United States.

“New Friends New Life is elated to bring Clooney to Dallas for so many reasons,” said New Friends New Life Chief Executive Officer Katie Pedigo.  “She shares the organization’s passion to help women and children, and her perspective, insight and international acclaim, along with her wide appeal to the public, will help us create an even greater awareness of this worldwide epidemic.   Without question, this will enable us to raise more dollars to combat human trafficking in the Dallas area and throughout our state and nation.” 

New Friends New Life honored national, state, and local recipients of the organization’s ProtectHer Awards for their visionary guidance and leadership in protecting the rights of women and girls: U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representative Ted Poe; The 2015 Texas Legislative Session; and Playground Youth Curriculum.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, served as sponsors of a bill – The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, signed into law on May 29, 2015, to improve law enforcement’s ability to target traffickers and buyers and protect and expand the rights of trafficking victims. 

The 2015 Texas Legislative Session’s award will be accepted by Rep. Tan Parker – District 63 and Rep. Morgan Meyer – District 108. With Texas ranking second in the U.S. for calls to the human trafficking hotline, New Friends New Life testified on behalf of the women and girls of Texas, and policy makers passed 20 bills to help Texas move towards a “no tolerance zone” for traffickers and exploiters. Playground Youth Curriculum impacts the lives of young girls by educating them and empowering them with the language, skills and resources they need to protect themselves and their peers from sexual exploitation and trafficking. New Friends New Life was honored to serve as the curriculum’s facilitators in Dallas area schools this past fall.

Sponsors included: Speaker Sponsors:  Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt; $50,000: Betsy and Jim Sowell; $25,000: Anonymous; April and Mark Anthony; Gene Jones; Ashlee and Chris Kleinert; Pat and Richard Lawson; The David B. Miller Family Foundation; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; Rowling Foundation; Pat and Pete Schenkel; Tolleson Wealth Management; and Lisa and Kenny Troutt; $10,000: Ruth Altshuler; Lana and Barry Andrews; Martha Lou and Dan Beaird; Nancy and Randy Best; Elizabeth Carlock Phillips and Laura Barker Carlock; Nancy Carter; Lisa and Clay Cooley; Lydia and Bill Addy, Kathy Crow and K.J. Murphy; The Dallas Morning News; The Robert H. Dedman Family; Tammy Ellis; Encompass Home Health & Hospice; FC Dallas & Model Behaviors; The Hoglund Foundation; Aliya Khatri/The Tabani Family Foundation; Joyce Lacerte; Pat McEvoy, Shelle Sills and Friends; Linda B. McFarland and Mary M. Jalonick; Natalie and Mike McGuire; Ellen and John McStay; Methodist Health System Foundation; Justine and Mike Mullen; Sandy Nachman; Alice and Erle Nye; Katie and Bret Pedigo; Margot Perot; Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr.; The Honorable Jeanne Phillips and Maggie Phillips; PlainsCapital Bank; Gayla Plunkett; Sharon Popham, Kathy Helm and Rouse Family Foundation; Sabre; Annette Simmons; Marianne Staubach; Susan Wayne Strauss Charitable Foundation; Jennifer Coleman Stribling; Betty and Steve Suellentrop; Dr. Melissa D. Tonn; and Gail and Gerald Turner. Media Sponsors were D Magazine and WFAA.