Who We Are:
Richmond Justice Initiative is a non-profit, faith-based organization of volunteer modern day abolitionists who use their gifts and talents in the battle against human trafficking. Founded in 2009 by Sara Pomeroy, RJI has been mobilizing and educating communities on the issue of human trafficking in Virginia and most importantly, how they can take action and affect change. RJI has trained several other sister Justice Initiative teams who are thriving in and greatly impacting their respective cities. RJI has been the driving force of the Virginia Coalition Against Human Trafficking (VACAHT) advocating the passing of vital state legislation that has strengthened the ability of our Commonwealth to effectively prosecute those who enslave and treat others like commodities, as well as to secure rescue and safety for the oppressed. RJI is wholly supported through the voluntary generosity of individuals, churches and businesses.
What We Do:
- Raise awareness: Awareness of the crime of human trafficking is the first step to eradicating modern slavery. Our organization is dedicated to bringing the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of public consciousness through local community action and the sharing of resources and programs among communities and organizations.
- Educate: We are passionate about educating our communities on the signs of trafficking, where it is happening, and how to effectively report tips. The information that is gathered from citizens, who know what to look for, has proven to be critical in investigations and rescues in our communities. RJI offers annual symposiums, community awareness nights, healthcare presentations for hospitals, clinics, pregnancy centers, homeless organizations and faith communities. If you would like to request a presentation, please contact us today!
- Prevent: RJI believes that in order to eradicate Human Trafficking, the selling of human beings for profit, we must provide quality education for young people on the lures of trafficking as well as invest in character and leadership development so we not only prevent trafficking from occurring, but create and equip leaders to bring a lasting change for our communities and beyond. The Prevention Project curriculum empowers the students to be abolitionists, to take the lead in the fight against human trafficking, and to be the ones who see the final demise of modern day slavery. For more information, please visit www.prevention-project.org.
- Advocate: We together with the Virginia Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Bi-Partisan Coalition, advocate to update current legislation; these updates would not only extend help to victims, but would also prosecute traffickers and provide training for law enforcement to better understand how to deal with this specific issue.
- Pray: We not only see prayer as our recognition of our complete dependence on God, but as a way to strengthen the church’s understanding of God’s heart for justice. We value our partnerships with the faith communities, and their prayers are paramount in this fight against slavery.
- “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show then that they should always pray and not give up… ‘And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?‘” Luke 18:1, 7-8