An Executive Announcement

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The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the unanimous voting of
Jessica Willis as Executive Director
of Richmond Justice Initiative (RJI) and The Prevention Project.

Jessica is the organization’s second Executive Director and worked closely with the organization’s founder, Sara Pomeroy.  Jessica began her work with anti-trafficking in 2009, volunteering with RJI at its start while also supporting multiple anti-trafficking projects locally and nationally.  She was part of RJI’s volunteer staff (when it was a fully volunteer-run organization) and joined as RJI’s second full-time staff member in 2013 to manage our prevention education efforts.

Through Jessica’s leadership, the Prevention Project® program expanded from a pilot project to a fully developed, interactive, signature curriculum that has now reached over 6000 students in schools, churches, and after-school programs throughout five states. She coordinated the full transition process from a pilot program to a copyrighted program, deliverable to classrooms in Virginia and throughout the U.S.  She has built relationships with advocates throughout the country – partnering together, sharing how each person can make a difference, and equipping others to ultimately reach teens with anti-trafficking prevention education.

Jessica is fully committed to the organization’s mission and has the unique opportunity of having worked alongside Founder Sara Pomeroy, helping shape organizational goals and anti-trafficking advancements.  Jessica provides a wealth of experience and research in trafficking prevention, social sustainability, and program management.  Through Jessica’s most recent role as Director of Prevention Education, in coordination with staff and board, she provided vision and strategy to the growth of the Prevention Project and the organization at large.  She has also greatly contributed to local and state-wide discussions and speaking engagements on leadership, prevention education, social responsibility, and other anti-trafficking topics to groups at conferences, schools and universities, churches, and professional associations. As a founding steering committee member of Fair Trade Towns Richmond and serving on the advisory committee for the National Educators to Stop Trafficking (NEST), she has long been well invested in the anti-trafficking community.

Her staff reports,
“She is the right person to have at the helm, and we feel at ease under her leadership. Even throughout transition, we have been firmly rooted and have had clear communication about where we are headed. As a supervisor she is courageous and inspiring, and as a member of the movement against human trafficking, she is seasoned. Richmond Justice Initiative and Prevention Project is in steady hands, and we are anticipating huge strides ahead.”

Join us in congratulating Jessica and celebrating the continuation of our organization impacting communities to prevent human trafficking!

Jessica Willis (right) with students who completed the Prevention Project program

Jessica Willis with Jeannine Chewning and Colleen Savino, Prevention Project pilot teachers, who will be celebrating 5 years of the Prevention Project program in their classes Fall 2016!

Jessica Willis with Jeannine Chewning and Colleen Savino, Prevention Project program pilot teachers, who will be celebrating 5 years of teaching the Prevention Project in their classes in Fall 2016!

JOIN US in reaching students with critical education
to prevent human trafficking in their lives!
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