My Dear Friend,
2021 was a year of momentous change and profound victory—for UAHT, for the anti-trafficking movement, and for survivors. The journey from January to December brought many challenges, but our clear vision and the tireless efforts of the Board, staff, clients, and friends like you ensured we made great strides towards fulfilling our mission.
But we still have much work to do in the anti-human trafficking movement, especially surrounding the urgent need for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
UAHT has been an advocate for the principles of DEI for years, and the tragic events of 2020 served to highlight the discussion. We strive to be an example for the entire anti-trafficking movement of what DEI in action truly means.
In 2021, together with our dear partners, we continued amplifying marginalized voices through initiatives such as the Justice Series: a blend of performance art and panel discussion that explores how human trafficking disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities. We plan to continue this important venture for years to come.
While we fight exploitation, we must keep DEI at the heart of all we do. As a licensed social worker, I was trained—and try to live every day—in recognition of the inherent worth and dignity of every human being.
That’s also why UAHT exemplifies the importance of this value in all that we do. It informs our local presence and, most importantly, the way we collaborate with survivors of human trafficking.
2021 was UAHT’s first full calendar year of delivering case management services to individuals who have been trafficked.
We’ve learned so much over the years, but we’ve learned the most from those we serve: Human trafficking survivors. Overcomers. Thrivers. They teach us every day what perseverance looks like. We understand deeply that we aren’t experts, and we aren’t the ones deciding what’s best for them.
They decide. They lead. We follow. Survivors of human trafficking and UAHT walk the pathway of recovery together.
We’ve learned so much over the years, but we’ve learned the most from those we serve: Human trafficking survivors. Overcomers. Thrivers. They teach us every day what perseverance looks like.
We can’t discuss 2021 without mentioning The Pathway Referral Network. The Pathway is the ultimate expression of our commitment to unity and collaboration. It helps UAHT and our regional partners connect with each other and with survivors on a single, secure online plat–form.
I am so thankful for all the incredible service agencies who have joined us to elevate the care pro-vided to our community. The data collected from The Pathway will help shine a light on local human trafficking as never before.
I am endlessly optimistic about the future of UAHT. Because I know how much of an impact we make on our clients, our partners, and the community. I am delighted to tell you that UAHT has begun visiting other areas of the country. We plan to expand operations, spreading our vital message of unity and respect.
Our great work must continue. It is crucial that we come together as a community and strive towards a future that respects the dignity and worth of all people. Because we can’t hope to combat exploitation without loving every human being as we work tirelessly to end human trafficking.
With the deepest love and respect, I ask: Will you join me?
With unwaivering love,
Timeka Walker, LMSW
Chief Executive Officer
Together, we can end human trafficking.