Community Champion Spotlight: Kate Shipley and Leanne McCallum

To honor Human Trafficking Awareness Month, each week in January we will be highlighting 2 individuals who have gone above and beyond in the Greater New Orleans community to serve victims and survivors of human trafficking. This highlight is the “Community Champion Spotlight”. Each individual was nominated by Task Force members. Community champions represent a variety of different disciplines and perspectives from the anti-trafficking movement. 

Our third highlight features coordinators who are bringing communities together to combat trafficking across the state of Louisiana. Both of these coordinators are facilitating cross-disciplinary collaboration, meeting folks where they're at to improve trafficking response and create coalitions. 

Thank you Kate and Leanne for all you do for our community! We're so lucky to have you in the Greater New Orleans community. 

—-

Kate Shipley

Interim Executive Director, Louisiana Alliance of Children’s Advocacy Centers

"As my role is statewide, my favorite aspect has been collaborating with task force partners in order to learn programs and protocols to share with other areas of the state to improve the statewide network and response.."

What is your role in the Greater New Orleans community?
I am the Interim Executive Director for the Louisiana Alliance of Children's Advocacy Centers, and previously I worked as the CAC Liaison to the Louisiana Children's Anti-Trafficking Initiative; within both roles I have focused on working with CACs and multi-disciplinary teams across the state to strengthen capacity to identify and respond to child sex trafficking.

What has been your most successful experience working in the anti-trafficking movement?
Last year, I assisted the Governor's Office and non-profits in coordinating a five-month series of nine regional human trafficking summits across Louisiana. The purpose was to conduct gaps analyses all over the state to see prioritized needs, but also enhance collaborative efforts statewide and within each community.   It was really interesting to learn all of the different perceived gaps and strengths within each community, and to see the commonalities as well as the differently leveraged resources that made each community response unique. It was also really exciting to see the collaborative efforts continue that were jump-started or expanded at each meeting.

What has been your favorite aspect of collaborating among task force partners?
As my role is statewide, my favorite aspect has been collaborating with task force partners in order to learn programs and protocols to share with other areas of the state to improve the statewide network and response. Through this developing statewide network, it was made possible to work with GNOHTTF to help expand the Housing Resource Guide and data collection to include housing providers from across the state, which has never been done in Louisiana and is a result of improved statewide communication and information sharing.

What are Task Force members saying about Kate?

"Kate is a true collaborator. She brings together youth services, the CACs, government agencies, and many other people and treats all of them with the same kindness and respect.”

—-

Leanne McCallum

Task Force Coordinator, Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force

Although Louisiana is not known as a place with a multitude of resources, in New Orleans community members have been able to fill gaps in incredible ways through creative collaboration and partnerships.”

What is your role in the Greater New Orleans community?
I coordinate the GNOHTTF meetings and committees, provide training & technical assistance, and (most importantly) facilitate multi-disciplinary cooperation of anti-trafficking practitioners. Sometimes I think of myself as a ‘human phone book’ for the Greater New Orleans anti-trafficking community. My goal is to connect community partners, law enforcement, and providers to improve collaboration to combat human trafficking. Facilitating connections across disciplines is one of the most gratifying components of my daily work. 

What has been your most successful experience working in the anti-trafficking movement?
The greatest success I’ve had working in anti-trafficking in New Orleans has been the integration of labor trafficking into the mainstream human trafficking dialogue. I’ve had the joy of bearing witness to the community learning about labor trafficking, and meaningfully identifying how to better address that issue. Launching the GNOHTTF Labor Trafficking Committee, disseminating the Labor Trafficking 101 Training, and contributing to the Labor Trafficking Committee Report for the Governor’s Human Trafficking Prevention Commission Labor Trafficking are all examples of activities that mark new steps to spreading awareness about this issue. It’s so inspiring to see new organizations coming to the table to discuss labor who weren’t involved in the Task Force previously, and to hear new voices from previously untapped communities.

What has been your favorite aspect of collaborating among task force partners?
My favorite thing is when I am able to connect two different community partners who have never worked together before, and then to learn later that the relationship is positively affecting victim/survivor services. Although Louisiana is not known as a place with a multitude of resources, in New Orleans community members have been able to fill gaps in incredible ways through creative collaboration and partnerships. Contributing to this network of relationships and collaboration is a privilege.

Anything else you'd like to share?
One of the issues I’m most passionate about is the need to rethink representation of human trafficking.  We have to consider under-served and vulnerable populations when we consider human trafficking, because traffickers prey on individuals who are marginalized and disadvantaged. I am committed to helping create a space that amplifies the experiences of survivors of all different demographics- all ages, races, legal statuses, job types, etc. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please check out our Task Force “Myths and Misconceptions” page.

What are Task Force members saying about Leanne?

“Leanne has not only brought community partners from all across New Orleans together, but has changed the way New Orleans thinks about human trafficking. Her heart for labor trafficking, spreading awareness of the reality of human trafficking, and filling the gaps to provide better resources/services is what truly makes Leanne a remarkable leader for our community.”

—-