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The RIDE Foundation Announces Second Annual Gala Event: DANCE FOR FREEDOM

RIDE Foundation (Robyn & Italo Dance Events), formed by Pro-Am ballroom dance partners, Robyn Shreiber and Italo Elgueta, has announced that its 2nd annual gala event, DANCE FOR FREEDOM, will benefit two of Los Angeles' leading organizations who are dedicated to fighting human trafficking - CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), and Journey Out. RIDE was established in 2016 to create one-of-a-kind dance events for difference-making charities, encompassing humane and ecological causes and featuring the talents of compassionate stars of the dance world. Dance For Freedom will be held at 6PM, at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, with a program featuring top dance and vocal performances produced by Tony Award-winning producer Scott Mauro.

"We are thrilled to have both CAST and Journey Out as the beneficiaries of our 2nd annual gala event," say Robyn and Italo in a joint statement. "CAST CEO Kay Buck, and Journey Out Executive Director Dr. Stephany Powell, are two incredible women whose tireless work and unwavering advocacy has saved the lives of many women, children and men. We both had learned so much from Kay and Stephany about this horrendous crime, and had the opportunity to experience the work that both organizations do to fight human trafficking. We are truly honored to honor them with the RIDE Champion Award," they add.

"Survivors of human trafficking are some of the most resilient individuals I have ever met- resilience that is strengthened by healing arts programs. Trafficked from over 59 countries to Los Angeles, CAST uses dance and music therapy modalities to bring healing and rehabilitation to survivors, and helps them build a community among each other. Dance is one of the unique languages that everyone can speak at our shelter, and demonstrates the extraordinary power of dance to support survivors in their journeys to heal and rebuild their lives, " says Kay Buck. "There is so much more critical work that must be done to stop human trafficking, and help those who have been victimized. We are incredibly grateful to Robyn, Italo and everyone at the RIDE Foundation for choosing CAST as a beneficiary of Dance for Freedom," she adds.

"Journey Out provides girls and women the critical tools and support necessary to help them break free from commercial sexual exploitation and to rebuild their lives," says Dr. Stephany Powell. "Each individual we help, is one step forward in ending the sexual exploitation and trafficking of girls and women. We are grateful to the RIDE Foundation for supporting our mission and choosing Journey Out as a beneficiary of Dance For Freedom."

Award-winning Actress and anti-human trafficking activist Julia Ormond will serve as presenter at the event. Ormond, who earned accolades for her performances in Legends of the Fall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, Sabrina and Temple Grandin, is the first and former UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Against Trafficking and Slavery, and is the Founder of Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking. Julia has traveled the world assessing solutions and challenges of human trafficking and has appeared as an expert witness before the US Congress and the United Nations. For this advocacy work, she received the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award and Women for Women International's Peace Award.

This year, RIDE will present Carrie Ann Inaba with its inaugural Artistic Integrity Award. The RIDE Artistic Integrity Award celebrates members of the entertainment industry for their outstanding professional accomplishments in dance and choreography, and for their heartfelt humanity that has made a difference for a multitude of worthy causes. Inaba, a veteran choreographer most recognized as a judge on ABC's Emmy Award-winning "Dancing with the Stars," as well as for her work on such popular series as "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," is a spokesperson and advocate for many causes, including Drea's Dream, a national program that raises funds for dance therapy for pediatric cancer patients, as well as The Animal Project Foundation and Best Friends Animal Shelter, for which she serves as a celebrity ambassador.

In 2017, RIDE held its inaugural gala event, Dance for Africa. The star-studded event raised funds for the African Wildlife Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa.

Tickets to Dance For Freedom can be purchased online at www.RIDEvents.org

About RIDE Foundation:

RIDE (Robyn & Italo Dance Events) is a 501c3 non-profit organization created by Pro-Am ballroom couple Robyn Shreiber and Italo Elgueta. RIDE's mission is to create one-of-a-kind dance events for difference-making charities. RIDE is Robyn and Italo's creation and their way to give back by combining their complementary business and dance backgrounds for a greater cause.

For more information, please log onto www.ridevents.org

About CAST:

The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that is working to put an end to modern slavery and human trafficking through comprehensive, life-changing services to survivors and a platform to advocate for groundbreaking policies and legislation. Over the past two decades, CAST has supported thousands of survivors through every phase of their journey to freedom from counseling, to legal resources, to housing, educational and leadership training and mentorship. Through these programs, CAST has helped empower survivors to overcome their traumatic pasts and become leading voices in shaping policy and public awareness to ultimately put an end to the fastest growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century.

By connecting survivors across the country, through CAST's Advisory Caucus and National Survivor Network, the organization supports and encourages survivors to realize their own leadership qualities and to value their insight not just as survivors, but as experts in the human trafficking field. The depth of CAST's work has not only changed the lives of those impacted by human trafficking, but it has positioned CAST as an organization leading the charge to help finally put an end to this epidemic.

CAST is one of the pioneers of the US anti-trafficking movement. The organization was founded by Dr. Kathryn McMahon, the Thai CDC and a group of community activists, in response to the discovery of 72 Thai workers that had been kept for seven years in slavery and debt bondage in Los Angeles County. Led by celebrated human rights activist Kay Buck, CAST's immeasurable contribution to survivors of human trafficking has been recognized by President Obama, who honored CAST with the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons in 2014.

About Journey Out:

Journey Out is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit leading the fight for the freedom and survival of all those whose lives have been destroyed by sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation.

Our mission is to help victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking leave a life of abuse and violence, overcome their fears, and empower them to reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

We provide a multi-faceted support system for those who make the difficult journey out of an existence of abuse and violence. We provide the critical tools and support necessary for women to help them break free from commercial sexual exploitation and rebuild their lives. And, to ensure younger women and girls never enter the life, we provide diversion programs focused on knowledge and empowerment.

Every person Journey Out has served is not only an individual success story, but also an illustration of the contribution we make to the fabric of our communities, and to the fast-growing movement to end sexual exploitation. Journey Out Programs and Services include: Drop-In Center Programming; Prostitution Diversion Program - Alternative to Incarceration; Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Prevention and Intervention Programs; Direct Street Outreach; Community & Agency Education/Training; and First Responder Crisis Response Team.

Journey Out is committed to meeting the ongoing challenges of helping victims of commercial sexual exploitation leave a life of abuse and violence, overcome their fears and empower them to reach their potential and achieve their goals.


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