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MAY 3, 2023


NJ Freedom Awards Recipients Announced by Anti-Trafficking Organization who will be Honored at the NJ Freedom Gala

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NJCAHT) is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2023 NJ Freedom Awards, who will be honored at the NJ Freedom Gala hosted at the Bridgewater Manor on May 23.

The NJ Freedom Awards recognize the compassion, courage, impact and reach of individuals and organizations to prevent human trafficking in New Jersey and help those affected by it.

This year’s NJ Freedom Award recipients are:

  • Theresa Flores (Lifetime NJ Freedom Award): Survivor, author, and founder of the SOAP Project
  • Cristian Eduardo: Survivor, advocate, speaker, educator, and co-founder of United Immigrants of New York
  • Charmaine Rudd-Sanders: Social worker with the Newark Board of Education
  • Barry Segal: Founder of Focus for Health Foundation
  • Volunteer Lawyers for Justice: a nonprofit offering free legal services to survivors of trafficking

Honorable Mentions:

  • Detective Alicia Bergondo, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Human Trafficking Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
  • Christine Pastor, Survivor, founder of Tamar’s Hope
  • John Pizzuro, CEO of Raven, and retired Commander of the NJ Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

The NJ Freedom Gala is a celebration of the survivor-inclusive NJCAHT, and all funds raised go to continue its work to include survivors in developing curriculum for schools, raising awareness in professions such as healthcare and banking, and advocating for effective policies to help end trafficking in New Jersey. The gala would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Focus for Health Foundation
  • Survivor Attendance Sponsors: PALS SkyHope; Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Gold Sponsors: Atlantic Health System; Jan Stewart; UNITAS
  • Silver Sponsors: The SOAP Project; Patti Pfeifer & Jim Howley
  • Bronze Sponsors: The Merrill G. and Emita E Hastings Foundation; Dr. Louise Murray; Pontifical Institute of Religious Teachers Filippini

About the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NJCAHT) is a volunteer-run 501c3 nonprofit founded in 2011 that coordinates statewide community efforts to end sex and labor trafficking in New Jersey. Comprising over 150 volunteers and more than 200 affiliates including nonprofits, faith-based organizations, academics, law enforcement, and direct service providers it works to empower communities with the knowledge of what human trafficking is, how to prevent it, and how to support those affected by it..For more information go to: