Recap: On May 10, 2016, CAST celebrated its 18th Annual From Slavery to Freedom Gala at the stunning Skirball Cultural Center. And, with the high caliber of honorees, attendees, donors, artists and volunteers, it’s no surprise that the event sold out a week in advance and raised just shy of $400,000.

We honored four formidable leaders in the movement to eradicate modern slavery that epitomized this year’s theme “Building Bridges to Freedom.” L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (Visionary Leadership Award honoree) is engineering pathways to freedom through his community empowerment models, which aim to better identify and serve the region’s children and transition age youth. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Mount St. Mary’s University (Founders Award honorees) are essential anchors in programmatic and public policy efforts to serve human trafficking survivors. And, Beth Jacobs (Courage Award honoree) is a trailblazer in the survivor-led public policy arena, championing the efforts to bring justice to her fellow survivors.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the three survivor-written performances. Performed by actors Roland Ruiz and Liz Femi and members of CAST’s Survivor Advisory Caucus, these monologues provided the audience with a glimpse into some of the personal experiences of CAST’s diverse group of survivors.

Special thanks to our sponsors, the incredible individuals on our Board and Event Committee, our auction donors, our volunteers and our staff!