September 14, 2019
Global Hope 365 officially launched the California Coalition to End Child Marriage at the Human Trafficking and Child Marriage Forum on Saturday, September 14, 2019 co-hosted with the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence at UCI School of Law. Rima Nashashibi, Founder and President of Global Hope 365 and Prof, Jane Stoever, Director of the UCI Law Domestic Violence Clinic, co-emceed the event.
The forum was an astounding success. Following the welcoming remarks of Supervisor Doug Chaffee and Irvine City Council Member Farrah N. Khan, Scholars, experts, legislators, and public officials shared research findings, examples from their work, and policy proposals for the way forward. The forum provided the opportunity to exchange ideas for solutions and increase collaboration and momentum for policy changes in the areas of Human Trafficking and Child Marriage.
The Forum featured a keynote address from Assemblywoman Cottie-Petrie Norris. The assemblywoman noted her shock in learning statistics on Child Marriage when Global Hope 365 brought the issue to her attention via a meeting this summer. Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris expressed her support for raising awareness on the issue amongst other legislators. California has a Child Marriage rate above the national average. Of every 1,000 15-17-year-olds, 5.5 are married in the state of California, while the US average is 4.6.
Midway through the forum and immediately following Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris’s speech, Rima Nashashibi, Founder and President of Global Hope 365 announced the formation of the California Coalition to End Child Marriage. Approximately 100 community leaders and experts joined Nashashibi at the podium for a photo to express their support of the coalition.
Rima Nashashibi stated, “The coalition is being formed to increase awareness and support for future legislative efforts to end Child Marriage in the state of California. UNICEF and the U.S. Department of State have indicated that Child Marriage is human rights abuse. We need to take care of our own children in California. I believe California can follow in the steps of Delaware and New Jersey and end Child Marriage in our state.”
We are incredibly grateful to the wealth of knowledge shared by the community leaders that shared their expertise on the complex social dynamics of Human Trafficking and Child Marriage. The speakers represented Waymakers, The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, the San Diego Police Department. We are incredibly grateful for the knowledge of our speakers listed below.
- Michelle Heater, Program Director, Victim Assistance Programs, Waymakers
- Debbie Martis, Steering Committee, Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce
- Dr. Sandra Morgan, Director, Global Center for Women & Justice, Vanguard University
- Chief David Nisleit, Chief of Police, City of San Diego
- Sergeant Juan Reveles, Anaheim Police Department, Task Force Sergeant, Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force
- Dr. Mellissa Withers, Associate Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC
- Dr. Jodi Quas, Professor of Psychological Science in the Interdisciplinary School of Social Ecology
- Corey J. Rood, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the UC Irvine School of Medicine, and Child Abuse Pediatrician with the Department of Pediatrics at UC Irvine, CAST, and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach.
We look forward to future Forums to advocate for our mission to spread awareness and save lives. In the coming months, The California Coalition to End Child Marriage will engage the public in the issue to build a coalition of support. Global Hope 365 through the Coalition to End Child Marriage, will continue to raise awareness among the residents of CA so they can contact their assemblymember and Senator to support a future bill. We are inspired by all of the organizations and leaders that have stood up for the sovereignty of girls and committed to supporting our movement to end Child Marriage. Please refer to the California Coalition to End Child Marriage website for a complete list of Coalition Members, Elected Officials, and Community Leaders who have pledged their support for the Coalition.