Josephine Feemster is a resilient, inspiring, strong, and empowering person and trainer. She is defined more than a survivor of sex trafficking or an expert in her field. She is a woman that has overcome incredible adversity, and not merely happy to continue “existing,” she has evolved into a leader and motivational speaker. Josephine, has an encouraging presence, and she firmly believes that working together there is an to end human trafficking. She creates social change, by reaching the hearts and minds of individuals who do not believe that human trafficking exists or is a problem. Her presentations include contributing factors and societal complexities surrounding human trafficking.
Josephine joined Runaway Girl in 2014 as a survivor-leader trainer. With Runaway Girl she spoke at the University of California, Merced in April 2015 and assisted with CSEC training in Merced in November 2014. She assisted with the Runaway Girl Training at Sacramento State University in February 2015 and served on a survivor-led panel at the 3rd Annual Empowerment Conference in Los Angeles County in November 2014.
Josephine is trained in the following CSEC methodologies: My Life/My Choice (Justice Resource Institute), Ending the Game (Sowers Education Group), and GEMS’ VSL (Victim, Survivor, Leader) Model (GEMS). She deeply believes in the strength of survivor-led programming and being an essential support system as victims find their way toward freedom.
She was interviewed for the Chronicle of Social Change in 2014:
Josephine is Program Director and a founding member of The R.I.S.E Program Drop-In Center, a survivor-led drop-in center for young survivors of commercial sexual exploitation in the California Bay Area. The R.I.S.E Program focuses on empowering youth who have been commercially sexually exploited. The R.I.S.E. Drop-In Center is a place where youth can visit and receive the support and tools they need, without fear of judgment.
The R.I.S.E Program Drop-In Center offers different activities and provides services for our clients ages 11-21, with a concentration on education, financial literacy, therapeutic services and enrichment activities. Youth are offered a monthly schedule of daily activities such as life-skills/educational workshops, arts and crafts, physical activity, self-care activities and small therapeutic groups. The R.I.S.E Program Drop-In Center utilizes the methodologies: GEMS’ VSL, My Life/My Choice, and Ending the Game, of which Josie is an essential component.
Josephine is dedicated to ending human trafficking!