Schneps Media salutes Brooklyn’s Power Women • Brooklyn Paper

Schneps Media salutes Brooklyn’s Power Women

Global reach: Elizabeth Melendez Fisher is the founder and chief executive officer of the Selah Foundation, and will be honored for her work with the Global Leadership Award at the Power Women Awards on March 14.
Elizabeth Melendez Fisher

Save the date!

Schneps Media will host its eighth-annual Power Women Awards and Networking Event on March 14 to honor and celebrate the ladies whose contributions, work, activism, and heart have had a positive impact in Brooklyn — and we’re inviting you to join us!

The event honors top Kings County women for their outstanding leadership and contributions to the community. This year’s festivities, at Sirico’s Caterers in Dyker Heights, will be co-hosted by Lisa Evers of Fox 5, and will include an interactive business expo, followed by a dinner and awards ceremony. The night is a great way to thank the wonderful women who give their all to this borough, said the event’s organizer.

“There is so much talent and there are so many successful women who give back to the community,” said Lori Pedone. “This is an opportunity for them to network with each other and be recognized for all that they do.”

The beautiful night is made possible by our wonderful sponsors, Dime Bank, JP Morgan Chase, MetroPlus Health Plan, Northwell Health, The Avondale Care Group, Broadway Stages, and DMV Service Centers LLC / JSA Tags Inc.

This year’s event will feature a new award, the Global Leadership Award, which will be presented to Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Selah Freedom and founder of the Selah Way Foundation, organizations that focuses on ending sex trafficking and exploitation.

Fisher says her passion started with a resolve to help victims of sex abuse. When she was planning an event and looking for a charity to give to, she learned about the horrific level of sex trafficking in America, and how it impacts local communities. She became interested in helping, and has since become a crusader whose aim is to educate, prevent, and help children and women affected by this. She adds that the root of sex trafficking is often a child who has suffered sexual abuse.

Fisher founded Selah Freedom in 2011, and later founded the global arm, Selah Way Foundation.

Selah Freedom’s initiative, Prevention, arms kindergarten through 12th-grade children, parents, and caregivers with the knowledge they need to recognize and avoid trafficking through materials that are placed in schools and community centers. Fisher says the curriculum also teaches those who may be victims of abuse and trafficking to safely disclose what they’re experiencing. The program is currently in Brooklyn and throughout the tri-state area.

The Protection program trains law enforcement personnel to recognize signs of trafficking — and Fisher says this is particularly important for officers to learn because it isn’t always easy to spot.

She says, for instance, a young child could be riding in the back of a car with an adult in the front. She trains the officers to recognize if it looks questionable — for instance, if the child looks scared — and to intervene.

“A young girl or boy in the back of a car with an adult that looks questionable, they should stop the car, take a moment with the child, take a moment with the adult,” said Fisher. “If they know what they’re seeing, they won’t miss it. The key to stopping trafficking is intervening before it gets out of control.”

Receiving the Global Leadership Award is a true honor, she says, because it’s a chance to make more people aware of her cause — and could spark that same passion in someone else.

“It means more to me than you would ever understand,” said Fisher. “My passion is training other people. Speaking about sex trafficking, you open people’s eyes. Nothing makes me more excited than when I can have a platform, because that’s the only chance you have to awaken leaders. It takes my breath away.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the evening’s raffle will go to the Selah Foundation.

And don’t miss the Brooklyn’s Power Women issue, on stands March 8, where you can read about the important work all of our honorees do everyday to make the borough a better place.

Eighth-annual Power Women Awards and Networking Event at Sirico’s Caterers (8023 13th Ave. between 80th and 81st streets in Dyker Heights) March 14, 6–9 pm. Tickets $150 and available at www.brooklynpaper.com/powerwomen.

Lisa Evers of Fox 5 will c-host the night’s festivities.

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