An Interview with Joy Collins Brodt from Treasures
Joy Collins Brodt first heard about human trafficking in college when a group hosted a showing of the documentary “Not My Life”.
“I went because I wasn’t sure what it was about”, Joy said, “and at the time they were calling it modern slavery and I was like, ‘Well what does that mean? I thought slavery was abolished years ago.’ So I went and I watched this film and my heart was torn wide open. At that moment, my heart was lit on fire and I knew I had to join the movement to combat this.”
After that, everything changed. Joy immediately got in touch with the leading anti-trafficking organizations in the country.
“For me, I’m the kind of person where I’m all in or nothing. I could not wait. I would not sleep another night without knowing that I was doing something tangible.”
She got connected with International Justice Mission and started reaching out to her elected representatives. These initial efforts sparked a life and career dedicated to the abolition of slavery and the restoration of human dignity. Her path led her to Treasures, a survivor-led anti-trafficking non-profit based in Los Angeles, California.
In addition to her outreach and advocacy, Joy serves as the Operations and Programs Director at Treasures, where she has dedicated her life to advocating for the dignity and humanity of every person.
“The mission of Treasures is to reach, restore, and equip women in the sex industry to live healthy and flourishing lives and train others to do the same around the globe”, Joy said. “Our three main focuses are outreach, care, and training. We mainly focus on walking alongside women as they journey out of the sex industry and work on providing a place to work through their situations. 89% of the women who work in the sex industry do so because they have no other means of survival.”
"The mission of Treasures is to reach, restore, and equip women in the sex industry to live healthy and flourishing lives and train others to do the same around the globe”
Joy explained that there is a cycle of women who go into the industry because they have families and kids they need to support.
“It pushes them into this cycle. So Treasures acts as a place of comfort. We have a support group they can come to and talk about life and work through their situations. When they make that decision to leave the industry, we have resources and connections with other organizations to help them make that transition out. We meet women right where they are.”
"When they make that decision to leave the industry, we have resources and connections with other organizations to help them make that transition out. We meet women right where they are.”
Each year, Treasures reaches out to over 5,000 women working in 170 strip clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with gift bags and the message that support is available to them. They also reach commercially sexually exploited children in juvenile detention centers and online forums.
“For me, it’s very important to be that light”, Joy said. “Be that smiling face. Be the person that they can feel safe with because that speaks volumes and that helps them start down the road of recovery and healing.”
When women and children are rescued, Treasures provides care through mentoring, support groups, resources, retreats, and vocational training, equipping women to create the path towards a life of financial and physical independence.
Through their Global Sex Industry Outreach and Care Training, Treasures is training and mobilizing outreach leaders in every major city around the world where the commercial sex industry is operating. They have grown into the foremost sex trafficking outreach and care training organization in the world. They host nationwide trainings four times a year where they train leaders to develop outreaches in communities around the globe.
A woman who inspires her? Harmony Dust Grillo, the founder of Treasures.
“She is such an amazing person. One of the most authentic people there is”, Joy said. “She used to work in the industry and she left. She finally got out and decided to be a light to the women who were still working in the industry. She’s definitely an inspiration to me because she used her story to empower other people.”
Treasures offers dozens of opportunities to get involved if you are interested in learning more. Thanks to amazing advocates like you and Joy, momentum is building in the fight to end modern-day slavery. If you would like to find out more about Treasures and the work that they do, follow the link attached to their image below.
You don't have to wait until December to be a part of the impact. Join the Dressember Collective and become part of a powerful community of advocates and donors furthering the work and impact of the Dressember Foundation through monthly giving.
About the Author
Torie Pfau is a tiny person with big dreams. She is a college student who is excited about where this new adventure will lead. She loves telling stories, trying new recipes, and exploring the world.