CAASE cordially invites you to Celebrating Allies, a cocktail fundraiser generously hosted by Skadden Arps. Join us as we honor and celebrate extraordinary survivor leaders as they set a course to end sexual exploitation. Partner with CAASE as we strive to engage communities, educate allies, and stand with survivors in the fight against all forms of sexual exploitation, from prostitution and sex trafficking to sexual assault. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Skadden Arps

155 N. Wacker Drive | 28th Floor

Chicago, IL 60606

Signature cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. 

Prepare to be moved by some of the most wonderful storytellers we know. The incredibly talented Glynn Washington (of Snap Judgment, and NPR), will serve as the evening's emcee. Look forward to hearing from our distinguished honorees: Anne Ream (of World Without Exploitation and The Voices and Faces Project), and Brenda Myers-Powell (of The Dreamcatcher Foundation). We also have an exciting raffle in store to cap off the evening!

Early Bird Tickets: General Admission (over 35) $125 

Young Professionals (35 and under) $50

Tickets (after August 31st): General Admission (over 35) $150

Young Professionals (35 and under) $75

*Special ticket pricing available for survivors and/or CAASE clients (current or former). Please contact Eleanor at ebryan@caase.org for more information or with any questions.


Our speaker line-up

Glynn Washington (Emcee)

Glynn Washington is the renowned host and storyteller of the podcast, Snap Judgment. He’s also a wonderful ally who's worked as an educator, diplomat, community activist, actor, political strategist, fist-shaker, mountain-hollerer, and foot stomper. Glynn also thinks his stories are best served with cocktails. (How perfect!)

Anne K. Ream 

Anne K. Ream is a Chicago-based writer and the founder of The Voices and Faces Project, an award-winning storytelling project, and co-founder of World Without Exploitation, the national coalition to end human trafficking. Her 2014 memoir Lived Through This documents her multi-year, multi-country journey spent listening to the stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking. She is the co-creator of “The Stories We Tell,” North America’s first two-day testimonial writing program for survivors of gender-based violence and other human rights violations, and a founding board member at Art Works for Change. Anne’s writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Washington Post, and elsewhere. Anne has received numerous awards for her work, including the Susan Estrich Courage Award, the End Violence Against Women International Visionary Award, Soroptimist International’s “Women Making a Difference” Award, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Council’s Visionary Voice Award, which was presented to Anne at a 2011 Clinton Presidential Center ceremony. A former Senior Vice President and Group Creative Director at Leo Burnett USA, one of the world’s largest communications agencies, Anne was named one of People Magazine’s “Heroes Among Us,” and recognized by the Chicago Tribune as one of “Chicago’s Top 40,” in an article highlighting movement makers and opinion shapers who “make the city great” while creating change on a national level. She also served as a board member of CAASE in 2009. 

Brenda Myers-Powell 

Brenda Myers-Powell is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Dreamcatcher Foundation, a survivor-led organization that provides critical support and mentoring to girls in Chicago who are in and at-risk for exploitation in the sex trade. Brenda first became a victim of sex trafficking at the age of 14, after she sought to escape an abusive home life and navigate the streets of Chicago on her own. Through 25 years as a teenager and adult in prostitution, Brenda endured physical, mental, and sexual abuse, but survived, and is now a testament to resilience for the young women she mentors and supports.

In recent years, Brenda has inspired countless thousands of people and received national and international acclaim, as the subject of the Sundance-Award- winning Documentary Dreamcatcher, and she touches the hearts of everyone she meets, as she challenges our culture and educates about the perils of the commercial sex trade. In addition to guiding people from crisis and victimization to survival, Brenda has also conducted critical research into the sex industry in Chicago, in collaboration with Jody Raphael of DePaul University, and she served as a founding board member of CAASE from 2006 through 2015. Brenda was also the first adult woman in Illinois to win legal relief under the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Act, working with attorneys from CAASE and Duane Morris, LLC. Brenda was a founding Board Member of CAASE.

Lucretia Clay-Ward

Lucretia is a survivor leader who is a beacon of hope in her community. She serves as an HIV Counselor/ Tester/Advocate, Linkage to Care Navigator, Substance Abuse Counselor, and HIV Prevention Educator, who provides advocacy, HIV testing and support for people in the sex trade regardless of their sexual identity, including men, women, and youth. She works tirelessly to provide support services and information on employment, educational services, health care and mental health services, housing and domestic violence referrals as well as substance abuse counseling, to all who need a voice including members of the LGBTQ, straight, youth and adult community.

Lucretia received her Substance Abuse Education at The McDermott Learning Center in 2015 and earned her Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor Certification through IAODAPCA in 2016. She has successfully completed The Chicago Department of Public Health Infectious Disease training and Center for Disease Control and Prevention Effective Behavioral Interventions (DEBI) Trainings and earned over 15 Certificates.

Lucretia was inducted into The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2014 for her work within the LGBTQ Community and as a Friend of the Community.

Lucretia was also featured in the 2005 documentary "Turning a Corner" a film produced by Beyond Media Productions focusing on the lives of Lucretia and several other survivors of the sex trade industry who recount tales of the hellish nightmare of drug abuse, homelessness, violence and discrimination that they lived with for so long before joining forces with of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, where PART (Prostitution Alternatives Round Table) was founded. She is also a former legal client of CAASE, whose attorneys collaborated with legal counsel from ---private law firm --- to win Lucretia's case under the Justice for Victims of Sex Trafficking Crimes Act. 

Heather Carpenter

Heather Carpenter is a dancer, choreographer and artistic director. In April 2016, within a year of becoming an assault survivor, she founded Ascendence Dance Chicago, a not- for-profit performing company based on the principle that dance and movement can be therapeutic and healing. Since then, Heather has been working with movement therapists to create a unique curriculum, that provides pro bono movement classes to survivors of sexual assault and abuse in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Heather is a former client of CAASE’s Legal services program.

As a choreographer and artistic director, Heather is mostly known for her innovative and inspiring concepts, resonating a strong voice behind taboo subjects. Her story and photograph were featured in ‘Reclaiming Me’ - a photo series of assault survivors sharing their experiences of healing and growth.

Ascendence Dance Chicago will host their 2nd Annual ‘Resilient Benefit Showcase’ at the Athenauem Theatre on November 17, 2017. The evening will include performance by Company Ensemble, guest artists, live music, photo gallery, silent auction and more! Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation and Rape Victims Advocates.

Make a difference in more ways than one:

  • Sponsor a survivor: We want to celebrate and honor the amazing work of survivor leaders in our community- visit the ticket page to see how you can donate towards a survivor ticket.
  • Join the event host committee: Help make Celebrating Allies a success by inviting friends and securing sponsorships. Contact ebryan@caase.org for more information about the host committee membership.
  • Become a sponsor: CAASE welcomes corporate sponsors to this and all events. Sponsorships are available at a variety of levels- contact ebryan@caase.org for more information.


Many Thanks to our Host Committee (in formation) & Sponsors

Shauna Prewitt (co-chair) | Joel Filmore (co-chair) | Amy Kohn | Ross Neihaus | Nancy Radner | Francesca Schuler | Kaethe Morris Hoffer | Xenia Chiu | Sean Brennan | Julie Kayaian | Rich Mrizek | Alisa Roadcup | Kary Ream | William Delaney | Allison Clark | Nichole Flaws | Galya Ben-Arieh | Samantha M. Odyniec | Jamie Kalven | Patricia Evans