LEWISTON — The Center for Wisdom’s Women will present a program March 8 on loving change that can heal and end the cycle of human exploitation.

The talk by Tricia Grant and Jennifer Morin Edwards is titled “Be the Change – Rooted in Love.” It will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 97 Blake St.  Marguerite Stapleton will facilitate the conversation.

The talk is part of the series “Wise and Strong Women SPEAK!” and is held on International Women’s Day.

The women will reflect on their personal lives. They met about five years ago through the Maine Freedom Network. Since then they have been involved in efforts to stop human exploitation.

Grant lives in Lewiston and is a survivor of sex trafficking. She educates youth and adults in group and one-on-one settings about the dangers and realities of human trafficking. She shares her story with the hope that it will help others understand that trafficking can happen to anyone anywhere, and to prevent victims from waiting 16 years to talk about it, as she did.

Grant is the new director of the “Not Here Justice in Action Network,” a grassroots effort by The Foundation for Hope and Grace. It raises awareness and facilitates collaboration among key members of society in addressing the threats of human trafficking and exploitation, child abuse, sexual violence and gender inequality.

Edwards’s journey into anti-trafficking work started with the awareness of human trafficking in other countries, but in 2011, at SoulFest in New Hampshire, she learned that it was also happening in Maine.

Edwards is chairman of The Foundation of Hope and Grace. She served for several years as program director of “Not Here.” She has helped connect a multi-disciplinary network of individuals and organizations committed to working collaboratively to combat human trafficking and exploitation, and to support those who have been victimized the crime.

The program is free, but donations are encouraged to support The Center for Wisdom’s Women. Those who attend are invited to bring contributions of hygiene items for the center’s hygiene pantry. Most needed are shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and sanitary pads in full-size, unopened containers.

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