About U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking
U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) is a collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy to eradicate modern-day slavery. We work to inform the public, prevent this assault on human dignity, and assist survivors to live fulfilling lives.
Our members include 100+ congregations of Catholic Sisters, coalitions working against human trafficking and individuals who share our mission. Ending slavery is everyone’s work!
U. S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking envision a world without slavery with a network of services and resources to inform the public, prevent the crime and assist survivors to achieve a fulfilling life.
Our Core Values
Our anti-trafficking efforts reflect the core values of our faith:
• Belief in the inherent dignity of every human person;
• Commitment to those who are poor and vulnerable;
• Establishment of right relationships to promote the common good;
• Defense of the basic rights of workers;
• Solidarity with one another and the willingness to enter into another’s joys and sorrows.
We challenge our Church, government officials and ourselves to consider these values in all that we do and we invite all people who share these values to join us in our work.
In April 2013, 15 sisters who were engaged in anti-trafficking work throughout the U.S. were invited to gather in Washington D.C. Sister Margaret Nacke, CSJ, from Concordia, KS, and Sister Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission, LCWR, were instrumental in convening this group. This initial three-day gathering was made possible with the leadership and partnership of Alexia Kelley, President, and CEO of FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities) and the financial support of several FADICA members.
While in Washington, these sisters met with representatives from the Polaris Project and several government officials who were engaged in anti-trafficking work. They also spent time sharing and reflecting with one another about their own work in the anti-trafficking arena. They realized the benefits of joining their efforts together and becoming a national network and the public, corporate voice for U.S. sisters on the issue of human trafficking.
Led by a Steering Committee of three sisters (Anne Victory HM, Kathleen Coll SSJ, and Ann Oestreich, IHM) for three years, the network grew, and joined Talitha Kum in 2014.
In 2016, U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking became a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization governed by a Board of Directors. Our membership has grown to include 100+ congregations of women religious, Catholic coalitions working to end human trafficking and several individual partners.
In 2018, USCSAHT hosted “Borders Are Not Barriers,” a gathering of all Talitha Kum networks in the Western Hemisphere.
In 2019, Jennifer Reyes Lay became our first executive director and USCSAHT established its national office in St. Louis, Missouri.
In 2022 Katie Boller Gosewisch became our second executive director. The national office also moved to Brighton, Michigan.
The staff of USCSAHT has grown to include Program Director Theresa Flores and Communications Director Christine Commerce.
Sisters in Washington, D.C.
USCSAHT Joins Talitha Kum
USCSAHT hosts “Borders Are Not Barriers”
First Executive Director, Jennifer Reyes Lay, hired.
Theresa Flores, Program Director and 1st Members’ Conference
Executive Director, Katie Boller Gosewisch
The national USCSAHT office relocated to Brighton, MI.
First Communications Director Hired.
2nd Annual USCSAHT Conference