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Human trafficking is a global crisis. Dignity Health is innovating how it's fought.
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Dignity Health

Human trafficking is one of the most devastating human rights crises the world faces today.

All pictures courtesy of Dignity Health.

According to the International Labour Organization, more than 40 million people are victims of human trafficking around the world. And more than three quarters of these victims are women and children who are forced into labor in many different industries — including sex work.


Tragically, this crisis may only be getting worse. Human trafficking is a lucrative business, bringing in more than $150 billion in profits annually. While organizations worldwide are working to end this pandemic, they'll only be successful with the help of people who know what human trafficking is and what to do if they suspect someone's fallen victim to it.

Unfortunately, many of us don't know how to spot the signs of human trafficking. And yes, this includes doctors.

Though victims of human trafficking often require medical attention and seek aid at their local hospital, health professionals aren't always aware that their patients may be dealing with trauma beyond their physical injuries.

As a result, many victims are discharged without being offered the support and services they so desperately need.

Dignity Health is at the forefront of changing this narrative. The medical services company is employing survivors of human trafficking to advocate for those that need help.

"Survivors now know that the hospital is a safe place," says Christine Cesa, a survivor advocate with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking.

Cesa works at Dignity Health's California Medical Center twice a week educating staff members and providing support to fellow survivors.

As a survivor of human trafficking herself, Cesa is uniquely qualified to support people who are victims of human trafficking. And her connection with patients is the first step towards healing.

“The patients respond to me because I come at them with a lot of empathy, care and concern," she says.

"Dignity Health values survivors," says Holly Smith Gibb, the program director of Dignity Health's Human Trafficking Response, who's also a survivor.

“If there was a survivor who was part of the law enforcement and healthcare team that was trying to connect with me it would have made all the difference."

But employing survivors is just one part of Dignity Health's commitment to stopping human trafficking.

Since 2014, the company has worked tirelessly to ensure that no victim of trafficking is overlooked at their facilities.

From providing more training to medical center staff to adding procedures that make it easier for all medical staff to identify and report human trafficking to employing survivors like Cesa, Dignity Health is fighting human trafficking on an individual, community, and systemic level.

It's a model that's working well, so the company hopes that it will soon be put to use in hospitals throughout the nation.

Advocates like Cesa are transforming the way that medical professionals view and respond to human trafficking.

At the medical center where Cesca is employed, the staff is more attuned to what their patients are going through, more eager to help them escape dangerous situations and empower them to embark on safe, happy lives.

And being an advocate has given Cesa a greater sense of purpose, because she can see the impact she's having on patients. She's grateful to be able to use her difficult experiences to help others every day.

“Even though there are hard, emotional days...I go home and feel like, I don't ever want to stop doing this. 'Cause we're helping people," she says.

Learn more about Cesa's work and Dignity Health's human trafficking initiatives in the video below.

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The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

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In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Trevor Noah, who has spent the past seven years hosting "The Daily Show," has officially said goodbye to his late-night fans. While he could have chosen any note to leave on, he made his final words an emotional tribute to the Black women who have influenced him.

Since he took over the spot from Jon Stewart, Noah has made the show his own with a blend of quick-witted comedy and thoughtful commentary. Noah had big shoes to fill, but to his credit, he didn't try to cram his feet into them. He simply brought his own shoes and placed them right next to Stewart's, offering his own style of comedy and unique perspectives on the world night after night. Even in his "Between the Scenes" segments, where he chatted with the audience during commercial breaks, Noah frequently added insightful context to current issues.

In his final monologue, he credits those insights to his Black women mentors, from his own mother and grandmother to thought leaders he has had on his show to Black women in general. And it's quite telling that he managed to keep it together in his final show, right up until the point when he talked about these women.

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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser for Variety's "Actors on Actors."

There are few actors in this world as universally loved as Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler. So when the two sign on to interview one another, you can bet that people are going to be thrilled.

During one of Variety's “Actors on Actors” segments, the two swapped stories of being in the entertainment business—from the movie “Airheads," which they both starred in, to more recent projects like Sandler’s “Hustle” and Fraser’s “The Whale.”

It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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