Yolanda Schlabach
“Bridge of Hope: A Survivor’s Life After Human Trafficking”
Bridge Builder
Thursday November 2nd 2017
The Mill Auditorium  MORE INFO

The experience of prepping for this 2017 TEDxWilmingtonWomen talk is significantly different than when I wrote my second blog for last year’s talk, about 16 months ago. There are several reasons, including the reality of the landscape change in Delaware relative to human trafficking. This includes the dissolving of the Human Trafficking Coordinating Council and the current state of flux as we await the formation of the Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council and the announcement of the Governor’s appointees.  Also, in the past few months, I have participated in the formation of a H.T. Coalition-type group, working with folks who are passionate about this topic and who are currently working with survivors in their service delivery systems. I have traveled many miles as I connect with anti-trafficking organizations and aftercare facilities. I have been aware of arrests of perpetrators and the needs of survivors. All of these experiences have helped shape my TEDx talk to become more relevant in subject matter and more practical in suggestion regarding how we build an infrastructure to support the trafficking survivors we are identifying since awareness has been heightened and arrests have been made.

On a personal note, I have close friends who have experienced tragedy, death and familial violence. The heartbreak of losing loved ones brings the reality of my own mortality front and center—exaggerating the importance of appreciating every single day. Life is fragile. Precious. We never know when it may end. Or why. My goal is to be a voice for those who currently have none. As long as I have breath, I will use it to speak for those who are marginalized, oppressed and enslaved. This TEDxWilmington stage gives me a platform. The talk prep brings humility. The survivors give me the inspiration. The attentiveness of the audience gives me calm. The goodness of God gives me hope.


Yolanda is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant with a background in Labor & Delivery and N.I.C.U. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership & Management from Regent University in 2004 and graduated in 2014 from Liberty University with a Master’s in Human Services and Counseling. Yolanda attended the University of Maryland, earning a Certificate in Working with Survivors of Violence, Trauma, or Torture. READ MORE

2nd Annual TEDxWilmington Women :: Bridge Builder :: Thursday Nov. 2nd 2017 :: The Mill Auditorium ::  MORE INFO