FEE Announces New Executive Director

September 23, 2020

On behalf of the Executive Committee & Board Members, it is our pleasure to announce the newly appointed Executive Director of Fight to End Exploitation, Melania (Mel) Klemowits.

A Note from Board President, Neal Lofy

Fight to End Exploitation is an organization that faces challenges and overcomes the odds in order to support one another. This past year has changed many of our lives, created new norms, and maybe even deeper strife than what one was expecting. As an organization, we lost our office during local unrest, we were confronted with filling an executive director position in the midst of a pandemic but, it is from these very events that bring out our best, that rally a group willing to make a difference, embrace change, fight back, and continue to battle the heinous act of human trafficking. It is with humbleness that FEE is proud to introduce our new Executive Director, Melania Klemowits.

A Note from Executive Director, Melania Klemowits

Hello All, 

First, it is a great honor to be here and to be joining the force that is, Fight to End Exploitation. 

As I transition into my role at FEE, I want to take the time to briefly introduce myself to the community of Racine, to our FEE champions who support our efforts in the fight to end exploitation wholeheartedly, and to our statewide and national partners. 

Who Am I? 

I am a mom, a student, a citizen, and an advocate. I am a strength-based leader, channeling my innate talents into nonprofit development, elevating FEE’s focuses, and deepening our impact. I believe in victim-based advocacy, thinking boldly, living passionately, and that collaboration is one of the keys to greatness. 

Why Am I Here? 

I am here to listen, to learn, and to continue to expand the work that FEE has been doing since 2015. I am here to be an agent of change, to create sustainable and scalable programs, and ultimately, I’m here to fight exploitation. 

Enough is Enough. 

Over the next few months, as I settle into my role, the mantra I will be arming myself with is one from my family’s favorite animated series:

Unstoppable is just another form of stoppable. 

Netflix’s The Dragon Prince

Anti-trafficking work has often been deemed impossible, a losing uphill battle for countless reasons when in fact, it’s not. There is always a solution, we may just need to look at the problem from a different angle or perspective. Human trafficking has existed since the earliest slave trades from Africa to Europe and has evolved alongside the rest of society, exposing its underbelly in the last few decades. Human trafficking and sexual exploitation aren’t stopping, and neither are we.

Let’s Get to Work. 

Get to Know Mel in a Snapshot

  1. Currently in school at UW-Milwaukee pursuing her degree in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
  2. She prefers tea over coffee and quiet autumn mornings over any other season.
  3. Certified Hands that Heal facilitator with FAAST International. This is an international curriculum to train caregivers of trafficking survivors and it’s utilized by local nonprofits as well as world-wide organizations such as World Vision and Salvation Army. 
  4. Advocate for mental health, self-care, and rest. Pro Tip: Feeling overwhelmed? Schedule time for rest on your calendar, make it a meeting with yourself. 
  5. She will always have more books than she can finish on her to-be-read stack. Top reads of 2020 (so far!) are: The Women in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper and This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell and Aurelia Durand.

She would love to hear from you, whether it’s to say hello, to brainstorm about a bold idea, or with a good book recommendation: mel(@)fighttoendexploitation.org

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