On July 29, 2014, United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT), formerly Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition, held a party at O.K.R.A. Charity Bar and Grill to introduce a name change and thank their volunteers, friends and supporters. During the evening, the Dominican Sisters of Houston were recognized “for your long-standing support in the fight for freedom” with the North Star Award. This award is named in memory of the slaves who are part of our American history. During the Civil War years, escaped slaves would travel at night using the stars as navigation tools. They would identify the Big Dipper which pointed to the North Star in order to travel north to freedom.
Pictured Left to Right: Ceil Roeger, OP; Kitty Carter, OP; Jane Abell, OP; Eleanor Cresap, OP; Rosie Robleto
In her introductory remarks, Maria Trujillo, Executive Director of UAHT, mentioned that the Dominican sister were one of the first groups in Houston to raise awareness about human trafficking in the late 1990s and noted that they were one of the first members of the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition. Sr. Ceil Roeger accepted the award on behalf of the congregation. Rosie Robleto, Srs Kitty Carter, Jane Abell and Eleanor Cresap were also in attendance
On June 3 at a press conference held a City Hall with Mayor Annise Parker, Governor Perry and other government officials in attendance. The purpose of the press conference was to announce the name change for Houston Rescue and Restore and to highlight the United Against Human Trafficking logo. The government officials were there to raise awareness about human trafficking and to call on the public to be attentive and report suspicions to the national hotline. Bill boards with the new logo and calling attention to human trafficking are displayed across Texas.