By Rhea Riley
This week on There’s Always Something to Talk About, Host Faithe Colas welcomed CEO of Foundations for Freedom and local humanitarian Dana World-Patterson.
During her visit World-Patterson discussed her heroic work within the community on fighting against sex trafficking and encouraging the practice of etiquette and manners.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, World-Patterson grew up on N 15th Street and W Keefe Avenue and attended John Muller middle school. She later graduated from John Marshall high school in 1980. It was during this time she realized her calling to be “her best self”.
“Honestly in high school I just couldn’t wait to be grown,” said World-Patterson on her academic experience.
Throughout high school World-Patterson faced challenges dealing with other females and yearned to reach the maturity that comes with adulthood, but instead learned a valuable lesson. “It was through this process I learned that people are people no matter wherever you go, and you just have to learn to be your best.”
After graduating college World-Patterson received a contract at the local YMCA where she began her business, Visions Etiquette and Image Consulting.
“You can’t have private manners and public manners, what you work on in private is who you are,” said World-Patterson. “Be your best in private and it’s natural in public.”
It was through this business World-Patterson recognized the lack of education in etiquette and the need for proper manners for youth in the community. World-Patterson also attributes her passion for her business to the love to be one’s best self.
“I love it more today than I did then,” said World-Patterson on the influence of manners and self-love from her business. “I see how much of a difference it can make in an individual’s life.”
Both Colas and World-Patterson remarked on the impact of manners within their own childhood, each referencing moments of kindness. For Colas it is handing out an umbrella to those struggling in the rain, while World-Patterson remembered assisting a family with a ride home, each an act brought on by their early exposure to learning proper manners.
Through her work, World-Patterson later began to notice an anger in females, which sparked a concern for sexual abuse and human trafficking.
After a series of meetings, the County Human Trafficking Task Force was formed and later evolved into the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee, in which World-Patterson was appointed Chairman. The public service focuses on creating a local response to human trafficking, while concentrating on public knowledge, service, education, and legislation.
World-Patterson realized a growing level of pain and anger amongst young females while working within the program.
“Out of 15 girls in a circle, when I asked them who had been touched inappropriately 14 girls had raised their hands,” said
World-Patterson on her visit to a local high school. “It was a cry for help.”
World-Patterson recalled that most of the females who acted out were often subjects of sexual abuse from close male relatives. She even recounted her own personal past of being sexual abused by a neighbor. She elaborated on how that experience allowed her to work with others who’ve shared similar encounters.
“I forgot, it went into the low recesses of my mind that my neighbor had me on my knees in front of him.” Said World-Patterson, “Now I am able to say to another person, I am here without judgment, I get it and if you will allow me I can help you.”
World-Patterson now uses her practices from her etiquette and image training to strengthen and empower young females by encouraging self-esteem.
Most recently the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee assisted in finding a local 16-year-old who had been reported missing for two weeks.
“We have to be good neighbors, nosey neighbors,” said Colas in response to community outreach. “This is the thing that helps makes Milwaukee a good place and a better place.”
World-Patterson addressed the importance of having the community involved with rescuing and stopping sex trafficking, stating that sharing social media posts, handing out flyers, making calls, and knocking on doors are all helpful.
World-Patterson said, “It is a community effort, no one would want their child to be missing.”
Milwaukee is currently nicknamed the “Harvard of Pimp School.” World-Patterson hopes to deter this title with her work within the task force and Foundations for Freedom.
The interview also addressed the importance of PTSD and aftercare when rescuing those from sex trafficking. Now, World-Patterson is the CEO of Foundations of Freedom, which encourages the strengthening women and girls and eradicating human trafficking.
“As we stay clear with our mission, with compassion and love that is our thread, with no judgment, we do what it takes to move a victim through survival to thriving.” Said World-Patterson on the process of rehabilitating victims.
The program also defines the significant difference from those who are sex workers versus those who are being sex trafficked and educating females on their freedoms.
World-Patterson also partakes as an assistant minster at World Outreach Center. The Center will be partnering with various organizations, including Salvation Army to host the 12th Summer Milwaukee Give event. Individuals from the church and the community are encouraged to donate usable items, for those in need to who can come and shop for free. The event will be held on the center grounds, Saturday July 28th from 10am – 2pm.