Felicia's background in Political Science and International Relations led her to the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served as a Legislative Aide for the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. During that time Ohio passed its first human trafficking legislation in Ohio - House Bill 262. She also spent time in Calcutta, India with Free-Set - an organization that employs trafficking survivors. Her time there birthed a passion to develop social enterprises that help eradicate modern day slavery.
Stephanie's background is in Global Women's Health and Activism at the Ohio State University and her experience at The University of Arts London at the London College of Fashion. Unchained merges her two passions - to set women free by using fashion & to tell stories of hope.
UNCHAINED is a Columbus, OH based 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking through education and awareness. UNCHAINED was co-founded by Stephanie Catani and Felicia Kalan and currently has a staff of five part-time employees, four board members and relies on hundreds of student and community volunteers that serve as models, makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, graphic artists, designers and many others.
UNCHAINED seeks to empower audiences & youth with the knowledge of human trafficking and ways to report and combat the crime by performing the UNCHAINED fashion show. We firmly believe that if one life can be saved through the efforts of educating youth through our fashion show, then our work is worth it.
We empower high schools, universities, community organizations and businesses to produce a fashion show that tells the story of a human trafficking survivor through garments designed by Season 5 Project Runway designer Korto Momolu, music, and narration. The goal of the fashion show is to increase awareness of human trafficking both locally and globally and to empower models, volunteers and attendees with the necessary education, training and tools to identify and report the crime, and to join the abolitionist movement with UNCHAINED. We seek to create cultural shifts within schools that will teach students to encourage and empower one another and become a part of a movement, leading to fundamental attitude shifts that will create positive change and enhance self-worth and self-esteem in young girls.
UNCHAINED is in the process of developing a curriculum called, #Itendswithme, that would be accessible to the public to train individuals on how to identify and eradiate human trafficking using personal resources, gifts and talents.
UNCHAINED administers a Survivor Scholarship Fund awarded to survivors of human trafficking that have completed the CATCH program and would like to further their education. UNCHAINED developed a relationship with a corporation that will begin selling bracelets in stores and proceeds will go toward the UNCHAINED Survivor Scholarship Fund. The first scholarship will be awarded in Spring of 2016.
Human Trafficking is defined as when an individual is coerced or forced into sex or labor and is an estimated 32 billion dollar industry. Children under the age of 18 are the largest group of trafficking victims, with the largest amount being between the ages of 11 & 14. Recent estimates sight the number of people enslaved today is approximately 27 million.