A trip to India in 2005 inspired founder Shannon Keith to begin an innovative business venture to create lasting impact for survivors and those at high risk of sex trafficking.
The previous year, Shannon had returned from a trip to India where she heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to have a choice.
She returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. Together, they looked for groups in India that were compelled to have a positive impact and help women looking for a way out of the Red Light Districts. The team knew that safe, steady and living-wage employment would be a pathway to freedom and offer choices for women and their families.
“Live what you believe in.”
“Be free. Be pure. Be whole.”
“Be open, with great love.”
“Love in action.”
“Love is the deepest story.”
In 2007, a friend saw a man leave two girls on a road near Hyderabad. When he confronted him, the father told him that he was from a poor village and could no longer provide for his five children. He wanted to leave them on the streets of Hyderabad hoping they could beg and find some food to survive. Astonished and unsure what to do, the friend brought the two girls to Saji and Cynthia John. While we had no infrastructure, funding, or staff to take care of these girls, we knew that if they were left on the streets of Hyderabad, they would soon be trafficked. This was the beginning of John Foundation.
What began with two girls has grown into a large organization that today aims to rescue vulnerable children and young girls from being trafficked, and provide them with a sustainable alternative through good quality education and employable skill training. Over the years, children and women from various at-risk backgrounds including – orphan and semi orphans, children rescued from trafficking, single mothers and widows, girls rescued from temple prostitution, children affected by HIV/AIDS and children from low – income families – have undergone a wide range of education and skill training programs at John Foundation
Molly’s passion for social justice combined with more than twenty years’ experience in Marketing Communications, both in the corporate world and nonprofit sector, drew her instantly to Sudara. Taking concept, to strategy, to measurable execution is Molly’s favorite recipe for meaningful impact, and it was immediately apparent that Sudara was a perfect fit with its tireless effort to achieve global gender equity as a certified Benefit Corporation. She wanted to be part of the change.
A life-long philanthropist, Molly’s draw to help others began with volunteer work as a crime victim advocate for the Deputy District Attorney’s office where she counseled and guided victims who were ordered to testify in court. Her commitment to understanding human behavior is what drew Molly to the marketing communications world, and joining Microsoft Corporation’s disaster response program fueled her ‘give back’ nature, where she oversaw deployment of communications systems during large-scale natural disasters, and was the recipient of Microsoft Operations’ Innovation Hero award. Most recently, Head of Marketing for a global nonprofit organization with a mission to eliminate corneal blindness, Molly co-led immersion trips to Asia that raised significant funds for the cause and built global awareness and advocacy. She has authored a number of speeches and industry publications for known media outlets
With her deep-rooted experience in marketing, communications, public relations, and strategic development, Molly oversees all things marketing for Sudara. Her commitment is to connect with and compel others to join the mission to eliminate human trafficking as we all lift society as a whole.
Hi, I‘m Isabelle!
Being raised in both the United States and Haiti has become the foundation of my passion in helping and empowering others. The best part of my job as a Program and Research Manager is being able to use data and anecdotes from our centers to visually see and share the positive impact Sudara has for the women we serve in India. I am a firm believer that storytelling alongside clean data is increasing positive impact across the globe, and constantly inspires me to share Sudara’s story and mission to everyone I meet.
As for my spare time, I absolutely love learning… so you will always find me learning something new, it may be taking data analysis classes, or learning about how and why cultures are the way they are or the foundations of social economics. Another fun fact… I collect books I find inspiring for fun, traveling makes my soul happy and video games are my zen… basically I am proud nerd at heart.
Hello I’m Matt
I live in the rolling coastal hills of California with my wonderful family. I am thankful to be a part of this amazing Sudara team.
I help forward our mission as the associate director of the non-profit Sudara Freedom Fund. We invest in training, housing, education and children safe houses for Indian women. I administrate our banking, bill payments, donor contact, customer relations management, letter writing, website, partnerships, travel, donor house parties, strategy planning and more.
In my spare time I can be found playing games with my 2 sons, swimming, reading, playing music, making musical instruments and volunteering.
A trip to India, in 2005, inspired Shannon to take action and begin an innovative business venture. Her drive to disrupt the social enterprise space and create lasting impact for survivors and those at high risk of sex trafficking led her to found and cultivate Sudara – a certified Benefit Corporation.
Having previously spent ten successful years in corporate sales, Shannon was primed to redirect her business prowess to Sudara’s cause. Since founding Sudara, Shannon has received multiple accolades and rewards for her groundbreaking conscious approach to business ventures. She has been honored as a Social Impact Winner at Oregon’s largest Angel investing conference, BVC, won female Entrepreneur of the year in 2017, spoke at TEDx, and was a Top 25 SheEO World Venture Finalist, in addition to being featured in The Good Trade, Conscious Magazine, Real Simple, Forbes and more. Shannon is a sought-after national speaker delivering key notes and panel discussion on topics like economic development for women, how to use social business to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and why investing in women is a game changer, plus many other topics in the social business arena.
Shannon created Sudara with a mission rooted in job creation and freedom-filled choice for women who want to escape sex slavery. Over the past fifteen years, Shannon has taken the organization far and wide. On its current trajectory, Shanon leads Sudara’s vision from the position of founder and chairwoman. Her responsibilities include analyzing systemic issues, evaluating and forming strategic partnerships, and positioning Sudara as a leader in the social innovation space.
Hey there, I’m Glenn!
I was born and raised in Southern California and grew up with a deep passion for making a difference and helping others make a difference as well. I love that our approach at Sudara is not simply charity but instead a thoughtful strategy to empower women to choose their own hopeful future by providing them access to employment and training. When people purchase a Sudara product, women (and their families) are set free to pursue their own future. In my free time, I love surfing and tennis and helping raise my two wonderful nephews in our non-traditional family.