Free to Thrive

Free to thrive 1

Southwest Airlines has a long-standing commitment to being a good global citizen. Our Company recognizes the importance of being aware of societal issues impacting communities around the world, especially those directly related to the airline industry – including Human Trafficking. For years. Southwest Airlines has proudly supported multiple nonprofit organizations whose efforts help with the rescue, recovery and restoration of Human Trafficking survivors – including Free to Thrive. Part of Free to Thrive’s work is helping to prevent human trafficking and violence against women and girls and serves the legal needs of survivors of all forms of human trafficking. Together we will continue to advocate for an end to human trafficking.


Free to Thrive

What more can be done to help human trafficking survivors in San Diego?

When attorney Jamie Beck asked that question to individuals working to support survivors, she repeatedly heard the same answer: we need lawyers. “We all have a role to play in the fight against human trafficking,” Jamie says, and she knew hers.

Jamie began her anti-trafficking efforts as an active member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego – eventually serving as its president – by spearheading the creation of a Human Trafficking Collaborative (HTC) focused on three discrete needs: legal and community education, policy advocacy and survivor support. Jamie also began taking on pro bono cases while working full-time at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, the largest San Diego-based law firm. Through her volunteer and pro bono work, Jamie came to realize that she needed to do more. Thus, Free to Thrive was born, working to bring San Diego’s lawyers, law firms and law schools together to help address this serious need.

Free to Thrive values their clients’ well-being at the forefront of all their decisions; trauma-informed practices; a holistic approach to their clients’ complex challenges and strengths; and advocacy for justice on a broader scale. To execute these values, Free to Thrive works hand in hand with community organizations, law enforcement, government agencies, and law firms to ensure that human trafficking survivors can live the lives they always dreamed of living.

Free to Thrive offers survivors of human trafficking legal services in family law, criminal record clearing, and crime victim’s advocacy – free of charge. Free to Thrive also connects survivors with non-legal referrals and resources, including emergency resource assistance, mental health, family support, vocational and wellness programs. Additionally, Free to Thrive provides a variety of online and in person community awareness, legal and law enforcement trainings.

In a little over five years, Free to Thrive has had an incredible impact in the lives of human trafficking survivors. Since 2017, Free to Thrive has helped 244 survivors with 834 legal services and prevailed in eliminating 214 criminal records in five counties in California. Importantly, Free to Thrive has also helped survivors obtain 45 restraining orders, helped 33 survivors divorce their traffickers and helped 71 survivors gain or increase custody and visitation time with their children. Since 2020, Free to Thrive has helped educate 3,086 people, from over 32 states, through virtual trainings.

Free to Thrive’s successes go well beyond the survivors that they have helped directly. The success of Free to Thrive can also be seen by the policies that they have assisted in passing (AB 262 and AB 124), a new branch of Free to Thrive developing in Los Angeles, and the overwhelming support of the community, community partners and donors over the years.

Free to Thrive is incredibly grateful for the support of Southwest Airlines – their support speaks volumes about the importance of Free to Thrive’s mission. Without supporters like Southwest, Free to Thrive would not be able to help human trafficking survivors and their families reach the bright futures that they deserve.

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Esteban Villanueva