Allies Against Slavery

Combating Human Trafficking with Data: Lighthouse as a National Human Trafficking Data Platform

Allies Against Slavery builds platforms and partnerships that accelerate data-driven solutions to human trafficking. They believe in a future where every community has the data they need to make victims visible and prevent human trafficking. Allies focuses on scaling their Lighthouse platform nationally to help identify victims, coordinate care, and understand trends in data.

With Dr. Bouché and AnnieCannons, another GrantTank recipient, Allies Against Slavery and their experienced team leaders will integrate data from over 2,000 federal cases with the data in Lighthouse, producing new analyses, insights, and research for Lighthouse users and the public.

Becoming a GrantTank recipient enables Allies Against Slavery to broaden their reach and impact in the United States. With increased funding, their innovative software, Lighthouse, will better educate direct service providers of the need in their area, inform nonprofits of surrounding services for increased collaboration, and improve overall understanding of the domestic human trafficking crisis, so we might be better equipped to fight it.

Allies Against Slavery 2023 GrantTank Recipient The Jensen Project

Lighthouse securely aggregates and dynamically visualizes over 10 million data items from a dozen sources, including service provider outcomes, victim screenings, law enforcement data, national hotline data, illicit massage business data, and publicly available socio-economic data. Over 190 organizations and 1,800 field professionals across Texas and Louisiana use Lighthouse to identify victims of human trafficking, coordinate victim care, better understand patterns of human trafficking, evaluate programs and investments, and make more informed decisions. Together, those users have completed over 110,000 screenings for sex trafficking across both states.

Dr. Bouché created (HTD) to provide a fully open-source, searchable web application for federally prosecuted human trafficking cases across the United States. The database houses over 2,000 federally prosecuted cases of human trafficking between 2000-2020, with over 3,000 defendants across these cases. Users can search for cases, access data narratives and visualizations, and read explanatory notes to showcase patterns in the data. 

The database takes formerly unstructured sources of human trafficking data—federal court records—and turns them into structured data to enhance insights about trafficking and increase prosecutions of traffickers. In addition, Dr. Bouche has a dataset of over 15 different legislative provisions across all 50 U.S. states from 2003-2019 on human trafficking that will also be integrated into Lighthouse.

What We Loved about Allies Against Slavery

Our decision about Allies ultimately came down to their existing partnerships and research, our trust in the people who were leading the initiative, their proximity to a population that could especially use their help, their thriving company culture, and their organization’s stability and forethought.

We loved how much they were already collaborating with other nonprofits in this field. Collaboration is so important to The Jensen Project. They came to the table already collaborating with Annie Cannons, a trusted GrantTank partner of ours, as well as Dr. Vanessa Bouché, local to the DFW area, who has her own track record of research, data, and long-term partnership of The Jensen Project. They all were already working together and then seeking additional partnerships to maintain that collaborative effort.

It’s not just the program; it’s the people.

Becky, the Chief Product Officer, comes from IBM, and having someone on your team with that background and knowledge is helpful to steer the team. She can explain what their app is and what the rest of the team can do with it. It was helpful to have an expert explain the product and built trust for the longevity of the product.

John, Founder and CEO, has been a loyal advocate of the movement for over a decade. Starting with Allies in the very beginning and seeing it grow to the scale it is today is an amazing accomplishment. John’s tenacity to create change and empower team members and community members to steward their natural talents towards a greater good is apparent in the culture. 

When we opened a technology category for GrantTank 2023, this is the type of organization we hoped to learn about. We were impressed with how a technology company could impact what moves the needle for survivors when they aren’t in direct services.

Allies Against Slavery has a convincing plan for sustainability; they have really thought about their future, and they know how they are going to maintain their team and Lighthouse for years to come.

Funding from The Jensen Project will help integrate other databases into Lighthouse to create a robust national data dashboard, collect new federal case data, create a public website to showcase that data, and use Lighthouse to publish relevant research for the field.

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What is GrantTank?

A yearly grant program, funding up to $2 Million to advance economic empowerment and housing opportunities for agencies who serve adult female survivors of human trafficking.