Children’s Rescue Alliance (CRA) is our parent company.
Founded nine years ago as a private organization, its mission is three-fold: 1. Facilitate the rescue of American children who have been taken for human trafficking 2. Education & Prevention 3. Public Policy & Advocacy. CRA became a nonprofit 501c3 several years ago.
All of us at CRA will continue to do what we do, “Until they all come home”
“Insquequo they totus adveho domus”
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Children's Defense Alliance (CDA) is the educational division of CRA.
CDA's mission is to educate and bring awareness to the American public about the atrocities that are happening right here, in the United States.
CDA's mission includes:
CDA has robust educational programs for children ages 4 to 18, college students, parents, educators, counselors and clergy. The educational programs are age specific. The programs teach "Awareness, Prevention, Evasion and Self-Protection." They also includes our trademark "Color Code of Awareness." There is a hands-on training at the end of each program taught in person.
American children are disappearing at an alarming rate. They are being stalked – their every movement tracked-for days, weeks, sometimes months. Then, when one least expects it, they are gone. They have vanished into the ether – to never be seen or heard from again.
CDA's vision is to combine the facilitation of rescues with awareness and education to help prevent these abductions from ever taking place. Once a child is abducted from the U.S., the ability to locate the child and bring them home becomes a very arduous and near impossible task. Many of the countries where these children are taken, have little or no laws about human trafficking. Those countries, and even many with solid human trafficking laws on the books, are reluctant to divert scarce resources to locate and rescue an American child. Further, similar to the global illicit drug trade, the billions of human trafficking dollars have a pervasive corrupting influence on these agencies. This renders indigenous law enforcement agencies ineffective at best, if not aggressively hostile to the rescue of a child.
Therefore, Awareness and Education becomes a necessary tool for even the youngest American.
It is the goal of CDA to provide the tools for families to stay safe.
Over the past 4 years, CDA has expanded its reach to providing programs on an international scale. This was no small task, as each country and region has very distinct issues and protocols. In third world countries there is no 9-1-1. In many instances there are no phones and law enforcement is a long way away. Thus, education and training have to be tailored to each environment. CDA continues to provide new programs for areas in desperate need. CDA works with local translators to insure that the programs translate well to the native language. CDA also provides all of the resources and teaching materials so that these programs can be taught by local educators and civic leaders.
Founder / CEO
Alex brings thirty-two years of working as an advocate for survivors of violence. She began this effort in 1982 in New York City. Comprehensively trained in peer counseling, legal advocacy and case and crisis management, Ms. Riggs has worked at various rape and domestic violence shelters throughout the United States, Asia & Africa.
Alex also volunteers for Search and Rescue (serving in both the Katrina and Ike disasters), Red Cross, C.E.R.T., and FEMA. In addition, her expertise as an IS specialist made her ideally qualified to work in dangerous, remote "hot spots" in over 50 countries on five continents.
In 2010, while traveling internationally, Alex literally stumbled upon a small child who had been kidnapped in the United States for the purpose of human trafficking. Filled with outrage, she formed a group of similarly enlightened individuals who dedicated themselves to both educate and end child trafficking in the United States.
Frank J. Taboada serves as General Counsel overseeing legal affairs from contracts to compliance.
He founded Taboada Rochlin Govier LLP's Los Angeles Office, where he serves as Partner, and has extensive experience providing legal and business advice to a variety of companies in all stages of development. His clients are business leaders in multiple industries from technology and entertainment to manufacturing, financial services and national defense.
Prior to his career as an attorney, he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1985, his naval career included two tours of duty at the height of the Cold War. He tracked Soviet Union submarines as Mission Commander of a P-3 Orion aircrew and served as an Analysis and Intelligence Officer in an Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1996.
Director of Marketing & Media
Dr. Talia Witkowski is formally trained as a Clinical Psychologist with an emphasis on Critical Incident Response.
Over the past decade, Talia has integrated psychology with marketing and development. In 2015 she founded Mavericks Digital Management – a digital strategy firm, focused on servicing the needs of communities, professionals and businesses not receiving the information and services they needed in the marketplace from existing companies.
Talia has focused on the development and integration of algorithms to support social media and to aid her clients in achieving their online potential.
She currently splits her time between the United States and the Dominican Republic, where she is the acting Sony Music Latin Representative.
Director of Business Development
Phil has been in the sales/marketing and logistic business for over 25 years.
He started his career as a commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He transitioned into civilian life via the Telecommunications Industry.
As an entrepreneur, Phil specialized in the government bid process, GSA scheduling as well as working through the procurement process for government contracts.
In the logistics arena, he specialized in transportation and coordination for Maritime operations. He was one of the logistic contractors to move the Concorde on water to its final resting place at the Intrepid Museum in New York.
Over the past several years, Phil has turned his attention to creating applications for the marketing and sales of new technology. Phil currently heads our educational program initiative -- providing educational services and programs, stateside as well as internationally.
Director of Education / Speaker
Wendy has over 14+ years award-winning Training Development, Coaching, Facilitation and Program/Project Management experience for Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (WBEI) and other organizations.
She has helped present over 300 workshops for Children’s Defense Alliance (CDA).
Her employment / clients include WBEI, Los Angeles Superior Court, America Online (AOL), DC Comics, Home Box Office (HBO), and Employment Development Department.
Wendy is CPR certified, trained in Search and Rescue, and was the prior Safety Floor Warden for 65+ employees.
Ms. Flood passionately educates and motivates students of all ages, with high-value, interactive workshops. Her enthusiasm is contagious and reflected in her favorable reviews as a Public Speaker for events with 1 to 500+ attendees.
Athena attends programs taught by our CEO, Alex Riggs.
She is a 7 year old German Shepherd that also works within CRA (Search & Rescue).
She was trained in advanced protection at the world-famous Canine facility -- WOLFGANG German K-9 EXPERT., by Wolfgang Radar.
CDA receives many calls requesting Athena. She attends the majority of presentations, classes, workshops and speaking engagements with Alex Riggs.
Athena does not have her own email account, but can be reached through Alex. Many of the young children who attend the programs send her artwork and notes. :) (through their teachers, parents or guardians).
While she does not like other dogs and tolerates adult humans, she loves children! She has trained and worked with children as young as toddlers.
She is also very experienced working with children with disabilities.
South Gate High School, CA
Alex Riggs presenting
"The mission of the Alliance should be every American's first priority. We applaud the Children's Rescue Alliance and the Defense Alliance, for their Patriotism, dedication and sacrifice.
Actions speak louder than words. This Mission is what we all want, what the children deserve and truly, what it means to be an American.
As a Cub Scout Leader, where a Committee of parents cannot decide on what to have for refreshments, the overwhelming positive response to the CDA program left me speechless.
As a parent, I feel so strongly about my kids being made aware that they have the ability to protect themselves when I cannot, that we're going back for more training from CDA."
- B.N. Cub Scout Leader, CA
"I am writing this letter on behalf of Children's Rescue Alliance, whom I heard speak at a Freedom Road of Malibu meeting, a local organization that focuses on education and advocacy regarding human trafficking.
I went with my 16 year-old daughter and a friend of hers. The three of us left the event with an enormous amount to talk about in regard to trafficking globally and locally.
While the information presented is certainly sobering, we also came away with a sense of comfort in our increased awareness and ideas for personal safety. The girls were so impressed that they asked Children's Rescue Alliance to speak the following week at an event that they were hosting at their high school.
The heart of their message was Be Aware, Not Afraid. Their safety tips made a good impression on these high school students.
Children's Rescue alliance provides a valuable service by speaking with adolescents about personal awareness, maintaining a buddy system and speaking up when someone or something seems questionable. "
--Sincerely, J. Hirsch-Ettenger
"I would like to thank Wendy Flood and Toby Ball from Children’s Rescue Alliance (CDA) for the excellent presentation of “How to Be Your Own Super Hero” to our Kindergarten through 5th grade students.
The students effectively learned and have a better understanding of valuable tips about safety with strangers that they will be eager to put into good use.
The presentation was very clear, interactive, well-structured, and easy to understand. We could see the enthusiasm in the students’ eyes when they were fully engaged in the wonderful workshop. The information and methods to remain safe were very relevant and positive. The students answered questions as well as raised their own questions.
We commend you and the organization for your efforts to raise awareness about safety and for educating our youth about prevention to help keep them safe.
With best wishes for success in your future endeavors,"
Lina Arslanian, Principal
You helped me a great deal when my son went missing last May.
Frankly, you went above and beyond for a stranger (me), and I remain grateful beyond words."
"Our 6th and 7th graders had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Children's Rescue Alliance program.
The content was serious and informative without scaring the students. The practical safety tips were very simple, effective and easy to do.
The kids couldn't stop talking about what they learned and are looking forward to participating in other programs with the Children's Rescue Alliance."
--Kabbalah Children's Academy --KCA
"Time spent with your child is a precious commodity and I can't think of a more valuable return on an investment of time than the recent "Teen Safety Awareness" workshop, presented by Alex Riggs and Wendy Flood, with Children's Defense Alliance.
Truly an eye-opening learning experience, it illuminated us to some of the possible dangers which we face in our daily lives and offered us practical advice to take preventative measures to ensure our collective safety.
We have already put into motion some of the tips and techniques we learned at the event.. this should be a 'must-do' for anyone who has a child."
- Marc Ferrari
"The Children's Rescue Alliance did an amazing job hosting Ladies LA's June event.
They taught us the Color Code of Awareness, how to thwart off an attacker, and gave us tips for educating friends and family.
After a dynamic presentation by the founder and CEO, we got to practice self-defense maneuvers for the most likely points of attack for women.
After the presentation, I received feedback from many of our Ladies LA members that they felt empowered to protect themselves for the first time.
Since then, a few of us, myself included, have practiced with our spouses and friends and have encouraged them to learn more about the risks to loved ones.
I highly recommend this organization for anyone looking to host an empowering event!"
- Ladies LA
The South Operations Team wanted to take a minute to say Thank You for supporting our Principals on the April 30th Meeting at Legacy High School Complex.
Your presentation was phenomenal!
You presented, on a very sensitive issue, in a way that was comfortable to our principals, especially learning of this for the first time.
Your tone and calm demeanor fostered an environment that was open to learning and seeing how to best support our students in crisis. You did a fantastic job of raising awareness and for that we say Thank You.
You are truly a valuable resource and we look forward to working with you in the near future. All children need an Alex Riggs in their corner!!!!"
The South Operations Team
"We asked CRA to come and make a presentation at our church – we were so impressed with their vast range of information and ways to address issues of Human Trafficking.
We thank them very much for sharing with us their expertise regarding this issue and were blessed to have them with us that evening."
- Reverend Sandy Liddell
Malibu United Methodist Church
U.N. Delegate Alex Riggs Speaks Highly of L.A. County Library Partnership
For the past three years, L.A. County Library Youth Services has engaged the Children's Rescue Alliance (CRA) to provide Personal Safety Classes for youth in our community libraries. Recently, instructor (& CEO) Alex Riggs was appointed a U.N. Delegate for the Commission of the Status of Women, which is a huge honor. The focus of their panel this year was on human trafficking -- mainly women and children - a travesty happening worldwide.
During the main panel, "Learn How You Can Combat Human Trafficking by Intercepting Demand," participants stated that they desperately needed education for their children, but were afraid that their communities would reject or were not ready for such education. They stated that they wished there was a model for them to follow. Riggs stated, "I have thought for quite some time that the L..A. County Library System should be the model that the rest of the U.S. emulates." She spoke about the strength of CRA's partnership with L.A. County Library, its closest relationship over its past two and a half years. "L.A. County Library was very progressive from the get-go, knowing that the communities the libraries serve needed education -- not just on trafficking, but on safety -- for the whole family!"
Many of the panelists had questions for Riggs about how the CRA and Library had developed such a strong partnership. Riggs shared how the partnership was developed -- that the Library interviewed CRA rigorously on their programs and monitored the programs as they were implemented. CRA never deviates from the class curriculum that was approved. All instructors have had a vigorous background check that is rechecked twice a year. Open communication was stressed by both sides. Numerous librarians provided feedback before, during and after the classes. In addition to the "Be Your Own Super Hero" class for kids, which was adapted for the Library, the Adult 101 program for teens was developed specifically for the Library; it not only touches on safety and awareness but weaves real-life circumstances throughout the course that teens will eventually have to face (bullying, cyber-bullying, stalking, cyber-stalking, drug & alcohol misuse and suicide).
In addition to a strong planning process, CRA classes at Library locations are age appropriate, interactive, entertaining and take place in a safe environment. "We let kids and teens interact -- we do not talk at them, but with them." Riggs said. Providing safety and awareness to young children not only help them now, but will serve them throughout their lifetime. Riggs stated that the relationship with L.A. County Library is CRA's most precious. "They strive to provide continual education for their children and teens. they are unwavering in their commitment to their communities and we are blessed to be a small part of this achievement."