Speaker I Advocate I Consultant
Human Rights Advocate/ Motivational Speaker
“Resilience is my superpower” These are the words of Rhonelle Bruder, a formerly homeless youth, high school dropout, and survivor of child sex trafficking. Rhonelle’s story begins born into poverty in the Caribbean and adopted at three to a Canadian family. Growing up raised by a white family and "othered’ in her community, Rhonelle faced discrimination, bullying and suffered from depression and anxiety. All of which led to her running away at age 16 and began a path to sexual exploitation and abuse. Shortly after escaping this life, Rhonelle found herself pregnant and forced to raise her daughter as a single parent. Undeterred by these circumstances, and determined to rise, Rhonelle would complete her G.E.D and enter undergraduate studies. Today, Rhonelle holds both an Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration from New York City College of Technology and a Master of Science in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She has over ten years of experience working in health care, community outreach and the social service sector.
As an anti-trafficking expert and motivational speaker, Rhonelle has travelled extensively throughout North America, speaking on hundreds of stages and boardrooms, sharing her story of overcoming extreme adversity, and educating on human trafficking and gender-based violence prevention to the private and public sectors, government and educational institutions. Her “What is Sex Trafficking” educational video has been viewed almost 10,000 times and is used by law enforcement, education, child welfare services, and the hospitality industry as part of their anti-trafficking curriculum.
Rhonelle has appeared on many national and local media sources, including CBC, CP24, The Toronto Star, and Global News, the Toronto Sun, Newstalk 1010, and more.
Rhonelle is the Founder and Executive Director of Project iRISE, a survivor-led, community-based not-for-profit organization providing innovative skills & leadership development programs & opportunities for survivors of human trafficking and those at risk. That provides trauma-informed and culturally responsive anti-trafficking programming and educational training for survivors, youth, caregivers, service providers to educate and empower our community.