Speaker and Advocate
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 leads 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 is the founder and Executive Director of Project iRISE, a not-for-profit organization that provides innovative, skills & leadership development programs & opportunities for survivors of human trafficking and those at risk. She sits on multiple boards and advisory committees for expertise on human trafficking and child exploitation. She 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 has travelled extensively throughout Canada and the United States for speaking engagements at high schools, universities, faith groups, conferences, professional groups and events, to educate and bring awareness in the fight against human trafficking.
Rhonelle provides consultancy to corporations, NGO's, government agencies, non-profits, and advisory committees. Her expertise includes the design and implementation of culturally relevant, evidence-based and trauma-informed services for women, youth and those from diverse and racialized backgrounds.
Rhonelle sits on multiple boards, advisory committees, and works alongside local and federal leadership to help inform policy and legislation on human trafficking. 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.