Rescuing Lives: Battling Sex Trafficking and Empowering Communities with Daphna Ziman – Founder of Children Uniting Nations


In this interview, Alan Olsen will discuss with Daphna Ziman about rescuing lives: battling sex trafficking and empowering communities.  Daphna is the founder of Children Uniting Nations.


Alan Olsen

Hi, this is Alan Olsen and welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Daphna Ziman. Daphna welcome to today’s show.

Daphna Ziman

Oh, it’s so wonderful to be here with you, Alan, thank you so much for inviting me

Alan Olsen

thank you, Daphna, you have an incredible background of a lot of things that you’ve done in life. And for the listeners here, can you can you walk us through your pathway of what brought you up to where you are today?

Daphna Ziman

Well, first of all, when I was six years old, my grandfather gave me this statue of liberty, little statue as my birthday present. And he said, Go to this country, because in this country, there’s freedom of thought.

This freedom of a being, there’s freedom in everything you do, and anyone can become president. And so my dream was always to be here to be an American, you know, and I was born in Israel, which is a very free thinking country.

And a country that’s very innovative. And it was very exciting to me to always sort of look at America as the mecca of communication, and wanting to be a part of it.

Because I feel that communication and storytelling is really a mirror to our culture at every particular moment. So, you know, I came here when I was really young. And but I was living in Europe as well.

And I started the record company called unicorn records and SST records, we were the first punk and new wave record company in the world. And I was very, very young.

And a, it was really an interesting reality to enter the United States, in a sort of, by confronting the music industry and confronting society towards thinking about individualism.

And even then that was really my passion is to not follow to create a way to get people to think differently. And at that time, it was in music. So obviously, because punk music was so controversial, we created a lot of noise.

And therefore, it kind of brought me into the forefront of the entertainment industry. But after a while, repeating the same thing over and over again, was not something I wanted to do.

Because basically, once you have success, everybody around you wants you to repeat the same formula. And so basically, you’re just creating a method to develop the bottom line, but not really develop your own growth.

And I didn’t want to do that. And so I went to film school, I actually got into the extension classes at UCLA at first and started really delving into film. And what makes film great, and it was so interesting.

Because at the time, my professor was Irving Kushner, who did the Empire Strikes Back and Isaac lamas.

And I felt so privileged to have him as my teacher, and my professor, but at the same time, he used to beat me up a lot, because I would come up with a script that I thought was wonderful. And he would say, He’s talking to the audience.

Your sentences are too long, nobody speaks like that. And so I really learned the hard way as to how I needed to communicate, for the media in order to be able to be a really good writer.

But what he also did for me, is he developed he helped me develop this passion for creating worlds and living vicariously through other characters.

And so that was really an amazing foundation because since then, I’ve written a book called The gray zone, gra white, the gray zone. And that got on the New York Times bestsellers list and I won best new novelist in the country.

And you know, I’ve done a lot in the entertainment industry, but I launched because you know, prior to the law of cinema. I was married, and my former husband and I developed a REITs, which is a real estate investment trust.

And it was very, very successful called out and Realty. And when we sold it at two, GE was the first time that I actually watched television for a long time. And what I saw on television was very disturbing to me.

Because I saw women being personified in, you know, such a negative way, either sex objects or loud mouths.

But it wasn’t something that I felt was appropriate in, when you’re actually working within the mecca of communication, you have to uplift the image of women, because those are the mothers and the daughters and the sisters.

And so I decided to launch a television network called cinema to meet the interests and the passions of women to start off with, and partnered up with a gentleman by the name of rod Sherwood, who was then one of the founding members of DirecTV.

And literally, when we launched, we launched it with vintage to modern movies, we basically made, we were the only television network that was showing high fashion content, in that there was another network called Fashion TV.

Which was very much in the gutter, it was a you know, it was not conducive to elevating the image of women. And so cinema became this kind of, you know, center of glamour and, and curation and integrity and beauty.

And that, to me, meant so much, because I wanted women to reach up and see themselves for the beautiful human beings they are.

And today, I’m really, really concerned because we men have been sexualizing their bodies, through injections in their rears, and removing ribs from their waist.

And, you know, all of that look is so sexualized, which really means that women don’t have confidence in themselves as they entered the world.

And they feel that the only way is by attracting men. And I think and they do, they think the way to attract men is to have this voluptuous, manufactured bodies.

But in fact, you’re selling yourself when you do that, you’re selling who you are, for the wrong reason, because you’re selling sex.

And so more than ever, I was determined to create more of an affinity to the beautiful you know, side of fashion, the fashion that is one of the universal languages because the universal language is basically fill fashion art and music.

And I felt that the universal language is a language on its own that needs to personify the common denominator between women and that women needed to have each other’s back. And that was the

Alan Olsen

the organization justice for women. You know, as you as you launch this out there, how did you get started? I mean, I heard the reasons why but how did this actually get going?

Daphna Ziman

The well it’s really an amazing story. It started with you know, every year I used to have because we I founded an organization called Children Uniting Nations.

And Children Uniting Nations was basically the thought and a strategy behind it was to introduce academic mentors, life skill mentors and educational mentors to children at risk.

Because all the research showed that if you have one caring adult, then a child who is at risk can actually thrive.

And these are children that are removed from their home for no fault of their own, and are stuck in a system the foster care system It continues to betray them. And they move from home to home and school to school.

And they don’t really have the foundation for a successful life. And that bothered me a great deal. But when one of the things that I did was every year, I would have a conference in the congressional auditorium.

And I would bring experts about sex trafficking, and try and educate our legislators, as to why this was a growing industry and a destructive industry, not only in terms of girls, but also families. And that that is the cancer of humanity today.

And so, you know, I thought I was doing a good job, but prints one bomb from the Democratic, the Democratic Republic of, of the Congress. He invited me to Kinshasa. And he said, I really want you to see the situation with your own eyes.

Will I was shocked. I was speechless, horrified, and shocked. I so a place that over 98% of the girls were being prostituted is the only way to eat. And I thought to myself at that moment, and all the girls were like, from age 6789 1011, horrific.

And I thought to myself, Oh, my God, we have now hit below the tipping point of humanity. Because when a girl has to sell her body, for $1, to eat, that’s when humanity has to stand up and be noticed, because that’s the lowest of the low.

And so I thought, Oh, my God, after I’ve seen this, what do I need to do? Because I can’t turn my back. Otherwise, what kind of a person am I?

You know, and I thought, Okay, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most profound organizations in the world.

In fact, actually, today I was speaking to UNICEF about it. But, you know, I’ve had such privilege of knowing these major organizations. And I thought no one can do this alone.

But if we can bring everybody together and think of a strategy that actually has an essence of sustainability, then we can make a huge difference.

So we decided to bring water and power to the remote villages, where there was selling their daughters in order to survive and eat. And I found one of the partners that we partnered up with is innovation, Africa.

It’s an Israeli charitable organization. And they put up Israel puts up with their technology, water towers, they there’s water all under Africa, either 100 feet down, 200 feet down, whatever it is, and it’s powered by a very special technology, of solar power.

So you take a village of three to 10,000 Girls, and all of a sudden they have water and power. And then you train them and you pay to train them to be irrigators or farmers or whatever, so that they can stop being sex workers.

And now they have sustainability. They can be a part of an industry and agricultural micro economy, and they can feed their families, and they can have access to sell in the marketplace.

And beat by beat you can see a growth of human energy, human respect, human togetherness, because there is an excitement when all of a sudden, you become an entity that gives you self respect. You know, how justice for women was born?

Alan Olsen

I love this now, last week, I understand your Washington DC testifying or Yes, yeah. And what was the what was the outcome with that? What were you setting up?

Daphna Ziman

We actually went in there to have a conversation And I’m in a hearing room with many dignitaries and representatives of other countries and in representative of the Congress and the Senate.

And the it’s because Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Marsha Blackburn have created a legislation in support of eradicating sex trafficking, and so has Senator Sanders and Senator rush for the international side of sex trafficking.

So this was something extremely important to bring a lot of attention to what is being done, but to also educate our legislators in terms of the reality.

What I was just telling you, I don’t think anyone understood the vast reality of what’s happening around the world in sex trafficking.

Alan Olsen

There is a huge undercurrent with this right now. Definitely. How do people get involved with this? How can they be involved with justice for women, and

Daphna Ziman

oh, well, you can go on justice for women And you can either donate we need money desperately, it costs us just under $100,000. To build a water tower powered by solar power, that saves the lives of 1000s.

You can either donate whatever you can, or there’s a button you push, if you want to be a volunteer, and you want to be involved. Absolutely, we welcome this is not anything that any one of us can do alone.

We are creating a movement to be able to turn all these villages and Africa which suffering so much into an agricultural economy. Because the one thing Elon did nobody is thinking about is they think we have all the time in the world we do not.

We are 8 billion people now we have resources for billions of people are going to die from lack of food. Look how many homeless we have right here. This is hitting home, people can’t think it’s happening elsewhere.

We have water issues right here. We have food issues, because we have been a serve the economy.

This inflation only occurred because we’re using this habitual strategy of raising interest rate, which is hurting the population more instead of being productive creating products, which is what we’re asking Africa to do create products.

Because when you can create competition in the market with products, the price goes down, inflation goes down. It’s only one plus one equals two.

And when you have legislators like Amy Klobuchar, like Marsha Blackburn like Menendez, like Senator Menendez, like am Senator rush, DOS, DOS, let, because I understand what we’re talking about.

And they know the heat, what is the one thing that’s being overlooked human capital, instead of destroying human capital, it’s telling them they die.

Because then, you know, when the goal is a sex worker, their expected life is no more than three years from there. Because there’s an epidemic of AIDS again, there’s an epidemic of gonorrhea, you name it, you know, they can’t survive.

But if we turn them to human capital that can produce we have value, we are increasing the value of human capital, which is the one resource we keep the meaning

Alan Olsen

after I I applaud what you’re doing, you know, and also, the sex trafficking is taking away the real power of the woman has the mothers of the world and holding societies together with families and, and thank you, thank you for everything you’re doing.

And there’s, you know, there’s people that have come on the show before they’re the engaged with what you’re doing in the justice for women. Thank you. I appreciate you being with us today, here on American Dreams. And after

Daphna Ziman

once again, if a person wants to reach out for justice for women, how would they go ahead and do that? Please go on our site which is justice for women, I n t

And just either becoming involved, push the button and say you want to be involved here house parties where we can educate people donate, whatever it is we have people, we have surrogates that are wanting to educate the world as to how to eradicate sex trafficking

And how to grow into a global family. Be a part of the movement.

Alan Olsen

Thank you. Appreciate you being with us today here on American dream.

Daphna Ziman

Thank you so much.


Curtesy of Alan Olsen’s

Sponsored by:

    Daphna Ziman on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Daphna Ziman

    Daphna Ziman, is the President and Co-Chairman of Cinémoi, a network devoted to film, fashion, and lifestyle. She is also the founder of a music label, a movie writer and director, an author and a philanthropist, known internationally and in the Halls of Power in Washington, D.C. for her work on behalf of at-risk and foster children.

    Cinémoi is an elegant channel tailored for discerning viewers and recognized for its high- quality eclectic array of classic and contemporary curated movies and documentaries and its glamorous coverage of top worldwide film festivals and Fashion Weeks.

    In 2011, Ms. Ziman’s first novel, The Gray Zone, inspired by her

    own experience adopting a daughter she rescued from a homeless shelter, was a New York Times Bestseller, and it will soon be turned into a major motion picture. Now she

    has completed two more books: The Man with the Gold and a poetry book called Beyond the Veil of Humanity.

    Formerly, Ziman was President of Edwards Entertainment International, an independent film and television production company, and wrote and directed the movie, Footsteps, which stars Maria Conchita Alonso and debuted on Showtime. Ms. Ziman also was President of the U.S. Film Distribution Company of British & Continental and was an in-house Producer at CBS.

    Away from the office, her passion is helping at-risk and foster youth. She is the founder and emeritus chairperson of Children Uniting Nations, a charity that provides foster children with devoted non-paid mentors, and successfully lobbied to amend the Family Preservation Act, ensuring the safety of children returning home after foster care. She also started an initiative to eradicate sex trafficking globally called Justice for Women and with that, building a village called Every Girl’s Village for girls that have been sex trafficked which will allow them to build a real life and be safe without having to experience violence against them.

    Ms. Ziman also serves on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Institute International, is a Chairperson of ABC LOVE (Adoption Brings Children Love), and has been the recipient of many honors, including: The Jacqueline Kennedy Award by JFK University; the Women of Achievement Award by the North American Council for Adoptable Children; the Uniting Children of the World Award by the Child Welfare League of America; the 2011 Community Hero Award by the Dreamland Foundation; the 2010 Soromundi (Sisters of the World Award) by the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles; the 2007 Blue Skies Award by Penny Lane Center; the 2006 Spirit of Life Award by LA’s City of Hope; the 2002 Spirit of Compassion Award, presented by Aviva Family and Children Services; and the 1999 Peace & Tolerance Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Advocacy.

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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