Picture via Shelly Slater
Amal Clooney took her first trip to Dallas to stand up for those sold into slavery throughout the world.
She spoke before a sold-out crowd at the annual New Friends New Life luncheon on Thursday at the Hilton Anatole.
The event raised more than $1 million for the anti-trafficking organization, which offers counseling, housing and other services to 1,400 formerly trafficked teens and women every year.
Amal Clooney discussed international human trafficking, crimes against journalists and how her passion makes her good at her job. The conversation was moderated by WFAA-TV (Channel 8) anchor Shelly Slater.
Though the conversation occasionally drifted to the topic of Clooney’s husband, actor George Clooney, she remained focused on the fact that 27 million people are enslaved throughout the world.
Clooney said that if nonprofits can make a difference to just one woman, the work is worth it.
“A lot I’m hearing about what New Friends New Life does is giving hope, bringing hope to them just to show you’re there,” she said. “It’s about being resilient and not giving up.”
Clooney said her passion motivates her work in human rights.
“The reason I’m doing the cases I do is because I’m emotional about them,” she said. “I don’t think a woman should apologize for that any more than a man should.”
Clooney said she doesn’t believe in starting a career with a long-term plan. It’s better to see where the work takes you, she said. But she praised a student from Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School for already knowing what she wants to do.
“I’ve offered her an internship just as soon as she gets her law degree,” Clooney joked.
The student, Samantha Casas, has worked on anti-trafficking projects and spoke before Clooney. Casas emphasized the importance of helping victims of sexual trafficking.
“Without an organization like New Friends New Life, they may never know what it means to be educated, to be loved, to be free,” said Casas, who wants to follow in Clooney’s footsteps.
Amal Clooney said knowledge about the issues is important, which is why she said she works so hard to free journalists imprisoned in countries with few free-speech protections.
“We need them to be able to tell us what’s happening in the world,” she said.
That information, Amal Clooney said, has kept her from supporting businesses or countries that allow slavery of women.
–> Source The Dallas Morning News
Amal Clooney quotes :
Her first trip to Texas was slightly more stressful.
“When I was coming here, I thought about my first-ever trip to Texas. It started when I first began working as a lawyer in New York … I got a call from the assigning partner who said, ‘Yeah, have you ever heard of Enron?’ The next day, my clients were on the front page of The New York Times, and I was working for the next two years in Houston. That was my introduction to Texas, so it’s nice being here in Dallas under much more pleasant and less stressful circumstances.”
Public life has changed dramatically since her high-profile wedding
Despite the luncheon’s heavy topic, Clooney spoke often with a sense of humor.
“As a barrister, sometimes here in America I am asked, ‘What’s it like working in the coffee industry?'”
She relayed stories then of living under an entirely new — and often bizarre — microscope. Like the snarky time Vanity Fair posted a photo of her wearing a traditional barrister’s wig next to George Washington and asked Who Wore It Best?
“Fortunately, I won … purely on the basis that I have better teeth,” she joked.
There has been a defining moment for her work.
When she was 24, she assisted Judge Patrick Robinson on trial against former president of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, who was accused of war crimes and genocide.
“It showed that no one is above the law, and since then, other heads of state have been brought to trial,” she said. “It set a new stage of international justice that hadn’t been met in 50 years.”
Her most dangerous work has been “worth it.”
Clooney discussed cases that took her on immensely dangerous journeys throughout highly insecure areas that required immense safety measures, but she says it is the “extraordinary survivors” there that drive her work.
“Around 2005, I was in Beirut in a compound with four check points and at the fourth, there was a massive crater the guard could climb into to inspect the undercarriage of vehicles for bombs,” she said, describing one of the most treacherous. “I was there for my 30th birthday and people would ask, ‘So, you left a job in a New York … in a law office … for this?'”
—> More quotes and source here
Part of the event was live on Periscope
Amal Clooney wore a blouse by
Carnegie Silk Blouse
available here at Saks Fith Avenue
Serge Straight-Leg Pants
Amal’s earrings by
Pictures The Dallas Morning News / Twitter