Lois Lee

M.A., Sociology, 1977

Lois Lee

Dr. Lois Lee is founder and president of Children of the Night, the first established and only comprehensive anti-sex trafficking program in North America. Her organization has rescued over 10,000 American children from prostitution in the United States, which is more children than all of the other sex trafficking programs combined.

As a result of Lee’s efforts, police departments now treat America’s child prostitutes as victims instead of criminals and juvenile courts divert these children to shelters, foster homes, and treatment programs rather than detention. The U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies have developed tough laws against pimping and pandering and have developed sex trafficking task forces across the country.

In 2012, Lee forged a relationship with backpage.com in an effort to rescue even more children from prostitution by advertising Children of the Night’s Nationwide Hotline among escort advertisers. In response, traffic on the Children of the Night website went from 7,000 to 30,000 hits per month and the hotline continues to provide lifesaving work to both adults and children who want to escape prostitution.

Lee has received countless awards for her humanitarian work, most notably the prestigious President’s Volunteer Action Award, presented to her by President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1984. She also received the 1994 National Caring Award, and her permanent memorial portrait hangs in the Frederick Douglass Museum and Hall of Fame for Caring Americans in Washington, D.C.