Biography of Lisa Williams
Lisa Williams founded Living Water for Girls and Living Water Learning Resource Center, as programs of Circle of Friends, a non-profit organization, with the mission to rescue, rehabilitate and restore girls and young women survivors of violence and human sex trafficking. This visionary organization provides a safe space for survivors to heal from traumatic life events, pursue educational endeavors, and acquire life skills that will allow them to have a healthy, selfsufficient future.
While holding the title of Executive Director for seven years, Ms. Williams received no salary for spending more than 60 hours a week, which is 21,000 volunteer hours, working to rescue and restore the lives of American girls and young women victimized in the commercial sex trafficking industry. With a team of 108 volunteers and five staff members, she uses her passion to evoke change by raising close to $2 million dollars in grassroots efforts to solicit supporters to sustain what the FBI called, “one of the most comprehensive rehabilitative programs for child victims of sex trafficking in the country,” Living Water for Girls.
Lisa has helped connect leadership in the Department of Homeland Security – Center for Faithbased & Neighborhood Partnerships (a center of the White House Office of Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships) with faith-based and non-profit organizations in communities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought her expertise, and having spoken at more than 100 houses of worship and organizations annually, Lisa has become one of the most recognized voices for children and young women of abuse and sex trafficking in America.
Lisa is a Porsche Driving Force Award Winner, a Ford Motor Company ‘Ford Freedom Unsung Award’ Winner, a recipient of The Woman of Worth by L’Oreal Paris Award, and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Proclamation from the City of Atlanta, Variety Power of Women Honor, Hollywood, CA, an Essence magazine profile and the 2014 President Volunteer Service Award. She has also been profiled on CNN and the BBC. In April 2015, Lisa and several of the girls, young women, and their mothers, whose lives she has helped transform, will be featured along with others in an upcoming CNN documentary on Human Sex Trafficking in Atlanta. Acclaimed actor and activist Jada Pinkett Smith host the CNN documentary.
In 2013, Lisa spoke at the United Nations 57th Commission on the Status of Women on the topic The Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. Lisa also spoke at the White House on the topic Eradicating Modern Day Slavery.
Lisa is a former United States commissioned military officer, an Auburn Seminary Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle Fellow-Graduate, a Leadership Atlanta alumni, and the author of the best-selling book, Beautiful Layers: Stories from those who survived the life of prostitution & child sexual exploitation.
Lisa is the wife to her best friend of 27 years, and the mother of biological and adopted children. She lives on a small farm in Georgia and thanks God continuously for “this good life,” as she works to pursue a better quality of life for others.