Vanessa Russell

Vanessa Russell

Founder and Executive Director of Love Never Fails

Vanessa Russell has developed children in dance, teaching hundreds, ages 3-25, lyrical, flags, hip hop, and mime since 2000. In 2010 one of her 15-year-old dance students was sold into human trafficking. Although she was eventually located and is now being restored, Vanessa encountered many others who, like her student, were US-born women, men, and children trapped in modern-day slavery.

Her response was to launch Love Never Fails, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring, educating, and protecting those involved or at risk of becoming involved in domestic human trafficking. Love Never Fails has educated thousands of children and community members on the issue of human trafficking, opened seven homes that provide long-term safe housing and restorative services for over 200+ women, men, youth, and children impacted by human trafficking and launched an IT Academy connecting under-served community members with financially sustainable careers. Vanessa believes that the issue of human trafficking can be solved through love expressed in prayer, safe housing, mentoring, job training, outreach, and education.

Vanessa also worked for 23 years in leading technology and sales organizations in the IT industry. She retired from Cisco Systems in January 2019 to lead Love Never Fails full-time. Her professional hope is to inspire and motivate people to develop businesses and themselves. She and her husband, Pastor Timothy Russell, are blessed to have seven children and five grandchildren.

Vanessa graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Information Systems Management and is currently enrolled at the California Southern University pursuing a Master's/Doctorate in Psychology. She is a sought-out keynote speaker, a Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems for Peralta Colleges, a Vistage Worldwide Professional Speaker, a Pastor with the International Foursquare Gospel (ICFG), where she co-leads the national Anti-Trafficking Causes Network, and published author of the Fight For Love workbook. Vanessa sits on the Contra Costa County Family Justice Center Board (Board of Directors – Family Justice Center (cocofamilyjustice.org) ), East Bay Interagency Council, and Thrivent Financial Pacific Sierra Board (About Thrivent Financial | Thrivent Member Network). She chairs Oakland's Violence Prevention Coalition (oaklandvpc.org).

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