January 10, 2020  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: Media is encouraged to RSVP and provide names/contact information of reporters/photographers for credentials and pre-event and event interviews

Former victim of teenage sex trafficking Cyntoia Brown-Long, who spent 15 years in prison starting at the age of 16, and other inspiring speakers who will join Archbishop José H. Gomez at the sixth annual OneLife LA, on January 18, 2020, at Los Angeles Historic Park in downtown Los Angeles, will be available for pre-event phone and in-person interviews in English and Spanish, per request.

OneLife seeks to promote a culture of life, where every human life is dignified, especially the most vulnerable and underserved. The 2020 event will begin at noon with a walk led by Archbishop José H. Gomez from the birthplace of the city at Olvera Street to the new Los Angeles State Historic Park. It will include a roster of international and national voices sharing their personal and life-affirming stories.

Keynote speaker Cyntoia Brown-Long is an author, speaker, and advocate for criminal justice reform. Born to an alcoholic, teenage mother who was a victim of sex trafficking, Cyntoia experienced a sense of isolation, low self-esteem, and alienation that drove her straight into the hands of a predator. She also became a victim of sex trafficking and at the age of 16 was arrested for killing a man who had solicited her for sex. She was tried as an adult and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 51 years. In prison, Cyntoia’s life took a dramatic turn when the prison education principal took her under her wing and introduced her to a spiritual path. Her sentence was commuted by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and she was released from prison in Nashville, Tennesee, on August 7, 2019.

Other speakers and performers include:

  • Jess Echeverry, whose testimony includes dark times of physical and sexual violence, teenage pregnancy and years of on and off homelessness. She is the founder and Executive Director of SOFESA, a non-profit ministry that has been serving Southern California homeless and low-income children and their families since 1999.
  • Stephanie Gray is an international pro-life presenter from Vancouver, Canada, who has traveled the world speaking to medical, legal, political, and university audiences.  In 2017 she presented at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA, on the topic “Abortion: From Controversy to Civility.” The YouTube recording went viral and is part of the 200 popular uploads out of more than 4,000 “Talks at Google.” 
  • Daniel Ritchie is a speaker and an armless writer from Huntersville, NC. Daniel’s parents were told at his birth that he was ‘incompatible with life,’ but his parents refused to believe the naysayers, and now Daniel spends his life helping others see the beauty and dignity of their lives.
  • Noemi Amezcua has been a foster parent for the past 28 years together with her husband. They have adopted three foster children. As a foster care recruiter for FosterAll, she visits faith communities weekly and gives guidance and support to prospective foster parents.
  • Nancy Sanchez is a three-time award winning Jazz vocalist. As a natural singer and songwriter, born in Toluca, Mexico, then making her home in the United States as a young girl, her music is a reflection of both cultures. Her album “American Novio” was selected as NPR’s Alt. Latino’s Best of 2017.
  • Francis Cabildo is a singer-songwriter, worship leader and speaker from Southern California. He has served the Church as a youth minister, music minister, high school campus minister and inspiring speaker.
  • Gia Chacón is best known for her passionate speaking and empowering messages on living out one’s purpose. Currently, she sits as the Pro-Life Director of Bienvenido, an organization that promotes the values of faith, family, and freedom within the Hispanic community. Daily, she impacts culture through the media as “Genuinely Gia.”
  • Marcela Luevanos is a survivor of Route 91, the largest mass shooting in the U.S., which led her to advocate for mental health, on top of mentoring students, participating in toy drives, radio-thons, special city campaigns and speaking at leadership and empowerment events in LA. The Burbank native is a Los Angeles and national radio personality. In 2019 she launched her podcast “Y así las cosas, con Marcela Luevanos.”
  • JC Cuevas is a TV personality and a radio host specialized in Pop and Regional Mexican genres. For the last five years he has been the audio producer of commercials and the host of the weekend radio show “El Top Regional con JC Cuevas,” which airs in more than 50 stations in the U.S.
  • AJ Casillas is a Middle School Religion teacher in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. His love for the Church really took a turning point when he served as a missionary for NET Ministries (National Evangelization Teams) for 5 years, traveling across the country spreading the Gospel to the young people of America.

More information on speakers can be found here.

For OneLife LA updates, visit,,,, and follow #OneLifeLA.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit Follow us on social media using @LACatholics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Video archives and footage of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez are also available.