Jana Bommersbach is one of Arizona’s most acclaimed journalists. The Arizona Press Club honored her lifetime of achievement with its highest honor–The Distinguished Service Award. The Society of Professional Journalists inducted her into the ORDER OF THE SILVER KEY as an “inspiration to the state’s media community.” She has been Arizona Journalist of the Year and twice was recognized as the nation’s top city magazine columnist. Jana is also a communications expert who has won accolades in every phase of her career: journalist, author, broadcaster and speaker.
Jana’s two-year investigation into the world of sex trafficking for her book, thedeadgirlinthevacantlot, left her horrified. The FBI says 100,000 children a year are being sold as sex slaves the the United States of America. Congress says most of them were being sold on an internet site called Backpage.com. The compelling book takes readers inside this world in a very personal way – through teenagers forced into sex slavery; through a tenacious female reporter determined to save them, and through the men who sell them. Jana tells how it all came together – and what’s happening in the real world in real time – in a speech that informs, enlightens and awakens audiences to a problem most don’t even realize is in their own backyard.
Women are invisible in western history—their incredible accomplishments buried. History gorges itself on gunfighters and goons, but stays silent on heroic and hell-raising women. So Jana opened her mouth to tell their stories. North America’s first professional female athletes came out of the west; the first female politicians in the nation came out of the west; the first women with full voting rights came from the west—decades before the 19th Amendment. It’s time history was corrected and Jana’s the one to do it!
It’s almost a miracle that Arizona was admitted to the Union. Nobody wanted her. It wasn’t until February 14, 1912—50 years after Arizona was named a Territory—that she became the 48th and last contiguous state. There were some good reasons for that anguish and some disgusting excuses, just as today’s politics befuddle and disgust America time and again. Jana has covered Arizona politics for almost five decades, and has studied its earliest history to try and understand this wild and wicked place.