Robin Newman is the creator of Say NO More, a card game used to introduce the subject of human trafficking to adolescent girls. This game was developed in the Design for Social Innovation course at the School for Visual Arts and won a $20,000 Sappi Ideas Matter grant in August 2014. - Emily Pasnak-Lapchick is the Program Officer for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's End Trafficking project, an initiative to raise awareness about the trafficking of children. She has spoken at the United Nations, on CNN international, and at international conferences. Emily was also a lead manager for GIFT box USA, an interactive public art piece that sought to raise awareness of the human trafficking abuses surrounding the 2014 super bowl. - Lauren Burke is the executive director and cofounder of Atlas DIY, a cooperative empowerment group for immigrant youth and their allies. Burke has a background in law. In 2009 she worked at The Door with Chinese adolescent victims of labor trafficking. In 2011 she developed an in-house immigration law practice at the New York Asian Women's Center for survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Burke has been named one of Huffington Post's new abolitionists. - Kim Purcell is the author of the novel Trafficked, which follows the story of a young girl, Hannah, through her of being trafficked from Moldova to Los Angeles to be a nanny. This novel was nominated for the Teen Choice Book of the Year Award in 2013. Twenty percent of the proceeds form Trafficked go to help vulnerable teens and children around the world. Kim has lead numerous youth writing workshops at schools and universities around the country and she is very excited to run a social justice writing workshop at the conference! - Janai Smith is the youth outreach manager at ECPAT-USA, the leading anti-trafficking organization that seeks to end sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. She organized and lead the first EPCAT end trafficking hackathon, an event that enabled high school students to use technology as a tool for education an awareness promotion. - Juhu Thukral, Esq., is a leading advocate on the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ people in the areas of sexual health and rights, gender-based violence, economic opportunity, and criminal justice. She is a founder of numerous ventures supporting women and LGBTQ people, and has been recognized as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century (2012) by Women’s eNews, a 2013 Trailblazer by Re:Gender, and an Everyday Shero by NAPAWF. Juhu was also selected to give the inaugural talk for the Anita Hill Lecture Series. Juhu is the Director of Law and Advocacy at The Opportunity Agenda, where she is on the senior management team and leads strategic communications and policy initiatives on economic, immigrant, and gender and sexuality concerns. Prior to this, Juhu was the founder and Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where she continues to act as a Senior Advisor. She founded the Sex Workers Project in 2001, after recognizing the strong need for an organization that protects the legal and human rights of sex workers. Juhu is also a founding Steering Committee member of the NY Anti-Trafficking Network. In 2010, she co-founded the NYC Women’s Salon. - Su-Young Jung is a Queens Site Manager at New York Asian Women's Center. Since she joined the agency in 2012, Su Young has been working with survivors of violence, including human trafficking, to regain their freedom and recover from trauma. Founded in 1982, the New York Asian Women's Center helps women and their children overcome domestic violence and other forms of abuse by empowering them to govern their own lives. The Center provides a safe haven through multi-lingual support programs and residential programs, while raising public awareness about violence against women, advocating for the rights of survivors, and acting as an agent of social change.
- Gabrielle Loccisano and Erika Pichardo are seniors at The College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY. Both are majoring in English and are active in society to spread the word of human trafficking. Gabrielle and Erika have attended several conferences as well presented in hopes of encouraging other to join the fight to stop human trafficking!
Dr. Lisa C. Ruchti is a feminist sociologist of gender in the Departments of Women’s and Gender Studies and Anthropology and Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. For over twenty years, Dr. Ruchti has studied, applied, and taught intersectionality theory as it relates to trafficking, care work, sexual harassment and immigration. In 2013, Dr. Ruchti’s chapter “Fear, Fraud, and Frank Complexities: The Influence of Gender on Human Trafficking” was published in the book, Human Trafficking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Routledge). Dr. Ruchti’s own book,Catheters, Slurs, and Pickup Lines: Professional Intimacy in Hospital Nursing (2012, Temple University Press) uses intersectionality to introduce the concept “professional intimacy” to demonstrate how nurses negotiate care as part of social and economic life and how “being caring” changes according to the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality. Dr. Ruchti’s current ethnographic research studies the experiences of women of color college students to explain both their success in college and the obstacles they may face. - Dhakir Warren is currently Demand Abolition’s Senior Social Innovation Manager,where he forges strong partnerships across multiple sectors to bring meaningful learning, training, and collaboration to the CEASE Network Cities and broader Communities of Practice. Dhakir returned home to Boston from Los Angeles, where he spent the last year working on the development and pilot of Markham Summer Camp in Watts. Dedicated to serving under resourced youth residing in housing developments in South Central Los Angeles, Markham Summer Camp focuses on reducing engagement in at-risk behaviors by this vulnerable youth population through the delivery of summer activities focused on providing positive youth development opportunities, academic enrichment, and mental health and wellness support. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Dhakir served as the Managing Director of Youth Design Boston, a nonprofit that provides creative urban youth with educational pathways to the design industry through education and paid summer jobs. Dhakir attended Wheaton College and graduated with a bachelor of arts in international relations. Upon graduation, Dhakir attended Tufts University’s MAT graduate program, after which he spent three years working as a high school humanities teacher in the Boston Public School system. Dhakir took a leap into the world of marketing when he joined the public relations department at Waltham-based Constant Contact. Dhakir is a strategic thinker and visionary who brings a broad range of skills to his role.