Keynote Speakers

THERESA FLORES

Human Trafficking Survivor, Best Selling Author, Victim’s Advocate,
Founder of S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution), Consultant

BIOGRAPHY:
Ms. Flores is the Prevention Education Specialist for Gracehaven and has been a licensed Social Worker for over twenty years. She received a Master’s in Counseling Education from University of Dayton and a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Ball State University.

Ms. Flores was appointed to the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission in 2009 and has testified before the Ohio House and Senate in supports of Human Trafficking Legislation. Her efforts were a major part of the success of these bills being passed into laws. Additionally, the “Theresa Flores Law” was passed in Michigan that eliminates the statute of limitation for children who have been trafficked.

Flores is a survivor of domestic child sex trafficking and was sold in an underground crime ring in an upper middle class suburb outside Detroit from the time she was 15-17 years old. She now works with other survivors and is the Assistant Investigator with Global Centurion researching the mental and physical health problems of over 200 domestic trafficking survivors. The study entitled, “The Health Consequences of HumanTrafficking” will provide best practices and systemic recommendations for health care providers.

She has received many awards including the University of Dayton’s Alumni Association 2013 Christian Service Award for her work with S.O.A.P. In January 2012 at the State of the State Address, Ms. Flores received The Courage Award from Ohio Governor Kasich for her work in human trafficking.

Ms. Flores was featured by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum in a traveling exhibit entitled, Invisible Slavery and has published four books, “The Sacred Bath” and “The Slave Across the Street” (in the UK and US) and “Slavery in the Land of the Free- a Student’s Guide to Modern Day Slavery”. The audio version of her memoir was nominated for The 2011 Audie Award, being in the top 5 of all memoirs and biographies and also has been on the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Seller list for e-books several times.

Ms. Flores was the featured in a short documentary, “The Girl Next Door”, which has won many awards at film festivals all across the U.S. Her story has been seen on The Today Show, MSNBC: “Sex Slaves-The Teen Trade”, the 700 Club, CNN/HLN, Glenn Beck’s “For the Record” as well as many local and national radio shows. Her national rescue mission- S.O.A.P. has been featured on Dateline, Nightline and America’s Most Wanted.

PLENARY SESSION TOPIC(S):
Closing Plenary Panel: Marissa Furnanz, Lisa Thompson, Donna Hughes, Theresa Flores
Exploitation by any other name is still exploitation
Some national and international human rights organizations are recommending decriminalization of prostitution under the guise of better protecting “sex workers.”. This model originated in the Netherlands in 2000. Since then, minor and adult sex trafficking, along with related crimes have increased, leading Palmiotto, (2015) to say that legalization of prostitution has failed, leading to additional exploitation. So, what is the answer?

TRICIA GRANT

New England Survivor Leadership Collaborative

BIOGRAPHY:
Tricia Grant is a survivor of sex trafficking who now educates youth and adults in large group and one-on-one settings about the dangers and realities of human trafficking.  Having been trafficked at a popular restaurant in Auburn, Maine when she was 15 and living on her own with her little boy, Tricia has been able to connect deeply with at-risk youth and encourage victims of trafficking and sexual abuse as they move forward in their healing process. She shares her story with the hope that it will help others understand that trafficking can happen to anyone anywhere, and prevent victims from waiting 16 years to talk about it, as she did.

PLENARY SESSION TOPIC(S):
Survivor Story: Owning my Path
I’ve lived out and seen so many of my survivor sisters and brothers live out one of my favorite phrases: “Beauty for Ashes”. Knowing we live in a broken world and painful things happen, Our Father uses the pain that brokenness causes for His glory. Are you able to see our Father God at work in the brokenness?

Closing Survivor Panel: Selina Wildes, Sydney Nastasi, Tricia Grant
Practical Prevention
While educating about trafficking is helpful, it will never be enough to prevent human trafficking. Wherever there are vulnerable people, there will be those looking to exploit them for a profit. Where can the Church step in to better assess and respond to vulnerabilities in a practical way that lessens risk factors?

DONNA HUGHES, Ph.D

Professor in Gender & Women’s Studies,
Sociology & Anthropology (Criminology & Criminal Justice),
Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies,
University of Rhode Island

BIOGRAPHY:
Dr. Hughes researches human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, and violence against women. She teaches courses on human trafficking, sexual violence, and international women’s issues.

Dr. Hughes was awarded the University of Rhode Island Research Council Annual Research Award (2010) and her students won the University of Rhode Island Undergraduate Research Award in the Social Sciences and Humanities (2015). Hughes has won the Josephine Butler Award for “challenging the status quo and creating new abolitionist policy or approach to sex trafficking in the United States” (2010).

Dr. Hughes founded a new online, open access, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal entitled Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence. It will begin publishing later this year.

Dr. Hughes is interested in research, teaching and publishing. She is looking for partner(s) to research sexual violence against women and sex trafficking. She does extensive online teaching and is interesting if finding colleagues who are interested in exploring joint teaching projects. She currently has a Fulbright Scholar from India working with her for the 2015-2016 academic year. She is interested in additional student and faculty exchanges. Dr. Hughes is also interested in pursuing open access scholarly publishing projects.

 PLENARY SESSION TOPIC(S):
Closing Plenary Panel: Marissa Furnanz, Lisa Thompson, Donna Hughes, Theresa Flores
Exploitation by any other name is still exploitation
Some national and international human rights organizations are recommending decriminalization of prostitution under the guise of better protecting “sex workers.”. This model originated in the Netherlands in 2000. Since then, minor and adult sex trafficking, along with related crimes have increased, leading Palmiotto, (2015) to say that legalization of prostitution has failed, leading to additional exploitation. So, what is the answer?

NIC MCKINLEY

Former CIA Operative
Executive Director, DeliverFund

BIOGRAPHY:
Nic spent 11 years in US Special Operations as an Air Force Pararescueman prior to being recruited to the Central Intelligence Agency. Within the CIA, Nic served as an Operative and Country Chief for a Special Unit, and witnessed not only the epidemic of child trafficking within illicit markets, but also the unrealized opportunity to apply his understanding and training to influence this global crisis.

DeliverFund disrupts global Human Trafficking Markets by combining uniquely qualified personnel with the best technologies, and then leveraging them in new ways to reach and rescue the victims of human trafficking. They measure their success by the analytical and surveillance data they acquire leading to traffickers, the identification of traffickers and trafficking networks, the number of arrests made by law enforcement as a result of the data they provide, and the number of victims impacted.

PLENARY SESSION TOPIC(S):
Set the Captives Free
The original meaning of “redemption” pertained to purchasing the freedom of a slave. As the Church, we need to do just that for those trapped in the modern day slave trade.

LISA L. THOMPSON

Vice President and Director of Education and Outreach,
National Center on Sexual Exploitation

BIOGRAPHY:
As Vice President and Director of Education and Outreach for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Lisa oversees strategic planning for increased public understanding of sexual exploitation. She conducts analysis, develops research initiatives, and liaises with public officials, non-profit organizations, and academics to combat the full spectrum of sexual exploitation, pornography, stripping, prostitution, sexual trafficking, sexual assault, etc.

Lisa joins NCOSE following two years with World Hope International where as Director of Anti-Trafficking, Lisa oversaw sex trafficking recovery programs in Cambodia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Lisa is a contributing author to Hands that Heal: International Curriculum for Caregivers of Trafficking Survivors, as well as the book Global Perspectives on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: Europe Latin America, North America, and Global. Lisa also routinely speaks/trains about commercial sexual exploitation for a diverse range of audiences. Lisa served for more than 12 years as the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters.

Lisa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Government from Western Kentucky University, and her Master’s degree in Leadership, Public Policy and Social Issues from Union Institute and University.

PLENARY SESSION TOPIC(S):
Closing Plenary Panel: Marissa Furnanz, Lisa Thompson, Donna Hughes, Theresa Flores
Exploitation by any other name is still exploitation
Some national and international human rights organizations are recommending decriminalization of prostitution under the guise of better protecting “sex workers.”. This model originated in the Netherlands in 2000. Since then, minor and adult sex trafficking, along with related crimes have increased, leading Palmiotto, (2015) to say that legalization of prostitution has failed, leading to additional exploitation. So, what is the answer?