Celia Williamson is a professor at the University of Toledo in the Social Work Department. She has been funded for the last 10 years to conduct research in the area of prostitution and human trafficking. She’s published over 20 articles on human trafficking and vulnerable women and has provided data that has been used by the State of Ohio to pass the last two anti-trafficking laws. In 1993, she founded the Second Chance Program that continues to work with victims of sex trafficking and prostituted women in Toledo. This program won a national FBI award for service to victims.
As an activist and community organizer, Dr. Williamson and her team founded and hosts the oldest human trafficking conference in the nation held at the University of Toledo. The conference brings academics, activists, and survivors together to learn, collaborate, and work toward ending human trafficking in our lifetime. Dr. Williamson is the President of a National Research Consortium made up of scholars from the across the U.S. who do focused work in the area of human trafficking and vulnerable women. Finally in Toledo, Dr. Williamson chairs the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition to remove barriers and enable systems to better work together to respond to human trafficking in our community.
James and Tomi Allison
James Allison, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, IU Bloomington, served in the military and as a flight instructor for the Wabash Valley Soaring Association. Tomi Allison was Mayor of Bloomington, IN from 1983-1995, was twice named Sagamore of the Wabash and is a member of the Monroe County Hall of Fame. Tomi and Jim are Life Members of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, which exposed the history and impact of corporate power and "personhood." Jim's play, "The Prosecution of Judge Waite," has been widely performed. A shortened film version will be shown, to be followed by a Q & A session.
Ernest Coverson has devoted his professional and political career to the fight for civil and human rights of marginalized people around the world. He has spent 15 years working in domestic and international advocacy with expertise in political campaigning, social justice and community organizing.
Ernest joined Amnesty International USA in 2010 as Regional Field Organizer for the Midwest Region, where he is responsible for the training, organizing and mobilization of the volunteer member force within seven states. Prior to joining Amnesty International USA, Ernest served as Regional Director for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Kristin S. Garvey
Kristin Svyantek Garvey became Executive Director of the Indiana Commission for Women in July 2008. Before this appointment, she was in operations, government relations, and information technology—including coordination of visits for leaders from more than 70 countries. She was named a Hoosier Fellow in 2010, and participated in Central Indiana’s United Way Executive Women’s Leadership Series and the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service and Ardath Burkhart Leadership Programs.
She is President of the Board of Directors of Indiana’s Council on World Affairs and Vice President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW), earned a B.A. in International Studies and French from Butler University and an M.S. from Indiana Tech/Ft. Wayne with an M.S. in Organizational Leadership. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Neil, and their two children, John Michael and Cora.
David Grant grew up in Michigan, moving to Indiana to earn a B.S. in Religious Studies in 2003. He has worked in communications, student ministries, church worship, and technology assistance. He joined the Destiny Rescue USA team in April 2012, feeling compelled to take a more active role after a trip to Cambodia and Thailand. He and his wife together share this passion. They rescue and care for girls who have been forced, lured, or sold into the sex trade and work to prevent human trafficking.
David’s technical experience in music, video, graphics, web development and communication contribute to the efforts of Destiny Rescue as they rescue more children. The team has recently announced development of its United States initiative—Tracking Response Units (TRU), with David as development director. This resource highlights real-life stories of trafficking and calls for a stand against this evil in our world. David and Destiny Rescue want to spur formation of community groups around the United States to take action and utilize Destiny Rescue resources to make a difference in the lives of these victims of human trafficking.
Sharon has spent most of her career in public service with state government. Prior to joining the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute she served as the Director of the Indiana Commission for Women and earlier, as the Director of the Indiana Workforce Development’s Workforce Transition Unit. Throughout her career with state government Sharon has worked on issues that impact women; job loss, mid-career transition, wage equity, economic security, and domestic and sexual violence. She has been awarded the Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Award for Outstanding Advocacy and Community Work in Ending Sexual Violence. Sharon is currently serving as the State President of AAUW.
Brian Philps serves as the Special Projects and Business Development Manager for the Real Estate Department of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Brian is responsible for promoting IHCDA’s affordable housing products and assists with funding recommendations for IHCDA’s allocations of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-D), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Affordable Housing and Community Development Fund (AHCDF). Brian currently holds certifications in housing development and economic development from the National Development Council.
Robert Naiman: "From Pakistan to Terre Haute: we can do something about the drone strike policy"
Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy. Mr. Naiman edits the Just Foreign Policy news summary and writes on U.S. foreign policy at Huffington Post. He is President of the Board of Truthout. Naiman has worked as a policy analyst and researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
He has master’s degrees in economics and mathematics from the University of Illinois and has studied and worked in the Middle East.
A.J. Segneri is an activist, community organizer, political campaigner, and social entrepreneur for over 12 years. From fighting on issues ranging from social justice to the environment to third parties having ballot access and everything in between. Some of his highlighted work has been getting gay marriage passed in the Iowa, dropping a banner during the Illinois General Assembly voting session, opening the second tavern cooperative in the country (first one in the Midwest), and organized efforts during the Wisconsin strike in 2010.
Along with his work he has presented at various conferences, conventions, statewide meeting, and related events regarding how to organize and campaign, plus leadership and organizational development. Segneri is also a writing contributor for the Independent Voter Network, Red Star Rising, and Whiteout Press. He operates his own non-profit organization, Foundation for a United Front, where he is the Executive Director that has both a Springfield (IL) and Chicago location, plus he is the Co-Chair on the Steering Committee for the Green Party for the United States.
Destiny McKillop and Taylor Zoleske
Do The Right Thing: Ethical Dilemmas
A collection of real-life scenarios, each presenting an ethical dilemma for exploration. Solutions to life's problems are not always obvious. It is in those gray areas of daily living where we make decision based on our ethics. Ethics refers to standards of conduct which indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues arising from principles about right and wrong. As a result of this exploration, people will learn to recognize and apply ethical values in their own lives. Destiny McKillop and Taylor Zoleske are students at North Vigo High School and have been actively involved in Amnesty International for years.
Eva Sanchez, Fernanda Sanchez, Ann Girresch and Stuart Mora
Eva Sanchez with her daughter, Fernanda Sanchez: Indianapolis has become a destination for conventions and special events. Even so, a majority of workers in the city’s hotels earned only the made minimum wage, were subject to wage theft, heavy workloads, and abusive treatment from management. Recently, these workers have begun to stand up and speak for themselves and their families, led by inspirational women from different backgrounds. This session will highlight stories from this struggle — including the victories we have won and the long road ahead as we fight to turn the city’s hospitality into good jobs with decent wages, manageable workloads, and a voice in the workplace.
Ann Girresch and Stuart Mora: This organization serves as launching pad for community organizing efforts, safe space for the homeless, and escape for progressive-minded students seeking connection outside the “bubble” of college life. Working on the house and garden, praying and meditating, sharing meals, and planning the next action makes the Catholic Worker a space to live out the Gospels in the simple (and radical) way of Christ’s teaching. This session will address the struggle to live intentionally and in community in our fast-paced, tech-driven, consumerist society.
Vanessa Granger-Belcher, Michelle Bond, Dana Edwardson, Kayla Spalding
Dana Edwardson (not pictured) is a first year student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program at ISU. She has presented at the Indiana Counseling Association conference on Human Trafficking and plans to travel to South East Asia to participate in a research program about Human trafficking.
Michelle Bond (pictured) is a first year Clinical Mental Health Counseling student in Indiana State University’s Master’s program. She graduated from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI in 2012 with a dual Bachelor’s in Psychology/Behavioral Sciences and Art Therapy. In May, she will be attending the ISU study abroad trip to Cambodia and Thailand to work with victims of human trafficking.