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sujatha baliga’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to crime survivors and people who’ve caused harm. A former victim advocate and public defender, sujatha was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008 which she used to launch a pre-charge restorative juvenile diversion program. Today, through the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice, she helps communities across the nation implement restorative justice alternatives to youth incarceration. She is also dedicated to using this approach to end child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. A frequent guest lecturer at universities and conferences, she speaks publicly and inside prisons about her own experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness. sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has held two federal district court clerkships. Her personal and research interests include the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, survivor-led movements, restorative justice’s potential impact on racial disparities in our justice system, and Buddhist notions of conflict transformation. She is a 2019 MacArthur Fellow. sujatha’s Buddhist practice undergirds her justice work. She makes her home in Berkeley, CA, with her partner of 22 years, Jason, and their 13-year-old child, Sathya.
Beth Bouchard is the associate director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. As the coordinator then manager the CAC’s SEEN (Support to End Exploitation Now) program, Beth has coordinated a collaborative, interagency response for over 700 at-risk and commercially sexually exploited youth. Working daily with the Boston Police Department Human Trafficking Unit, the Office of the Suffolk County District Attorney, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, juvenile justice providers, and community partners, Beth navigates state and local systems, provides training and outreach, and ensures that each child referred to SEEN receives a comprehensive, coordinated response. Her professional background includes advocacy, case management, and providing victims services to adult and child survivors of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and human trafficking, as well as undocumented and refugee populations.
Julie Brand holds a master’s degree in counseling and enjoyed a distinguished 25-year career as a school counselor. She uses her unique perspective as both counselor and survivor to speak about female sex offenders. Since 2006, she has educated and empowered audiences across the United States with her dynamic programs on mother-daughter sexual abuse, female teacher-student abuse, male survivors and recovery from childhood trauma. She authored A Mother’s Touch: Surviving Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse (2007) and testified in criminal court (2017) as an expert witness on maternal incest. In 2017, she introduced her newest workshop, “What About Our Boys? Understanding the Challenges Facing Male Victims of Sexual Abuse and Assault.” In 2018, she consulted with CIR in their development of a brochure entitled, “Considerations for Serving Male Victims of Sexual Assault and Abuse, A Resource for Service Providers,” as part of the Underserved Populations Training project. She is the recipient of the NCFM (National Coalition for Men) “2019 Award of Honor” for her child abuse work and advocacy for male victims. Julie’s upbeat presentations focus on the power of resiliency and healing in all of our lives.
Carol S. Brusca is a licensed marriage and family therapist and national wellness trainer and certified clinical trauma professional. Carol has a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations with an emphasis on terrorism. She is the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Mental Health Provider (MHP). As MHP, she supports staff who are exposed to child exploitation materials through training, resources, check-ins and brief therapy sessions. Carol enjoys teaching others about vicarious trauma, the benefits of wellness and the simple steps that can be taken to reduce stress and increase happiness and peace of mind. She trains law enforcement, other first responders, probation, and parole, advocates, therapists, across the country on vicarious trauma, resilience, wellness, and stress management. Carol has extensive experience teaching at the college level to both bachelor’s level and Graduate level students, in the human services and counseling areas. She is the clinical consultant for ABQ Heading Home Care Team and clinical outreach director for ABQ StreetConnect, an intensive street outreach team serving mentally ill adults living on the streets.
AnhDao Bui is the Social Services Director at the New Mexico Asian Family Center. She has been with the center since 2008. AnhDao was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S.A in 1990 and has seen firsthand the struggle her family went through. Since joining New Mexico Asian Family Center she has provided comprehensive case management in English and/or Vietnamese for adults, children, and adolescent victims/survivors of crime and their families to improve quality of life, help individuals realize their power, and maintain the highest possible ability to be self-sufficient within the community. She also works to advocate for services for the Pan-Asian community in New Mexico, a community that is often discriminated against because of their limited English proficiency. Finally, AnhDao trains and oversees all case managers and ensures that services align with agency programming and deliverables.
Carrie-Leigh Coultier has been CEO of the Chaves County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program for 32 years. Chaves County CASA serves over 2,500 abused and high-risk children annually in the following programs: Court Appointed Special Advocates, Supervised Visitation Center, Courthouse Dogs Program, Juvenile Court Advocacy, Alternative Education, Youth Leadership Program, Domestic Violence and Custody Advocacy, and Children’s Advocacy Centers, Family Resource Center and more. Carrie-Leigh is also a non-profit consultant, specializing in strategic planning and program evaluation. She loves travel, hiking with the dogs and teaching yoga.
Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW) founder and senior vice president of programming Jill Felice graduated from Bergen University in 1994 and founded ADW in 1995 placing dogs for people with mobility disabilities and medical conditions. In 2006, Jill began breeding and training dogs specifically for Courthouse Facility Dog placements—canines who work with legal professionals in the investigation and prosecution of crimes. In 2014, she placed the first Crisis Response Canines in the Office of Special Victims Assistance at FBI headquarters, where the dogs are part of a rapid deployment team for mass causality events. Very specialized breeding for health and temperament is at the forefront of the ADW canines in training, ensuring the qualities necessary for Courthouse Facility, EMT and Crisis Response. Jill is a proponent of relationship-based training techniques, which utilize positive reinforcement, to build positive working partnerships between handlers and their working dogs.
dream hampton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer from Detroit. Her most recent works include the Frameline feature documentary “Treasure” (2015) the HBO feature documentary, “It’s A Hard Truth Ain’t It, (2019), the BET docu-series “Finding Justice” (2019) and Lifetime’s Emmy nominated “Surviving R. Kelly” (2019), which broke ratings records and had wide and far-reaching impact. dream is the 2019 recipient of Ms. Foundation’s “Gloria” award and was named one of 2019 TIME 100’s most influential people in the world.
Claire Harwell is the legal director for the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. She designed and assisted with the implementation of professional and volunteer training curricula for sexual assault response coordinators and volunteer advocates in the U.S. Air Force worldwide. As a New Mexico licensed attorney, she maintained a specialized non-profit legal practice for five years providing legal advice exclusively to sexual assault survivors and rape crisis centers. She has written a training guide on mandated reporting of child abuse for New Mexico and leads ongoing professional development workshops on this topic. As the former national training director for the Victim Rights Law Center, she mentored a cadre of civil attorneys in the representation of sexual assault victims throughout the U.S. and in U.S. territories. The former division director for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Violence Against Women Office, and a former local prosecutor, she prosecuted a variety of high profile sex offenses that have been featured on “Arrest and Trial”, “Final Justice”, “20/20” and international news media.
Dr. Kiran Katira is an East-African, Asian woman, born in Kenya and raised in England. She received her Ph.D. in racial ideology through the department of Educational Thought and Socio-Cultural Studies at the University of New Mexico. For the past twenty years, she has worked with local community organizers and leaders through the University of New Mexico’s Community Engagement Center, where she facilitates the growth and development of diverse students who apprentice with strong community leaders. She is also a current NACA Inspired Schools Network Fellow. Kiran is on the advisory board for the Institute for the Study of Race and Social Justice, RWJF Center for Health Policy and she served as the inaugural chair for the Provost’s Diversity Council at UNM. She is on the governing boards for the NM Asian Family Center and Dorn Charter Community School. Kiran is a national trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, where she conducts undoing racism workshops across the nation. She also works with local community leaders to bring these workshops to students, staff, faculty and community members here in New Mexico. She also teaches university courses, which focus on anti-racist education, peace and justice, and critical multicultural education.
Dr. David Lisak is a forensic consultant who for three decades has studied the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence. His work has focused on the long-term effects of sexual abuse in men, the relationship between child abuse and violence, and the motives and characteristics of rapists. David received his Ph.D. from Duke University and for 23 years served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research has been published in leading scientific journals, and he was the founding editor of the journal, Psychology of Men and Masculinity. David has conducted workshops in all fifty states. He consults widely with universities, the four services of the U.S. Military, the Department of Defense, and other institutions regarding sexual assault, and frequently serves as an expert witness in homicide and sexual assault cases. Himself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, David founded the Bristlecone Project (www.bristleconeproject.org) and directed the documentary, The Bristlecone Project: Men Overcoming Sexual Abuse.
Donna Lucero is a native New Mexican, a UNM graduate (BA in psychology; minor in family studies; MA in counseling) with over 27 years of experience working with kids & families who have experienced trauma, mental health issues, poverty and adversity. Donna strongly believes in the critical nature of early development, healthy brain development, attachment and relationship for kids to grow into healthy, productive adults. She believes in the importance of family/community/social support, healthy relationships, movement, music, nature and activity, not only helping people heal, but eradicating violence and harm in our families and communities. Donna has extensive experience/training working from a trauma-informed lens, and as the previous clinical director and current training institute and High Fidelity Wraparound director of All Faiths, strives to assure exemplary quality of care to the clients served from a trauma-sensitive perspective. Training is based on the most relevant research in the areas of brain development, the impact of trauma and strategies and resources to facilitate healing, mastery and integration over trauma. Donna also has extensive training in early childhood development and various intervention models including the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics; Attachment, Regulation and Competence; Practice Self-Regulation, Circle of Security; Nurtured Heart; Nurturing Parenting and Brain Gym.
Desiree F. Magsombol JD, (she/her/siya) is a Certified Facilitator of The Resilience Toolkit. Working with, living in, and being a part of communities with high levels of stress and trauma and limited access to mainstream tools, Desiree is committed to making multi-modality tools of resilience accessible to all individuals, organizations, and communities. Desiree began her advocacy career as a law clerk at Legal Services for Prisoners with Children where she worked with incarcerated survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Her personal experiences with violence and love for community, led her to advocacy work with foster youth in residential care, LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, and incarcerated survivors of sexual violence. For six years, she provided training and technical assistance, developed policy, protocol, and programming for prison, jail, juvenile facility, and sexual assault agency staff across the US and in Indian Country to address sexual abuse behind bars. At Lumos, Desiree creates space for individual and organizational clients to explore their needs and co-create partnerships so they can accomplish their goals in healthy and sustainable ways. She facilitates community workshops, provides consultation, subject matter expertise, training, program design and delivery for organizations about growing resilience, stress and burnout management, and trauma-informed approaches.
Jose Maresma has been a practicing exercise physiologist for 30 years. He has worked with the Olympic Training Center, NFL, NBA, NHL, US Ski Team, US Special Forces, Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers and many other individuals and teams. After 15 years of focusing on the physical aspects of performance, he realized that the mind and emotional mindset was the foundation of performance outcomes. He also realized that the toughest playing field was life. This sparked his desire to help those outside of professional athletics and the military come closer to their potential by addressing how the mind and our emotional state are huge influencers on the daily decisions we make and the relationship we have with ourselves and others that are so critical to our success and happiness. He also understands that our biology plays a vast role in our emotional state. Jose still works with elite athletes and military, and now also works with families, organizations, incarcerated youth, ER doctors, CEO’s and anyone looking to find their best. Jose discovered that his WHY was to help others come closer to their potential.
Det. Brian Martin has been a police officer for 25 years, of which eight were as a lead homicide detective and the last two years as the lead cold-case detective. Brian has been a member of the F.B.I. Northeast Indiana Bank Robbery Task Force for the past eight years as well. Prior to his current assignment, he worked undercover narcotics for approximately 10 years. He also helped form the Clandestine Laboratory team and lead this team for two years. Brian has been a member of the Fort Wayne Police Department Emergency Services Team for the past 16 years, serving several years as an assistant squad leader. He also worked a temporary duty assignment with the F.B.I. Safe Streets Task Force, with a focus on narcotics and violent street gangs. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana State University.
In 2006, Linda Milanesi began her career with Assistance Dogs of the West when she apprenticed to become an instructor/trainer in the school programs. She served as vice president of ADW’s Board of Directors until 2011, when she was named ADW’s executive director. Linda oversees a whole-systems team approach for ADW. She supervises and manages policy and procedure, advocacy, board relations, finance, development and grant-writing. She is responsible for creating and nurturing donor and foundation relations and earned income projects. She produces the annual graduation ceremony celebrating the dogs that have been successfully trained for client placements and facility placements. Prior to Santa Fe, she lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and worked in Philadelphia and New York City.
Krysta Montez is a New Mexico native born and raised in Las Cruces. She began her career in 2014 at New Mexico State University where she worked tirelessly to conduct childhood lead poising prevention campaigns and addressed multiple public health issues impacting Southern New Mexico’s rural communities. Krysta is passionate about providing education around public health issues, in particular, sexual violence. This passion connected her to La Piñon Sexual Assault Recovery Services for Southern New Mexico in 2016 where she began working as a victim advocate and prevention educator. In 2018, Krysta was selected to serve as a Lead Trainer and Facilitator with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Abuse in Later Life project. She participated in a variety of national DOJ OVW trainings and serves as a member of the Doña Ana County Abuse in Later Life Coordinated Community Response Team of law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, senior services and victim services providers. The Team is now providing training to law enforcement and senior services and victim services providers. This Team also works to eliminate barriers and to create a more cohesive multidisciplinary response to seniors who are victims of abuse later in life.
Simon Moya-Smith is a Chicano and Oglala Lakota writer and journalist. Formerly a reporter with The Denver Post and MTV, Simon currently writes for NBC News, CNN, and VICE. He has a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia University. His new book, Your Spirit Animal is a Jackass, will be available in 2020. Follow him on Twitter @SimonMoyaSmith
Sarita Loehr, director for The Solutions Group, has a great passion for igniting purpose and empowering people through wellness. In addition to providing direction to a high performing Wellness team, she creates wellness leadership programs, builds trusted client relationships, and facilitates Wellness Strategic Planning, retreats, and focus groups. Being dedicated to physical activity and having a love for cooking, Sarita joined the Wellness scene early in her career. Realizing that no single approach to wellness is the right approach for every individual; she used her experience as a previous owner of her consulting business, and former executive leader, to form her style to aligning people, purpose and performance for Corporate Wellness. Embracing the need for a supportive culture as a key ingredient to successful wellness programs, Sarita created a strategic planning process where organizations develop their wellness roadmap to realize program objectives and help individuals uncover their own wellness journey. Her experience in leading health coach professionals and account managers, extends to local and national wellness accounts, making her a versatile resource for companies seeking to create or improve their wellness program. Sarita has a bachelor of business administration degree and is a graduate of Leadership Albuquerque and Leadership NM.
Dr. Mark Pedrotty graduated from Loyola University of Chicago and completed his internship at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. After several years working as a child clinical psychologist in San Antonio, he retrained as a pediatric rehabilitation psychologist at Carrie Tingley Hospital in Albuquerque, NM. For over 20 years he has worked at Carrie Tingley Hospital – UNM, providing inpatient and outpatient clinical services and teaching at the medical school and conferences. In response to limited services for people living with brain injuries and co-occurring conditions, he developed the integrative cognitive rehabilitation therapy. He is involved in educating health professionals on the provision of appropriate care of victims of intimate partner violence who have suffered a brain injury. He is a professor in pediatrics in the division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UNM-HSC.
Megan Setter is the program manager of Genesis: A Place of New Beginnings in Waynesville, MO. She previously served as the therapist at Genesis providing clinical mental health services to residential and non-residential survivors of trauma in-person and via teletherapy. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Provider and a member of the local Crisis Intervention Team Council. As a military spouse, she has unique experience in this field working in locations ranging from Louisville, KY to Honolulu, HI. Since 2006, Megan has served in a variety of roles including a case specialist for Family Court and a victim legal advocate providing first response crisis support with law enforcement to survivors of domestic, sexual and trafficking violence.
Jane Straub is a victim assistance specialist for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, a program of Zero Abuse Project, training on topics related to violence/prevention, supporting families who have a missing loved one, and advocating for victims and families struggling with effects of abuse or neglect. With over 25 years in the field, Jane trains on topics including missing persons, domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking, trafficking, bullying/cyberbullying, reproductive coercion, healthy relationships, consent and impact of trauma (ACE Study). Jane strives to work collaboratively with professionals in related fields including law enforcement, health care, education, social services, and business to collectively connect the dots of risk and prevention, to provide coordinated services, and to create hope and health for children and families.
Gina Yeager currently works at the Fifth Judicial District Attorney Office as the court facility dog coordinator and also as victim services coordinator. She has been with the D.A. Office since February 2013 and as a handler since 2014 and works with Lincoln and Beaumont as their primary handler. They have been used in several court hearings and major events throughout New Mexico. They have also gone to Lubbock to visit patients in the hospital. Gina is the founder and executive director of the 5th Judicial DA Court Facility Dog Foundation which raises funds to support the court facility dogs in the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Gina has been married for twenty-one years to her best friend and has two children and three grandchildren. She is continuing her college education, working towards an associate degree in business.
The Advocacy in Action conference seeks to present a wide variety of topics, issues and exhibits. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the following supporting organizations: the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, the State of New Mexico, the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc., the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Children’s Justice Act Advocacy Group.
These organizations neither endorse nor assume responsibility for the concepts expressed during these programs.
Children’s Justice Act Advisory Group (CJAAG)