Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking - from Wisconsin to the World

Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking - from Wisconsin to the World
03/20/2015 - 08:00
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Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking - from Wisconsin to the World
Date: Friday, March 20, 2015
Time: 8:00am
Location: Eckstein Hall
Access: RSVP Required
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This year's Restorative Justice Conference is designed to bring together survivors, community members, lawyers, teachers, social workers, and others to learn about human trafficking and the deep impact it has on both victims and communities, locally as well as internationally. Pope Francis has called for a global mobilization to combat human trafficking and slavery. By looking at this issue through a restorative justice lens, this conference is designed to raise awareness of the magnitude of trafficking in our own community and to generate ideas on how each of us can engage in helping to repair the harm and to address the social, cultural, and economic causes of the problem.

COST: There is no fee for the keynote kickoff event on Thursday. The Friday conference fee is $15 per person and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Marquette University students and employees may attend at no charge but must register. Please register by March 12. If an attendance scholarship is needed, please email

Thursday, March 19

4:30 p.m. — Keynote: Human Trafficking: Listening to Survivors, Fighting for Justice
Martina Vandenberg, President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center

Ms. Vandenberg has spent nearly two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. She leads the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, which is located in the Washington, D.C. area. Ms. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro bono in immigration, criminal, and civil cases. Widely regarded as an expert on an array of human rights issues, she has testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, the Helsinki Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee. A former Human Rights Watch researcher, she spearheaded investigations into human rights matters in the Russian Federation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine and authored the first published report documenting human trafficking in Israel. She is the author of two Human Rights Watch reports, "Hopes Betrayed: Trafficking of Women and Girls to Post-Conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina for Forced Prostitution" and "Kosovo: Rape as a Weapon of 'Ethnic Cleansing.'"

Friday, March 20

8:00 a.m. — Registration and coffee

8:30 a.m. — Welcome
Joseph D. Kearney, Dean and Professor, Marquette Law School
Honorable Janine Geske (ret), Marquette Law School

8:45 to 10:00 a.m. — Survivor Panel

Moderator: Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy, Marquette Law School

  • Shamere McKenzie, CEO of Sun Gate Foundation. She was a college track star who was a little down on her luck when she was approached by a trafficker and lured into the trap of sex slavery.
  • Rachel Thomas, Co-Director, Sowers Education Group. Raised in an ideal upper-middle-class home, she had no idea that the "modeling agent" who gave her a business card was actually a trafficker.
  • Lisa Williams, Founder and CEO, Circle of Friends, Living Water for Girls. She understands what it's like to be held at gunpoint, to be demeaned and called unprintable names, to be afraid in her own skin, to be repeatedly violated and tortured, and then to be blamed for it all.

10:00 to 10:10 a.m. — Break

10:10 to 10:30 a.m. — What Are the Wisconsin Laws on Human Trafficking?

Sara Beth Lewis, Assistant District Attorney, Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — You Are Here: The Landscape of Wisconsin and Federal Trafficking Law, and Where We Could Go

Moderator: Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, Chair and Assistant Professor, Justice Department and Coordinator, LOTUS Legal Clinic at Mount Mary University

  • LaTonya Johnson, Representative, Assembly District 17
  • Sara Beth Lewis, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney
  • Sheila Sullivan, Managing Attorney, Road to Opportunity Project, Legal Action of Wisconsin
  • Joseph Wall, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of Wisconsin

11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. — Complimentary boxed lunch

12:10 to 1:10 p.m. — Restorative Justice and the International Context of Human Trafficking

  • H. Richard Friman, Eliot Fitch Professor for International Studies and Professor of Political Science, Marquette University
  • Martina Vandenberg, President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center
  • Todd D. Whitmore, Associate Professor and Co-Director, Interdisciplinary Minor in Catholic Social Tradition; Faculty Fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

1:10 to 1:20 p.m. — Break

1:20 to 2:20 p.m. — What Is the Ripple Effect of Sex and Labor Trafficking on the Wisconsin Community?

The community is affected in surprising ways. Trafficking is more than just a criminal justice problem.

Moderator: Claudine O'Leary, Youth Advocate, Rethink Resources

  • Bevan K. Baker, Commissioner of Health, City of Milwaukee
  • Jeanne Geraci, Executive Director, Benedict Center
  • Dan Magnuson, Chief Executive Officer, Lad Lake, Inc.
  • Tia C. Medley, Family Nurse Practitioner, Milwaukee Adolescent Health Program, Juvenile Detention Center and Downtown Health Center

2:20 to 2:30 p.m. — Break

2:30 to 3:10 p.m. — What It Takes to Help a Survivor Develop a Legal Case and Deal with Life Beyond

Katherine Kaufka Walts, Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago

3:10 to 3:35 p.m. — Trafficking Milwaukee: How Do We Help?

Trafficking is not limited to the "seedy" parts of the city. Find out what makes Milwaukee a trafficking hub and learn what help is available for survivors.

Moderator: Janine Geske

  • Cathy Arney, Vice President of Community Services, Pathfinders
  • Debbie Lassiter, Executive Director, CEO, and Co-Founder, Convergence Resource Center
  • Deacon Steve Przedpelski, Director, Franciscan Peacemakers Street Ministry
  • Mariana Rodriquez, Program Manager, UMOS, Inc., Latina Resource Center

3:35 to 4:15 p.m. — What Was Learned Today? And where do we

Moderator: Janine Geske

  • Carmen Pitre, Executive Director, Sojourner Family Peace Center
  • James L. Santelle, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Rachel Thomas, Survivor, Co-Director, Sowers Education Group
  • Martina Vandenberg, President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center


Louie and Sue Andrew
Bevan Baker
Kathy Coffey-Guenther
Christopher Daood
Sarah DeGroot
H. Richard Friman
Janine Geske (Chair)
Patricia Gorence
Barbara Graham
Stan and Cindy Jaskolski
Tracy Johnson
Gloria Katt
Judy Keyes
Mary Lacy
Mary Jo Layden
Rachel Monaco-Wilcox
Michael O'Hear
Claudine O'Leary
Terry Perry
Carmen Pitre
James L. Santelle
Alice and Jim Stollenwerk
Mary Triggiano
Corinthia Van Orsdol
Jen Vettrus

Questions? If you have concerns about the conference cost, special dietary needs, or any questions, contact Christine Wilczynski-Vogel, Associate Dean for External Relations, Events, and Facilities, at or (414) 288-3167.


Eckstein Hall
1215 W. Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233