10th Annual RJI Conference

Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking - from Wisconsin to the World

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.'"

Day 2

Joseph D. Kearney, Dean and Professor, Marquette Law School
Honorable Janine Geske (ret), Marquette Law School

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.

What Are the Wisconsin Laws on Human Trafficking?
Sara Beth Lewis, Assistant District Attorney, Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office

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

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

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

Trafficking Milwaukee: How Do We Help?
Trafficking is a serious issue facing vulnerable youth and adults right here in the Milwaukee area. 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

What Was Learned Today?
Moderator: Janine Geske

  • Shamere McKenzie, CEO of Sun Gate Foundation
  • Carmen Pitre, Executive Director, Sojourner FamilyPeace Center
  • James L. Santelle, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Martina Vandenberg, President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center