Lara Mullin

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Lara Mullin is a Senior Deputy District Attorney at the Denver District Attorney’s office. She received a J.D. from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in 2006 where was a member of the trial team. She clerked for  District Court Judge Catherine Lemon from 2006-2007 and then entered the DA’s office as a Deputy. She has been with the office for 12 years and spent the majority of that time in the Family Violence Unit which prosecutes sex crimes against children, felony child abuse and felony domestic violence. She is currently assigned to the Human Trafficking unit – prosecuting both sex and labor trafficking cases. In total, Lara has tried over 100 jury trials during her career. Prior to going to law school, Lara was a Sports Writer for 2 years in Northern California.

Marianna Kosharovsky, J.D.

Marianna Kosharovsky, J.C. ALIGHT

Marianna Kosharovsky, J.D. is the Founder and Executive Director of ALIGHT, a nonprofit organization with a mission to unlock a fresh start for survivors of human trafficking. ALIGHT uses a unique collaborative model to rapidly match survivor needs with untapped legal expertise through innovative technology. Marianna’s expertise and thought leadership is rooted in over 10 years experience in human trafficking, law
and professional collaboration. As an attorney, Marianna represented survivors of sex and labor exploitation at the domestic violence agency Sanctuary for Families, as well as international corporate clients at the leading law firm Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in New York. In Eastern Europe/Russia, she worked on human rights development and private sector-nonprofit partnerships at PILnet: Global Network for Public Interest Law, and was a Visiting Professor at the Pericles Center for International Legal Education. Marianna is a contributing author to the American Bar Association book Lawyers as Changemakers (2016). She holds a law degree from N.Y.U. Law.

Marc Bern, Esq.

Marc Bern

Marc J. Bern is the founding partner of Marc J. Bern & Partners LLP, a law firm headquartered in New York City that handles complex litigation across the United States. Mr. Bern is spearheading the national litigation against the Opioid manufacturers.  Opioids play a major role in addiction and consequently control over human trafficking victims.  Mr. Bern has led over 100 cases to a jury verdict. In addition, he has a successful record of achieving settlements of over $1 million in hundreds of cases.  Read more about the opioid epidemic and the response here.  In 2015, the United States broke a new record – but not the kind it would like to promote. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids killed more than 33,000 Americans in 2015, more than any year on record. Though various government offices, educational facilities, nonprofits and other awareness groups have made valiant efforts to combat this epidemic, 91 still die in the U.S. every day from abuse and misuse, and this epidemic fuels human trafficking.

Supplementing the horrifying number of fatalities is opioid misuse’s economic burden. The CDC estimates that the annual economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is $78.5 billion; this includes the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. All these appalling statistics were officially acknowledged by the federal government in August of 2017 when the opioid crisis was designated a national emergency.

Without a national response to the opioid crises, human trafficking will never be solved.

Angela Rae Clark

Angela Clark, Human Trafficking Survivor Helping Others Heal

Angela Rae Clark is a human trafficking survivor leader, speaker, and teacher of mindfulness tools for interrupting patterns of trauma and vicarious trauma. As a Recovery Coach, Angela teaches techniques that help rebuild confidence, reclaim one’s voice, and define what’s next for personal and professional development. She loves to assist individuals take charge of their mental and emotional well-being.

Angela is a Member of the National Survivor Network for Human Trafficking, Ambassador for Peaceful Heart Network, and Advocate for www.FREA.Support. Angela’s TEDx Talk, What To Do After #metoo, can be viewed on her website along with her book, The Other F Word, My Handbook on Forgiveness. Angela enjoys dancing, singing, hiking, and adventures in the wild. Angela loves her life and wants other survivors to know they can thrive too.  www.AngelaRaeClark.com

Angela will share how she recovered from childhood trauma of sexual abuse and exploitation. She will teach mindfulness tools that assist in personal self-care and well-being. Angela challenges the audience to address personal pain rather than minimize it in the midst of human trafficking stories. Your resiliency is necessary to stay strong in the Human Justice Movement. Self-care is vital for the endurance necessary to see this movement continue on. Angela also stresses the importance of holistic services and resources in the recovery plan for survivors. 

Thomas Acker,PhD

Professor of Spanish in the Hispanic Studies and Spanish Program, LLMC, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO.  Tom has worked for more than a decade on the issue of immigrant integration and civil rights which evolved into exploring the plight of H2A visa workers in the western U.S., especially the sheepherders. His interests continue to include abuse of workers, social and economic inequities.  He is the founding member Western Slope Against Trafficking ( WSAT) 2013 to present.  He has been a member Colorado Human Trafficking Council by appointment of the governor –2014 to Present, a board member of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) , 2012 to 2014 and a board member of the Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) 2013 to present.  He serves on the Grand Valley Peace and Justice (GVPJ) Board of Directors, 2011-present, the State Advisory Board Human Trafficking Project (2013- present), and the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, Human Development Commission, 2010-present.

Tom Acker, PhD, received his Bachelor of Science in art education with a secondary concentration in painting from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He earned both his Master of Arts and PhD in Spanish and Spanish Golden Age literature, respectively, from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Acker teaches First-Year Spanish, Second-Year Spanish, Introduction to the Literature of Spain, Spanish for Medical and Social Services, Spanish for Business, Advanced Spanish Composition and History and Culture of Latin America and Spain, among other courses.

His research interests include classical imagery and the paintings of Diego Velázquez and art as an expression of Latin culture; the Diary of the Domínguez and Escalante Expedition; José Martí, the writer and the political figure as perceived in Cuba and the U.S. and issues of Hispanic immigration and their impact on the community.

Acker encourages his students to compare their world view with that of the Spanish-speaking world in order to develop not only proficiency in their second language, but also an appreciation for and understanding of the experiences that have formed and are forming the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.

Detective Chris Stadler

Detective Chris Stadler has worked for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office since 2006. He has worked in various assignments including the detention division, the patrol division, and most recently in the investigations division. Detective Stadler served in the Special Investigations Section, specifically in the Special Investigations Unit, for over 5.5 years. In this capacity, Detective Stadler was charged with overseeing all of the intelligence functions for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office including but not limited to: domestic and international terrorism threats, threats involving schools, threats against judges and other county officials, executive and dignitary protection details, gang investigations, adult and juvenile human trafficking investigations, mobile forensic investigations, VICE related crimes and other various assigned special investigations.

In addition to the intelligence functions, Detective Stadler also oversaw the county’s sex offender registration program. He was instrumental in the past several years in the re-engineering of the sex offender database (SOTAR) and partnered with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation as well as the Douglas County IT department to create several updates and additional features to the SOTAR program. The system is currently being utilized by over 90 metro and state law enforcement agencies and currently monitors over 53% of Colorado’s registered sex offenders.

Detective Stadler is currently assigned to the Denver FBI Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force (ILTF) as a Task Force Officer (TFO) focusing on the identification and recovery of juvenile sex trafficking victims in the Denver metro area. Detective Stadler has been in this position on a full-time basis since January of 2016 but has been a part of the ILTF and CTOCC (Colorado Trafficking and Organized Crime Coalition) working group since their inception.

Detective Stadler currently lives in Douglas County with his wife, Brandy, and their three daughters. Detective Stadler holds various degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Computer Information Systems. Read More

Jennifer Smith, Esq

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Drawing on more than 18 years of private practice, immigration attorney Jennifer Smith uses her time-tested skills to find creative solutions within the complex web of immigration law. Her full-service immigration law firm is located in Glenwood Springs. She is currently serving as the Chair of the Colorado chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She graduated from the University of Colorado, School of Law in 2000, with honors and then clerked at the Colorado Court of Appeals for Honorable Judge Kapelke. She is a member of multiple national, international and local immigration lawyer associations. She writes articles on immigration issues and presents at local, state, and national conferences on all areas of immigration law. Ms. Smith received AILA’s Michael Maggio Pro Bono Award for her volunteer work at the family detention center in Artesia, NM; the Athena International Award for Young Professionals from the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce in 2013; and the Jackie Morales Community Service Award in 2010.

Elise Reifschneider

Elise Reifschneider was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. She has since lived in several different states, recently landing in Colorado. Elise has a B.A. in Government/International Affairs and a M.A. in International Community Leadership. She currently serves as the Program Director of the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance (DATA) at the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Prior to this role, she was the Project Coordinator for the Utah Trafficking in Persons (UTIP) Task Force at the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Elise’s background includes extensive work in refugee services, community organizing, and gender equity.

Denise Rodriguez

Denise Rodriquez

Denise Rodriquez is currently employed through Hilltop Community Resources as a Family Navigator in Grand Junction, Colorado and has earned her AA in Psychology through Colorado Christian University. She has ten years of experience working with Hilltop in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program as a case manager. Currently she has expanded her services to the Family Connections Program working to connect At Risk population to services within the community. She also serves on the Western Slope Human Trafficking Board, Cesar Chavez Committee, Law Enforcement Latino Alliance Committee, Hispanic Heritage Month Committee, and is and advocate for Dressember for the last four years in order to bring awareness to Human Trafficking. Denise Rodriquez is able to do this because of her strong family support system at home. Denise’s more meaningful self-care comes in the form of spending quality time with her husband, two daughters, son and grandchild. She often goes home and smiles because she knows she is contributing to a better world for them.

Katia Curbelo-Del Valle, Phd

Katia Curbelo-Del Valle is the Mesa county representative for HAP.   Katia worked in Garfield County as outreach with various immigrant groups and organizations through the school districts and in higher education, through all of the Colorado Mountain College locations.  She has a background facilitating the connections between community and education to social and cultural justice.  She has mostly worked with youth, in areas such as SIJS, DACA, as well as with families in the Roaring Fork valley seeking assistance as they go through the asylum process in the USA. During that time, she helped bring to her organizations the collaboration from other Colorado non-profits such as CIRC (Know Your Rights training), RMIAN (for legal consultation through their youth program), and the Mobile Mexican Consulate. Katia is excited to be part of HAP, and the ability she will have to partially represent clients in immigration processes, as they seek to stabilize their status, and eventually move to naturalize. 

Katia has a PhD in Cultural Studies in Communications and Media, from the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois (Urbana), where she researched on media and the construct of US citizenship. Her Master’s was in Romance Languages, Literatures and Cultures in Italian from SUNY at Stony Brook, NY, and her Bachelor’s in Modern Languages from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.  Before embracing social justice efforts within her communities, Katia taught various college level courses at the University of Illinois, and Colorado Mountain College.  She’s a life-long learner, educator and researcher.

Jennifer Allen

Jennifer Allen is a partner in the Grand Junction, CO based business, Next Level Regen, which is an athletic and wellness recovery center. Jennifer worked for Hilltop’s Latimer House, a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program in Grand Junction for three years as the Fundraising/Donor Coordinator, Outreach and training coordinator, and volunteer coordinator which lead to her interest and passion to fight Human Trafficking.  She has a BA in Liberal Studies and History from California State University, Stanislaus and has worked in various fields including the financial industry, teaching, owning a small curriculum development company, and non-profits.

In 2018 Jennifer became a member of WSAT (Western Slope Against Trafficking) in Grand Junction. She also has been an advocate for Dressember the past three years which is an organization that raises money and awareness to Human Trafficking worldwide by wearing a dress everyday in December. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling the world, and experiencing new people and cultures.

Marketa Zubkova

Marketa Zubkova has been involved with HAP since 2006 as a community advocate for Gunnison immigrant committee. Since 2015 she has been providing immigration legal assistance to low income families as a DOJ Accredited Legal Representative. In her work she has focused on diversity of the immigrant population and immigrant integration. She has done an extensive research about the Cora Indians, an indigenous group from Nayarit living in Western Colorado, and their integration as a minority culture. Marketa is also a member of HAP team that visits H2A visa sheepherders in the isolated areas in the mountains and provides them not only with food and other necessary resources but with other valuable things such as friendship and human contact. Marketa holds a Magister of Czech & English Philology degree from the Palacky University, a Bachelor of Arts in to Spanish from Western State Colorado University and a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies with Emphasis on Latin America from Prescott College. She received HAP’s John Kiernan award for solidarity and commitment to the immigrant community in 2012. She is also a recipient of the 8th Immigrant Liberty Award from Colorado Chapter of the America Immigration Lawyer Association for her extensive volunteer work with the immigrant community and the outreach with H2A range workers

Jackie Long

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Jackie Long

Jackie Long will tell you she is just a mom who tries to make a difference.  Jackie formed the eponymous Callie’s Backyard Foundation  in 2009 in honor of her daughter.

The initial focus was the creation of a Federal Task Force to combat sex trafficking. In 2010, founder Jackie Long galvanized Denver Metro organizations, Denver police department & FBI, lawmakers, and government leaders to create Colorado’s first sex trafficking task force, now known as the FBI Rocky Mountain Innocence Lost Task Force. This task force has rescued more than 300 young people from trafficking rings in the last 3 years, 2013-2016.

The issues of sex trafficking, homelessness and addiction go hand-in-hand, and the mission of Callie’s Backyard Foundation is to address this triage of issues. In addition to funding the initial sex trafficking task force, Callie’s Backyard has also provided substantial funding for local non-profits such as Attention Homes, Save Our Youth, and Urban Peak.

Callie’s Backyard launched its first food delivery van in September of 2016, delivering free sandwiches and resource information cards for direct and indirect help to homeless youth. Food connects! Callie’s Backyard Foundation has also gone full circle in their efforts – we now hire homeless youth to make and deliver sandwiches, allowing them to transition into the workforce to find their balance and value in society.