President and CEO, Selah Freedom
United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago
Human Trafficking and Exploitation: Law, Policy, and Restorative Programs
Family Action Network (FAN) assembles three experts in the fields of law, public policy, and the non-profit sector on the topic of human trafficking and exploitation.
Elizabeth Melendez Fisher, MA is Co-Founder and President/CEO of Selah Freedom, a national nonprofit organization focused on ending domestic sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Selah Freedom educates over 70,000 and works with close to 2,000 at-risk youth and sex trafficking survivors annually. Selah Freedom offers 12- month Residential Recovery Programs, at-risk teen prevention programs, and outreach to survivors. The organization trains and equips law enforcement agencies and has co-developed one of the nation’s first successful Prostitution Court Diversionary programs.
The Hon. Virginia Kendall was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in January 2006. Judge Kendall lectures extensively in the areas of public corruption, corporate supply chain compliance, human rights, especially in relation to human trafficking and crimes against women and children, and ethics. Judge Kendall is the co-author of Child Exploitation and Trafficking: Examining the Global Challenges and the U.S. Responses.
Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD is the Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago. One of the focus areas of the CHRC’s work is combatting child trafficking. Formerly, Ms. Kaufka Walts was the Executive Director of the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), where she developed one of the first programs in the country to improve the capacity of child welfare system to better respond to child trafficking and exploitation cases. This work was informed by her experience managing the Counter-Human Trafficking project at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she worked with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies on single and multiple-victim sex and labor trafficking cases.
NOTE: The panel spoke at two FAN events on Thursday, November 9, 2017.
Event 1: 12:00 PM, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago.
Event 2: 7:00 PM, New Trier High School, Northfield Campus, Cornog Auditorium, 7 Happ Rd., Northfield.