Speakers' Bios

Juliane Ramic

Juliane Ramic joined the Nationalities Service Center team in 2004. As the Senior Director for Refugee and Community Integration, she oversees the agency’s services to refugees, asylees, and victims of human trafficking including services to individuals and families, group work and ethnic community building. Juliane has been designing and implementing programs aimed at ensuring newly arriving refugees are able to achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence in Philadelphia for over 10 years. Prior to joining NSC, she worked at Immigration & Refugee Services of America (IRSA, now the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants) where she monitored federal contracts from three federal agencies and provided technical assistance to a network of twenty-six agencies. Juliane’s extensive work with refugees includes work with local communities, national organizations and refugee camps in east Africa. She holds an MSW from The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

 

Colleen Owens

Colleen Owens is a senior research associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she is codirector of a diverse portfolio of research on human trafficking in the United States and abroad. She has over a decade of experience.

Owens is coprincipal investigator for a project examining labor trafficking in the United States. She also leads a study on forced marriage, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence among South Asian immigrants in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area in partnership with Tahirih Justice Center. Owens was principal investigator for a joint study with Northeastern University to examine challenges in the investigation and prosecution of state and local human trafficking cases. She helped design and operate the national Human Trafficking Reporting System, a collaborative project with Northeastern University to design the first national data-collection and reporting system on human trafficking victims and offenders. In addition, she assisted the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention with an investigative research effort on changes in federally prosecuted cases of the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Owens also directs several international anti-trafficking research efforts. She is coprincipal investigator for three US State Department–funded projects, including an impact evaluation of a service provision program for young adult and child sex-trafficking survivors in Asia; a process evaluation of an anti-trafficking awareness raising initiative in South America; and a project identifying promising practices in anti-trafficking prosecution, prevention, protection, and partnership in four countries.

 

Daniel Velez

Daniel A. Vélez graduated from Cornell University in 1986, and received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1990.  He began his prosecutorial career in 1992 when he joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York, and where he was assigned to a felony trial bureau.  In 1995 he joined the New York City Department of Investigation as an examining attorney where he investigated government fraud and waste cases.  In 1996 he joined the U.S. Department of Justice as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, where he investigated and prosecuted color of law cases, hate crimes, and human trafficking cases involving forced labor, migrant farm workers, sex trafficking in the Marianas Islands (Guam and Saipan), and domestic servitude cases, all around the country.  In 2002 he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania as an Assistant United States Attorney.  From 2009 to 2011 he served as Senior Litigation Counsel for the office and was assigned to the Strike Force unit where he investigated and prosecuted organized crime cases, large frauds, narcotics and human trafficking cases. Since 2011 he has been the Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit where he currently supervises approximately 20 Assistant United States Attorneys.  He is also the human trafficking case coordinator for the office and serves on the hiring and diversity committees.

 

Hugh Sandler
Hugh Sandler is an attorney in New York at Nussbaum Law Group, his practice focuses on antitrust civil litigation.  His human trafficking litigation experience comes from his seven years of co-representing the plaintiffs, on a pro bono basis, in the David v. Signal case. Mr. Sandler also litigates other civil rights cases on a pro bono basis. His non pro bono work, focuses on representing plaintiffs in class actions targeting unlawful collusion and monopolization practices in the financial and pharmaceutical industries.

 

Kristi Lee Graunke

Kristi Lee Graunke is currently a Senior Supervising Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Prior to joining SPLC in 2005, Kristi worked with the Farmworker Division of Georgia Legal Services, where she represented migrant farmworkers in wage and hour cases, discrimination claims, and other employment matters.

At SPLC, Kristi assists low income people throughout the South in enforcing their civil rights. Her work focuses primarily on litigation aimed at challenging severe workplace exploitation, wage violations, discrimination, and government abuses directed towards immigrants in the southern United States. In 2015, she served as part of the trial team that was awarded Public Justice’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year Award,” following the historic $14 million federal court verdict in David v. Signal. In David, Kristi and her colleagues represented five Indian H-2B guestworkers who were trafficked into the United States to work for Signal International in Mississippi and Texas.

Some of the matters on which Kristi has worked are referenced in SPLC’s report Close to Slavery, https://www.splcenter.org/20130218/close-slavery-guestworker-programs-united-states, which highlights how structural aspects of U.S. guestworker programs too often facilitate human trafficking and other exploitation by unscrupulous employers.

Kristi received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. In the year following her graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 

Harold D’Souza

Harold D'Souza is a survivor of labor trafficking and debt bondage in the United States of America. D'Souza received his M.Com., LL.B., PGDHRD, from The Maharaja  Sayajirao University of Baroda in India. He is a Senior Supply Chain Associate for Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a position he has held since 2008. D'Souza is a founding member of National Survivor Network and is active with End Slavery Cincinnati. Earlier in his career, D'Souza served as a Sales Manager in India. He is a survivor advocate and a public speaker. He has spoken at numerous Human Trafficking events in America and India. He undertook 133-month of struggle on his journey to freedom. Harold D'Souza was appointed in December, 2015 by U.S. President Barack Obama to the historic United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Sharing his journey of freedom is his mission to create awareness and prevent human trafficking in the World. His purpose in life is to be the voice, courage, hope and freedom for victims. D'Souza is working on a book called "Human Trafficking: A Frog in a Well."  His philosophy is,'fix the problem and not the blame'. He says, "I am a poor starter, but a strong finisher".  Harold can be reached at hrdsouza17@gmail.com.

 

Vanessa Chauhan

Vanessa Chauhan is a Regional Specialist in Polaris's Advisory Services team, managing a portfolio of 13 states in the central region of the United States.  Vanessa has provided trainings and consultations to a diverse group of national and international audiences, including law enforcement, government officials & agencies, victim service providers, and other key stakeholders and professionals engaged in anti-trafficking and related gender-based violence and social justice work.
Vanessa’s expertise includes consultation on hotline development & operations as an integral component to fight human trafficking, as well as building multi-disciplinary human trafficking responses, with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement, systems level capacity building, law enforcement & victim services responses and multi-sector collaboration towards disruption and eradication of human trafficking networks. In her role at Polaris, Vanessa has worked with key state and federal actors to develop tailored resources and responses to identify and address trafficking in their communities.
Before coming to Polaris, Vanessa worked on issues of international and domestic family abductions at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. She also has extensive experience working with international clients on a variety of appellate immigration and cross-cultural matters. Vanessa has a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Arizona. She has also studied at the Monash University Law Chambers in Melbourne, Australia and at the University of Canterbury Law School in Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

Kate Brown

Kate Brown is a Staff Attorney at Friends of Farmworkers. She is a recent graduate of Drexel University’s School of Law.  She joined Friends of Farmworkers in Fall 2013 as an Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow.   Her project provides immigration legal services to our clients who encounter immigration barriers to asserting their rights as workers.  During law school, Kate interned at the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante in Mexico City and at the ACLU of Pennsylvania.   Before attending law school she worked as an immigration representative at the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia and received her master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied migration.

 

Stephanie Blakeman

Stephanie Blakeman is a Case Manager for Nationalities Service Center’s Anti-Human Trafficking Project.  In her role, Stephanie helps foreign national victims of trafficking achieve safety and self-sufficiency.  She previously worked at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, aiding low income Philadelphians in Family Law, Bankruptcy and General Intake matters as a paralegal. Stephanie graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in English and Sociology. 

 

Daniela Castejon

Daniela Castejón is currently an intern at the Salvation Army Anti-Human Trafficking Program where she serves as a Case Manager and assists in the daily functions of the New Day Drop In Center. She is currently getting her Master of Social Work degree at the School of Social Policy and Practice and is the President of the Hispanic/Latino Alliance for Change and Equity. Before coming to Penn, Daniela served two years in an Americorps program working with Philadelphia youth and has experience working with indigenous communities, women, and immigrants in Argentina, Ecuador, and the United States.  She received her B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies at Dickinson College.

 

Ann Michael

Ann Michael is the Human Trafficking Victim Services Coordinator for the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg.  She coordinates the provision of services to victims of human trafficking and provides education and training to law enforcement, medical personnel, social service agencies, and community groups across the South Central region of Pennsylvania.  Ms. Michael is also a legislative advocate and PA State Leader for the International Justice Mission, a global human rights organization based in Washington, D.C. 

 

Julia de la Cruz Garcia

Julia de la Cruz is a farmworker leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an award-winning farmworker human rights organization based in Immokalee, Florida. The CIW’s Fair Food Program (FFP) guarantees rights never before seen for farmworkers, such as rights to shade and rest breaks from their grueling work, and zero tolerance for sexual harassment and modern slavery. Since 2011, participating buyers have paid more than $20 million through the FFP, constituting the first real pay increase for farmworkers in over 30 years. The FFP was called “one of the great human rights success stories of our day” in The Washington Post, “the best workplace monitoring program in the US” on the front page of The New York Times.

 

Patricia Cipollitti

Patricia Cipollitti is an organizer with the Alliance for Fair Food, a national network of people working in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for farmworker justice. The AFF powers the farmworker-led Campaign for Fair Food to educate consumers about farm labor exploitation and sweatshop conditions in the fields, and to mobilize farmworkers and allies across the country to leverage the market power of major corporate retailers to transform the U.S. agricultural industry. Based upon binding agreements with fourteen multi-billion dollar food retailers, including McDonald's and Walmart, the CIW's Fair Food Program -- a unique, historic partnership between farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and buyers -- has brought never-before-seen rights and protections and the first real wage increase in 30 years to workers in the fields.

 

Stephanie Dorenbosch

Stephanie Dorenbosch joined Friends of Farmworkers in 2011 on a Holmes Fellowship from Harvard Law School and became a staff attorney in 2012. In addition to her regular casework, she holds biweekly office hours at the Puentes de Salud health clinic in Philadelphia as part of a new medical-legal partnership between FOF and Puentes. She also advocates for the fair treatment of farmworkers as a member of several Philadelphia groups working to improve our regional food systems. Stephanie received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2011, where she interned with an immigration law clinic in New Orleans and with the ACLU of Maryland and served low-income clients through clinical courses in death penalty defense, predatory lending, and criminal defense. She also served on the editorial boards of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Journal and Unbound: Harvard’s Journal of the Legal Left.

 

Jamie Manirakiza

As Director of Anti Trafficking and Social Services for the Salvation Army, Jamie Manirakiza engages in community outreach and uses her extensive background in social work and knowledge of clinical and macro social work to provide a wide range of comprehensive services for victims of human trafficking.  Most notably, Ms. Manirakiza supervises all of the New Day to Stop Trafficking (NDST) Anti-Trafficking efforts for the Salvation Army in Greater Philadelphia. Her responsibilities include managing funding, seeking federal and local grants, supervising staff and developing programs. The NDST program includes working with women suffering from various forms of the commercial sex industry from on the ground services at the New Day Drop-in Center for women in Kensington, to Family Court accompaniment with Juvenile survivors of human trafficking.  In addition, for over five years, Ms. Manirakiza has served as co-chair of the Social Services Sub-Committee for the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition. She is also an adjunct professor in the Social Work Department at Eastern University. She teaches an introductory Women’s Studies course with a sex trafficking concentration. Ms. Manirakiza has been quoted extensively in the media on topics pertaining to commercial sexual exploitation in Philadelphia. She has been a featured speaker at press conferences and formal trainings, sharing her insights on what makes victim services successful. Ms. Manirakiza earned her Bachelor’s degree from Eastern University and her Master’s in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.