MODERATOR: Elise Hopper, Ph.D. (Co-Chair, HEAL Mental Health Council)
CO-CHAIRS: Katherine Hargitt, PsyD and Dr. Rachel Robitz, MD (HEAL Direct Services)
ASSISTANT: Lucy Mahaffey (HEAL Technical Assistant)
PANELISTS: Rafael Baustista and Russell G. Wilson
— Rafael Bautista is an Expert Consultant for OVCTTAC, the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center and NHTTAC, National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center. His expertise and real life experiences has helped different organizations in creating marketing products, training programs, strategies, videos, and posters for human trafficking awareness. As an active member of the National Survivor Network, Mr. Bautista has testified in support of bills that provide better services for survivors of human trafficking. He assisted Humanity United on the development of Pathways to Freedom; the DHS with their Blue Campaign- the Department’s human trafficking awareness and education programs; and the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force.Graduated from the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy at the NHTTAC, Mr. Bautista has participated in various panels and plenary sessions across the country, for example Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA, Reno, NV, Chicago, IL and in his local area, Sacramento, CA. As an instructor, Mr. Bautista participated in the event, “Handling Human Trafficking Cases” with the Judicial Council of California and also, instructed at the South Carolina Victim Assistance Advance Academy. As a local community leader at the Sacramento Rescue and Restore Coalition, Mr. Bautista has shared his skills and expertise with his fellow advocates and his fellow survivors, believing that any and all survivors can be restored and reintegrated into society in a positive way, with the proper support.
— Russell G. Willson graduated from the UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology and South & Southeast Asian Studies. Russell conducted a research project in Cambodia looking at the factors of resiliency for male survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. While at Cal, Russell received Benjamin Gilman Scholarship to continue his research in Indonesia for the summer of 2016. As a Human Trafficking Leadership Academy Fellow (HTLA), Russell worked with a team of anti-trafficking experts from across disciplines to formalize the federal definition of what it means to be “Survivor-Informed” for federally funded programs. Russell has spent extensive time living and traveling throughout South and Southeast Asia. The time he has spent in this region of the world has given him a deep understanding of these cultures as well as knowledge of the systemic mechanisms of human trafficking in these countries. It is through these experiences Russell brings authenticity and passion to his research and his life. Ultimately Russell would like to bridge the gap of communication and collaboration between large-scale, top-down, multi-national NGO’s and the smaller, grass-roots, bottom-up, organizations by facilitating collaborative relationships.