Racism & the Anti-Trafficking Movement


In 2021, a coalition of survivor leaders and the Human Trafficking Legal Center conducted a survey on racism in the anti-trafficking movement. The survey, distributed in multiple languages, sought to learn more about the impact of systemic and structural racism experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) trafficking survivors. More than 80 survivor participants responded to the survey. Their answers provided insight into their lived experience navigating support services, legal issues, health care, and the anti-trafficking community. Centering the expertise of survivors can help to reframe structures of power and authority within anti-trafficking organizations, driving more effective policies and interventions. Please join us in a spirited discussion led by four survivor leaders on integrating inclusion and equity in the anti-trafficking community.


Evelyn Chumbow is a survivor of child labor trafficking turned anti-trafficking activist and public speaker who has focused her life’s work on ending modern-day slavery, a crime impacting some 40 million victims globally. Chumbow works tirelessly to raise awareness and help other survivors. She serves as an advisor to human trafficking NGOs, and has been invited to brief government agencies about human trafficking from a survivor’s perspective. She is invited regularly to speak around the world about her experience, including at the White House. She also serves as an advocate and mentor for fellow survivors. In December 2015, fulfilling a life-long dream, Ms. Chumbow graduated with a BS in Homeland Security Studies from the University of Maryland University College. She was appointed by President Obama to serve as United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking to his administration. Since January 2015, she has worked at the law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP in Washington, DC, where she has the opportunity to support human trafficking and human rights-related pro bono initiatives.

Roxie Farrow is the Operations Manager for the Human Trafficking Legal Center. Farrow graduated with a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2015. Farrow is the co-chair of The Maryland Survivor Network, a membership group providing support, professional, and leadership development for human trafficking survivors participating in anti-trafficking efforts in the state. Farrow is also a Survivor Leader Consultant for the University of Maryland Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors’, serving on the Human Trafficking Clinicians Collaborative and the Human Trafficking Survivors’ Council.

Fainess Lipenga has been an active member of the National Survivor Network since 2013. As a survivor of labor trafficking, she uses her voice and experience to educate the community and raise awareness. Prior to her role as Training Advisor, Lipenga served as a consultant to the Human Trafficking Legal Center for more than five years. Lipenga has testified before the U.S. Congress regarding the challenges survivors face. Ms. Lipenga serves as a survivor-consultant to the Human Trafficking Legal Center in Washington, DC. In 2019, Lipenga testified before the Maryland General Assembly to advocate for the passage of the Anti-Exploitation Act. With the help of her testimony, Maryland passed the bill, making labor trafficking an illegal act for the first time in Maryland. Lipenga is the recipient of the Justice for Victims of Crime Award from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Washington, D.C.

Deborah Pembrook (she/her) chairs the Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. She is also Human Trafficking Outreach Manager at Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, one of the Coalition partners. Deborah left a successful executive position in a technology company to help her community end the types of exploitation she experienced in her childhood. An inspiring educator, she has partnered with and trained regional police and sheriff departments, probation officers, educators and direct service providers to humanize exploited children and vulnerable people. Deborah has served two terms on the California CSEC Action Team Advisory Board. She is the 2016 recipient of the YWCA Silicon Valley Empowerment Award.

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