AEquitas is the go-to resource for the prosecution of human trafficking and the related crimes of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and exploitation. We leverage our unparalleled staff expertise and broad network of professionals to empower prosecutors to more effectively respond to these crimes. In doing so, we are fighting to end impunity for offenders while centering and enhancing support for the victims and survivors who are so often left behind in the fight for criminal justice reform.
We combine the best elements of prosecution practice with research and data to develop practical and accessible resources and provide customized training and assistance to prosecutors and their partners. With over 150 years of combined specialized expertise, AEquitas attorneys know how to implement best practices—while consistently measuring, assessing, and refining their approaches to better achieve justice.
To learn more about AEquitas, its initiatives, resources, and staff visit AEquitasResource.org.
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Jennifer Gentile Long
Jennifer co-founded AEquitas in 2009. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, where she prosecuted cases involving adult and child physical and sexual abuse as a member of her office's Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit. Through this work, Jennifer sought justice on behalf of sexually exploited women and girls prior to the enactment of federal and state trafficking statutes. This fueled her early commitment to improve a system that seemed to work against, and often failed to protect, countless victims of sexual violence and exploitation. The systemic gaps appeared to be largely attributable to a lack of access to specialized training, meaningful measures of success, and insight into data, causing prosecutors and other system professionals to overlook and often misidentify victims at every stage of the process.
Intent on improving the systemic response, Jennifer joined the National Center on the Prosecution of Violence Against Women as a Senior Attorney in 2004. Later, as the Director, Jennifer convened a roundtable entitled, “Violence Against Sexually Exploited Women: How Should Prosecutors Respond?” in November 2008. In 2009, following the roundtable and based on continued collaboration with survivor-advocates and allied professionals in the field, Jennifer co-founded AEquitas to improve the quality of justice in gender-based violence and trafficking and exploitation cases by developing, evaluating, and refining prosecution practices.
Jennifer serves as an Editorial Board Member with the Civic Research Institute for the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Reports, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches Prosecuting Sexual Violence: Applying Research to Practice.
Jennifer graduated from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and East Asian Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Fels School of Government with a Juris Doctor degree and a Masters in Government Administration. She is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars. She enjoys running, walking her dogs, and making homemade pancakes for her family.
Jane brings her expertise in prosecuting domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking to the Just Exits Initiative. Prior to joining AEquitas, Jane served as an Assistant State Attorney with Florida's Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County. As a prosecutor, she tried many of the state's first human trafficking cases, including related sexual assault, child abuse, and money laundering crimes. In her role as a founding member of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Human Trafficking Unit and Task Force, Jane developed policies and procedures to better identify and provide necessary services to trafficking victims, while ensuring offender accountability through the use of digital evidence and creative charging decisions.
Before focusing on human trafficking, Jane served as the Chief of Litigation for the Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Unit, where she trained new attorneys and oversaw the prosecution of domestic violence, stalking, and violations of civil protection orders. Throughout her career, Jane has prosecuted felony level crimes of all types, including homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.
Jane’s experience in the courtroom and in developing policies and procedures enables her to assist prosecutors and allied professionals in developing a victim-centered, offender-focused approach to cases of domestic violence, stalking, sexual violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. She provides trainings and technical assistance related to investigations, case analysis, and trial strategy and develops resources, publications, and training curricula.
Jane graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to her legal career, Jane lived and taught English in Bangkok, Thailand. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Holly has worked to amplify the voices of women and survivors of gender-based violence since the beginning of her legal career. At AEquitas, she has co-led major initiatives aimed at enhancing the criminal justice response to violent crime, including Innovative Prosecution Solutions and the Sexual Assault Justice Initiative. Holly manages the development of AEquitas resources, authors publications, and conducts research and analyses on a wide variety of criminal legal issues to elevate the practice of prosecutors in the field. She also co-facilitates a course at Georgetown University Law Center, Prosecuting Sexual Violence: From Research to Practice.
Prior to her work at AEquitas, Holly served as a Hillary Rodham Clinton Law Fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, where she conducted international field research and co-authored major studies on women's inclusion in peacebuilding and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict settings. She has previous legal experience working for the Center for Applied Legal Studies, the American Immigration Council, Human Rights First, the Humane Society of the United States, DC SAFE, and the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Holly graduated with her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 2016. Prior to Georgetown, Holly received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Public Policy from Lehigh University, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland and is based in Northern Virginia. In her spare time, Holly enjoys spending time with her fiancé and two rescue pups, practicing yoga, and experimenting with plant-based cooking.
Jennifer Newman is an Associate Attorney Advisor at AEquitas. As a previous Assistant District Attorney, Jennifer handled cases involving child abuse, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence, and has firsthand knowledge dealing with the unique issues presented by prosecuting these crimes.
Before joining AEquitas, Jennifer interned for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office in Montgomery County, Maryland and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia while a student at Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer also briefly interned for AEquitas, doing in-depth case law research on withdrawn consent rape and other topics related to the challenging work of prosecuting sexual violence. Jennifer graduated Georgetown Law with special honors for public service in 2018 and went on to join the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
As an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, Jennifer handled cases in the Municipal Court, Juvenile Unit, and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Units. During this time, Jennifer gained a great deal of experience working with victims of domestic and sexual violence, both adults and children. She also gained experience working with the legal issues prevalent for prosecutors handling these cases, from prior bad act motions in child sex cases to forfeiture by wrongdoing in domestic violence cases involving intimidation.
Jennifer is a native Californian living in Philadelphia, and spends her free time sewing, playing video games, and nurturing a passion for strong coffee.
In January 2018, Dignity Health welcomed Wendy Barnes as Human Trafficking Response Program Coordinator. As Coordinator, Wendy supports thirty-five task force teams throughout Dignity Health, organizes travel for task force members and survivor speakers, mentors survivor speakers, processes/tracks invoices, and performs other administrative work that supports the program as a whole. Wendy also provides insight in creating new educational modules and provides education for healthcare providers across the United States. When providing education, Wendy often shares examples from her own experiences with hospitals, clinics, and private practices of when she was trafficked for over a decade.
Since 2004, while working full-time in the corporate world, Wendy has volunteered her time to multiple non-profit organizations spreading awareness and sharing her powerful story of survival. Wendy has consulted for numerous organizations, including Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign; Via Christi Health, part of Ascension; Not For Sale; and Impact Virginia. Wendy has also provided education to law enforcement officers and students at numerous universities, including Vanguard University and St. Mary’s College of California. Wendy is a member of the National Survivor Network and the International Survivor Alliance. She has received Certificates of Recognition from Scott Wilk, California Senator, 21st Senate District, in April 2018; Tom Lackey, California Assemblyman, 36th District, in April 2018; and Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Chief of Police, in September 2011.
Wendy has an Associate’s Degree in General Studies and has written a memoir, And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom. Wendy also co-authored a chapter in Human Trafficking Is a Public Health Issue: A Paradigm Expansion in the United States (Spriner, 2017). Wendy has appeared on talk shows such as Dr. Phil, and her story has been featured in news features and documentaries, including Flesh: Bought and Sold in the U.S.
Born with tenacity and an entrepreneurial spirit, Rebecca believes that we are all more than the bad things that have happened in our lives. After escaping her trafficker in 2007, Rebecca was determined to make a new life for herself and her young daughter. She worked hard, eventually opening her own business and earning a Master’s degree. While she was attending college online, Rebecca dreamed of launching a school for survivors of human trafficking - a place where anyone with lived experience could enroll and learn the skills and knowledge necessary to build a new life. In 2014, Elevate Academy was born and within eight years had served nearly 1,000 students in 12 countries and nearly 508 U.S. cities across the nation. This innovative online school is thriving today and remains a place where survivors continue to connect, grow, and find tools to ignite their futures.
Rebecca is a CEO and a published author who has earned a distinct reputation as a trailblazer and thought leader in the field. Her specialized training has equipped well over 100,000 professionals including the FBI, Homeland Security, local law enforcement, community leaders, medical professionals, and more. Rebecca was appointed to the United States National Advisory Council and serves as an advisor to AEquitas, A21, and the HSI North Texas Task Force. She assists as a subject matter expert for investigations and operations across the country, and is regularly called upon to testify as an expert witness. Rebecca is a highly sought-after speaker, consultant, and nationally recognized authority who is passionate about seeing people transform their lives so they can change the world. When she’s not traveling and leading her team, you’ll find her on the sidelines or in the audience cheering for her four daughters, listening to true-crime podcasts, or working on her next manuscript by the pool.
Nicole Bell is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Living in Freedom Together, Inc. (LIFT), a survivor-led non-profit working to end prostitution and provide viable pathways out of the sex trade. Ms. Bell’s organization runs several programs addressing the ending of systems of prostitution and promoting recovery from trauma, substance use disorder, and mental health disorder. Under Ms. Bell’s leadership LIFT opened Jana's Place, the first recovery home for women exiting prostitution with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders in the nation, as well as HARBOR (Healthcare, Advocacy, Room Board, Outreach and Rehousing), a zero barrier access shelter for survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking, and created the CATI (Creating Alternatives To Incarceration) Program, a pre-arraignment diversion program in partnership with the Worcester District Attorney’s Office. She has written trauma-informed curriculum and has created survivor mentoring programs for youth and adult survivors of systems of prostitution. Ms. Bell also leads policy and advocacy work to effect social change at the local, state, and national levels. Ms. Bell presents both nationally and internationally on the importance of ending all systems of prostitution through the promotion of the Equality Model, which incorporates social change with legislative action and increased funding for services to assist survivors of the sex trade in exiting prostitution.
Ms. Bell has received recognition for her work with this underserved and marginalized population, including Worcester Magazine’s Hometown Hero, Advocate of the Year 2016 WAASE, Worcester Woman of Consequence 2016, Worcester's Most Inspirational Women for 2019, Love Takes Action Award from New York Life Foundation 2021, and Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance Public Policy and Advocacy Award 2022. She was named one of Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2019, and was awarded a 2020 Outstanding Law Enforcement Award from U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling for her commitment to violent crime prevention and intervention. Ms. Bell sat on the Executive Council for World Without Exploitation and was appointed to the Executive Office of Public Safety's Justice-Involved Women's Committee.
Joy Friedman is a survivor of sexual exploitation and an invaluable resource for women and girls within the anti-sex trafficking movement. Her exploitation began as a teenager and ended after being in the Life for 22 years. Joy successfully completed a program for sexually exploited women, and after two years of sobriety was hired at Breaking Free, a Minnesota organization that empowers survivors through housing and service provision, programming, and advocacy. At Breaking Free, Joy co-coordinated and conducted training at one of the first Offender Prostitution Programs in the country. Joy has also conducted street outreach to vulnerable and sexually exploited women, and has trained other professionals in conducting outreach and providing trauma-informed responses.
Over the past 20 years, Joy has directly supported over 5,000 victims and survivors of sexual exploitation through outreach, advocacy, courtroom support, and group facilitation. She has helped survivors in jails and prisons transition back into society by connecting them with needed resources and services. Joy's support for incarcerated women has been recognized by the Sexual Violence Center, a rape crisis center headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in 2021, the Center honored Joy with its inaugural Champion Award.
Joy is a sought-after public speaker and has conducted numerous trainings on sexual exploitation as a form of violence against women and girls. She has trained and provided expert consultations to a wide variety of law enforcement agencies investigating sex trafficking cases, including the St. Paul Police Department, Minnesota’s Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2013, Joy had the honor of being the Keynote Speaker at the 120th International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference Excellence in Victim Services Award luncheon in Philadelphia, PA, which was attended by over 3,000 law enforcement professionals. Joy has also trained a diverse set of stakeholders on the dynamics of sexual exploitation, including representatives from drug treatment centers, domestic violence shelters, prosecutors' offices, legal aid centers, social service agencies, universities, the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. In addition to training others, Joy is committed to her own ongoing education, and in 2014 completed a prestigious human trafficking program hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Joy has also testified throughout the United States as an expert witness on trafficking issues.
Committed to empowering survivors in any way she can, Joy started her own consulting business, through which she continues training and advising anti-sex trafficking stakeholders throughout the country. Joy sits on advisory boards for the Just Exits Initiative as well as the University of Minnesota's Modeling Effective Network Disruptions - MEND Project. She is also certified to run survivor mentor groups through My Life, My Choice. Joy recently became the first independent contractor to receive grant funds from the Minneapolis People's Assembly Partners, the mission of which is hosting and facilitating People's Assemblies to imagine and build a safer Minneapolis. Through this grant, Joy will be gathering community input through street outreach to re-conceptualize public safety.
Mrs. Keisha Head is more than just a survivor of child sex trafficking. For the past 12 years she has served as a nationally recognized speaker and advocate aiming to end all forms of Human Trafficking. She has been called upon by the U.S. Department of Justice and advocates for legislation that protect victims of human trafficking. Keisha is also a consultant for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Keisha has also worked closely with the Children's Advocacy Center and uses her personal story of being a victim, turned survivor and emerged leader, to serve as an inspiration for others. In 2011, Keisha was awarded the Paul Howard’s Fulton County District Attorney “Voices for Victims" Award. She has been featured in numerous local and national news articles and has appeared on various televised broadcasts, including FOX News and CNN, to spread awareness nationally. In 2012, her first televised interview “How to Stop the Candy Shop” conducted by PBA’s Ross Scott received the Southeastern Emmy.
In 2013, Keisha was awarded the "Voice of Courage" award from Darkness to Light, an organization that advocates and provides services for victims of sexual abuse. Keisha was also featured in the November 2014 Special Men's Edition of EBONY Magazine. Keisha currently serves as Secretary of Board for the Sun Gate Foundation, an organization that provides educational assistance to Survivors of human trafficking. In 2018, Teresa Pike Tomlinson Mayor of Columbus, GA Declared April 12th “Keisha Head Day” and awarded Keisha with the Key to the City.
In 2020 Keisha started CEO BIzness, a company that provides collaborative support for entrepreneurs. She is also the Lead Case Manager for the Salvation Army's Haven Atlanta Program. Apart from advocating, Keisha is a wife and mother of four beautiful children. She is also a passionate writer and plans to publish her first novel “Truth Be Told” in the near future.
Ms. Jacobs is a survivor of child sex trafficking who earned a Bachelor in Social Work, working with victims for 15 years. Ms. Jacobs spearheaded the Offenders’ Prostitution Program in St. Paul, MN. She is a successful group facilitator and has written curriculums for survivors. Ms. Jacobs was a Field Instructor for social work students at Winona State University and Alfred Adler Institute.
Ms. Jacobs started a non-governmental organization in Tucson, Arizona called Willow Way to help sexually exploited people find their way from victim to survivor to leader. She provides weekly educational/support groups for victims trying to escape prostitution/sex trafficking in Tucson. Ms. Jacobs has collaborated with CODAC Behavioral Health, Ward 6, Pima County courts, and Tucson Police to create Project Raise, an alternative to jail program for prostituted/sex trafficked people. Ms. Jacobs has coordinated community dialogue trainings focused on public policy issues to educate the public and change outdated, ineffective legislation federally and locally.
She participated in two legislative briefings in Washington, DC in 2014 and moderated a third briefing on Capitol Hill in January 2016. She has also made changes locally by helping to pass a vacatur law in the AZ 2015 legislative session (HB2553). Ms. Jacobs visited legislators, provided expert testimony, and educated the community about human trafficking laws and the need to update them. She participated on a panel with other experts at New Hampshire School of Law, and conducts workshops & educational presentations throughout the United States speaking as a subject matter expert. Beth held the seat as the Policy Chair for the National Survivor Network (NSN) in 2016 and does contract work to end human trafficking with ATEST.
Ms. Jacobs was recently a speaker in Cali, Colombia at the first International Meeting for Human Trafficking Survivors. She served as a survivor evaluator for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking's (CAST) attorney training to help victims vacate their criminal charges and convictions according to Arizona’s new human trafficking law. Beth has also consulted for Polaris on State Report Cards for vacatur laws.
Ms. Jacobs is a sought-after community trainer on the issue of prostitution/sex trafficking, and is skilled at establishing collaborative efforts to accomplish common goals needed within the community. Beth has been hired by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to serve as a Field Trainer. She was hired specifically to train law enforcement across our nation, focusing on human trafficking through the victim’s perspective. In 2019 Ms. Jacobs was hired as a federal consultant for the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office to assist federal entities needing a survivor's perspective on trainings, curriculum, and other projects. Moving from victim to survivor to leader has been Beth’s greatest achievement.
Shamere McKenzie is a consultant; activist; subject matter expert on human trafficking; and a sought-after, award-winning, and internationally-recognized speaker and trainer. Turning her past adversities into an opportunity to liberate and protect others, Shamere has brought about social and political change in America and around the world.
Shamere has a strong passion for education and policy and is the Chief Executive Officer for Sun Gate Foundation, an anti-trafficking organization that provides educational opportunities for survivors of human trafficking. Additionally, she serves as the Training Manager for the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Shamere is also the co-chair for the Victims Services Subcommittee of the Maryland State Human Trafficking Task Force. As a former Program Director, she authored an anti-trafficking program from the ground up and oversaw an emergency residential program for adult survivors of human trafficking.
In 2018, Shamere responded to a call from the Ministry of Justice in her birthplace, Jamaica, and currently serves as the first appointed Anti-Human Trafficking Ambassador for Jamaica.
Shamere works tirelessly to raise awareness on human trafficking by speaking at universities, conferences, and community events, and consulting with government officials around the world. She has trained a variety of professionals on how to identify and respond to victims of human trafficking, including the FBI, Homeland Security, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, churches, hotels, and airline staff.
Shamere's lived experiences with sex trafficking have been featured in several books, including a college textbook focused on social justice. In addition, her story has been featured widely on television and radio and in documentaries and blogs. Her most recent documentary, entitled False Promises, was released on the island of Aruba on September 25, 2018. The documentary serves as a tool to educate youth in the Caribbean about sex trafficking.
In 2015, Shamere graduated from Loyola University in Chicago with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She serves on several boards, advisory boards, and speaker’s bureaus and has received numerous awards in recognition for her work. Shamere's strong determination, passion for success, and faith in Jesus Christ help her to keep her eyes on the prize. Shamere does not consider herself a victim because she is no longer enslaved. She is not a survivor because she is more than surviving; she considers herself a liberator—one who has broken free from the chains of her past, determined to pave the way for others who have been enslaved.
Jeri is a Shoshone/Cree and a specialist on human trafficking in Indian Country. Over the past 20 years, Jeri has worked with youth and adult high-risk individuals, providing direct client services, developing and overseeing programs, and creating curricula and training content to combat commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP), and violence against youth and women.
Jeri founded the Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative in 2016 to eradicate sex and labor trafficking throughout the Nation. It is a survivor- and indigenous-led human rights nonprofit organization located in Olympia, Washington (Nisqually territory) and serves communities throughout Turtle Island.
Innovations HTC has developed a multi-pronged approach: raising awareness on the intersectionality of MMIP, domestic violence, and human trafficking while ensuring that all are trained to identify and effectively respond to victims; providing direct client services such as outreach, advocacy, and resource navigation; and survivor leadership development. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has served over 65 survivors with direct client assistance (DCA). Survivors deserve safety and IHTC strives to offer options and support, but the organization can’t do this alone. Collaboration and unity are core principles of the organization's work. Learn more at www.innovationshtc.org.
Dalia currently serves as the elected District Attorney of Douglas County, Georgia. Dalia began her career at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia. During her time in Fulton County, she was assigned to the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit and the Major Case Unit, where she prosecuted sexual assault, physical assault, and homicides of women and children. As a result of her trial experience in Fulton County, Dalia was recruited to join the Crimes Against Children Unit at the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in Decatur, Georgia. During her time in DeKalb County, she initiated the creation of a specialized human trafficking unit and a task force comprising representatives from law enforcement agencies, the Department of Family and Children, schools, service providers, the medical community, and elected officials.
Prior to serving as the District Attorney in Douglas County, Dalia served as an Attorney Advisor at AEquitas. The leadership role that she assumed as a prosecutor in the communities she served, her passion for zealous advocacy on behalf of victims, and her success in holding offenders accountable informed her delivery of training and technical assistance and development of resources at AEquitas. AEquitas is indebted to Dalia as a founding member of the Just Exits Initiative and looks forward to continuing its work with her as she brings her passion and expertise back into the field.
Jennifer Dolle is an Attorney Advisor Emeritus with AEquitas with a focus on human trafficking.
Prior to joining AEquitas, Jenn was an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. During her 11-year career, she prosecuted violent felonies including human trafficking, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, weapons possession, drug conspiracies, and intimate partner crimes. Jenn was a co-founder of the Human Trafficking Response Unit at the Manhattan DA’s Office and served as its first-ever Deputy Chief. She developed the Unit to confront human trafficking with a survivor-centered and holistic approach that focused on connecting victims with services while ensuring traffickers were fully prosecuted. As Deputy Chief, Jenn supervised a team that included a dedicated social worker, a data scientist, specially-trained investigators, prosecutors, and analysts. She developed innovative investigative techniques, including the use of eavesdropping warrants and other technology, to bring evidence-based prosecutions. She obtained top count convictions at trial on human trafficking and sexual assault cases, including one of the first sex trafficking wiretap cases in New York State. Jenn also supervised Manhattan’s Human Trafficking Intervention Court, where she implemented new policies aimed at minimizing harm to survivors within the court system. In this role, she also led efforts to vacate convictions of human trafficking survivors.
Jenn brings to AEquitas years of experience developing policies and training law enforcement agents, attorneys, judges, advocates, and data scientists on human trafficking. Her experience as a prosecutor and advocate for victims, in and outside of the courtroom, enables her to share practices designed to increase survivor trust in the legal system and promote collaboration amongst service providers, law enforcement, and prosecutors.
Jenn is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Colby College and obtained an M.A. from New York University with a focus on human rights. She lives in New York and is an avid sports fan.