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Iris graduated from the Master of Health Evaluation program at the University of Waterloo in 2018, and has spent the past eight years coordinating, planning, implementing, and evaluating health system programs. Recently, Iris made the shift from working in the provincial health system to provincial law enforcement and policing, in a research and program evaluation capacity. Iris is excited to work with and learn from the talented iRise team and is looking forward to seeing the impact of the program.
Camille has extensive customer service experience that she uses to inform her work as a Project Coordinator. She is passionate about social justice issues, victim support and survivor advocacy, and has a particular interest in how members of a community can work together to achieve change. Currently, she is working toward completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at York University.
Lexxi comes from a background of working in the entertainment industry, most recently at TIFF in Event Production and Corporate Partnerships, she just made a pivot to the health and wellness industry working as Regional Manager of a fitness brand.
Lexxi has recently gone back to school for Human Resources Management at George Brown College and is excited to share her new knowledge, skills and abilities with the Project iRISE team.
Valentina recently graduated from Western University with an Honours Specialization in Psychology and a Minor in Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Her passion to work with female victims of armed conflict and gender-based violence motivated her to pursue a career in mental health. By combining both fields, she has gained a greater understanding of mental health and human rights issues, and the need for a greater emphasis on survivor healing and development. One of the most appealing aspects of Project IRISE is that it provides survivors of human trafficking a safe space where they can begin their healing journey and become part of a community that speaks up for change. It's an honor to be able to support the growth and mission of Project Irise.
Jenny is a student at McMaster University, focusing on child health and well-being. She is an experienced researcher who has worked on several projects that involve health policy, the needs of various stakeholders, and the social determinants of health.
Jenny is currently using her expertise in helping to create a Survivor Toolkit as part of her role at Project iRISE.
David is the Deputy Chief of the Human Trafficking Unit at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and is also is the law enforcement lead for the DOJ funded Enhanced Collaborative Model Brooklyn Human Trafficking Task Force. He has been investigating and prosecuting Human Trafficking cases since 2014.
After starting his career in 2006, he previously handled cases involving all types of violent crime. In 2015, David led a multi-agency investigation and prosecution which resulted in the takedown and closure of two hotels and their owners permitting prostitution in hotels in Brooklyn and Queens.
In 2017, David was cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York to bring federal sex trafficking charges in a case involving the trafficking of several underage girls. David regularly presents on Human Trafficking investigations and prosecutions throughout NY State, around the United States and for international law enforcement officials through the US Department of State International Visitor’s Program.
Ayumi studied at the Musashino Art University in Japan and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in art and design. After graduation, she worked as a graphic designer. She contributed to creating companies' advertisements. In 2020, she moved to Canada to study web development at the Cornerstone International Community College of Canada. Currently, She is working on creating web sites with some languages to improve her skills.
Lilo Noort is a Carlton University student, majoring in Journalism with a minor in business. She is an experienced and creative journalist, writer, graphic designer and content creator. Her focus is fashion, lifestyle and food reporting, but she also an expert in social media management, marketing, business and public relations.
Lilo's talents in multimedia content creation, writing and marketing, help assist in building and optimizing brand messaging and vision.
Dr. Stephany Powell
Dr. Powell retired from the Los Angeles Police Department as a Sergeant in charge of aVice unit. Dr. Stephany Powell's unique insight into the world of sexual exploitation and trafficking gained through her thirty years with LAPD has made Dr. Powell an unparalleled choice to lead Journey Out in 2013 (formerly known as the Mary Magdalene Project). Journey Out assists victims of human trafficking in finding their way out of violence and abuse, due to sexual exploitation or forced prostitution. In 2020, she joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) as the Director of Law Enforcement Training and Survivor Services. She is also the law enforcement human trafficking training consultant for Selah Way Foundation.
Additionally, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. Dr. Powell’s expertise on the subject of race and law enforcement has been showcased in documentaries, local newspapers and magazines. She was most recently been highlighted in the PBS documentary “And Still I Rise,” by Dr. Henry Louis Gates. Dr. Powellhas has also been featured on HLN Chris Cuomo for her expertise in Human Trafficking. She recently authored a human trafficking workbook for teens, My Choice, My Body, My Rules, her workbook is currently being used on a national and international level.
Robert J. Benz is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, a Rochester, NY-based public charity. He'sresponsible for programs, policies, and strategies. Robert created and led the development of FDFI’s core philosophy of a preventive approach to human trafficking manifest today as the nation’s premier prevention education program, PROTECT. He leads the organization’s Racial Equity initiative.
In 2017, Robert developed FDFI’s Bicentennial Edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. As part of the One Million Abolitionists project, FDFI will give away one million copies of the book to young people across the country to help fulfill its mission to build strong children. Robert was the book’s Editor.
From 2016 through 2018, Robert led FDFI’s effort in proposing, drafting and promoting changes to the existing Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the most important human trafficking legislation in the US. The results of those efforts were signed into law as the Frederick DouglassTrafficking Victims Prevention & Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018. It was the first time that language and funding were included in the law specifically for-prevention education.
Matthew Huisman is a seasoned business development professional with 20+ successful experiential years specializing in business growth program/project management; aligning with business owners to turn their big-picture vision into go-forward action plans(taking them to the next level in their mission).
Matthew develops and implements Formal Strategic Business Plans to prioritize goals and strategies, outline projects/budgets/deadlines, analyze results, and optimize performance. Providing the necessary action planning and execution, he relieves Leadership of related time-consuming demands to further define internal/external needs, expand/enhance services, catapult engagement, and accelerate business(the brand).
His extensive proven ability to materialize vision and execute multifaceted projects has supported high-profile private, public, non-profit, academic, consulting, marketing/PR, coaching, outreach, and event production industries along-term relationship building, strategic forecasting, and business evolution level. His advocacy-focused work includes HEAL Trafficking, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, AIDS Hotline, HRC, City PRIDE Parades, Service Members Legal Defense Network, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, Body Positive, Lymphoma Foundation, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Rochelle Keyhan is the Chief Executive Officer of Collective Liberty and the 2018 Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Hero Award, winner. She develops and executes the organization's strategic disruption of specific types of human trafficking. Her team analyzes national trends and best practices, creating comprehensive training and resources to help facilitate the effective and systemic eradication of trafficking in the United States.
She was formerly the Director of Disruption Strategies at Polaris, a department she designed to shift systems to disrupt trafficking in the United States. Before joining Polaris, Rochelle spent six years as a prosecutor of gender-based violence crimes in Philadelphia, where she is bar certified to practice law. As an Assistant District Attorney, Rochelle championed the need for increased investigation and prosecution of human trafficking in Philadelphia, successfully prosecuting the first two trials herself.