Dr. Buck Blodgett is the author of A Message from Jessie, founder and Executive Director of The LOVE>hate Project, and past Director of The Chiropractic & Wellness Group. Married to his soul mate Dr. Joy since 1985 and retired from family practice, he was Jessies’ dad for 19 beautiful years. Dr. Buck has appeared on Dateline NBC, Voice of America, USA Radio, Wisconsin Tonight, The Morning Blend, and many other TV, radio, print, and social media. A dynamic speaker with a powerful message for schools, prisons, and community groups, he has worked tirelessly since Jessie’s passing to educate, motivate, and inspire young minds and hearts to add Love to our world and end violence.
Kianna Hanson (she/hers) is the Legal Advocacy Program Manager at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), in Dane County, Wisconsin. In this role, Kianna supervises the DAIS Legal Advocacy Program, which provides support and information to victims/survivors of intimate partner violence navigating the legal system. Kianna also manages the DAIS Court Watch Program, which seeks to improve victim/survivor experience in civil restraining order hearings by conducting a data-driven analysis of the Dane County judicial response to intimate partner violence cases. In her free time, Kianna enjoys taking walks with her dog, reading and traveling.
Elsa Gumm (she/her) is a Legal Advocate with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) in Dane County, where she supports survivors of intimate partner violence as they navigate civil and criminal cases. Elsa also serves on the Leadership Circle of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coordinated Community Response advisory committee of the Dane County Commission on Sensitive Crimes. In her spare time, she loves to read novels, practice yoga, cook and bake, and hang out with her two kids.
Tiffany Kula, BA, MS, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, owner of Absolute Impact LLC. Tiffany sees clients for individual, family and couple’s therapy including men, women, adolescents and children for about 10 years. She has run a women’s support group in the past and co-facilitates various parenting groups. She has been an advocate for families for over 20 years. She has worked extensively with issues pertaining to domestic violence, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse with people of all ages. Tiffany seeks to help clients recover their authentic selves through exploring family of origin issues, examining core beliefs and cognitive distortions, modifying behaviors that have become maladaptive, and learning to live life on a daily basis with meaning, integrity, and joy.
Tiffany has been a family / divorce mediator for over years helping families put aside their personal issues for the sake of the child and redirecting a parent’s focus back to the issue that really matters – the child. Tiffany is passionate about helping families of all sorts to thrive and be the best family system for them.
Currently Eileen Cruz is working as the Youth Program Manager at Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth. For the past 15 years, Eileen has been a Youth Advocate in the community assisting survivors who have experienced Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking, and other forms of trauma. She is the author of Caught in My Thoughts, Fearlessly Finding My Peace and Hope Looks like you, Surviving Abuse. Eileen has also created and published two curriculums and workbooks that she uses with her books in groups to facilitate conversations about trauma. Eileen offers them a safe place where they can uncover difficult emotions. Her books show young people they are not alone and the curriculum gives them the necessary skills to begin their healing journey. Eileen’s passion and life’s experiences gives her the courage to help others live emotionally healthier. She turns life’s complex conversations into compassionate, relatable discussions.
With a solid decade of experience engaging with the youth of Milwaukee, Valencia possesses an impressive track record of positively impacting countless young minds. Her journey to this role was paved with academic excellence, as she holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Africana Studies from the prestigious Marquette University. Furthermore, she has further honed her expertise through a master’s degree in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS). Her master’s research delved deeply into the African Presence in Mexico, exemplifying her passion for understanding and acknowledging diverse cultural narratives.
Valencia’s commitment extends beyond academic achievement, as her professional history showcases her tireless advocacy for Milwaukee’s youth. She has collaborated with numerous organizations throughout both the North and South sides of the city, consistently championing the development of leadership skills and the promotion of social and emotional learning among young individuals and their families.
At her core, Valencia is driven by her unyielding passion for nurturing culturally relevant strategies to cope with trauma. Her dedication finds expression through her innovative work with youth emotional support groups, transformative retreats, and the empowering medium of movement and dance. In her hands, these creative outlets become powerful tools for healing and growth, fostering resilience and self-expression among the youth she serves.
Valencia Laws stands as a shining example of an individual whose life’s work is dedicated to uplifting and empowering young people, using knowledge, experience, and a profound commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those she serves.
Kari Niesen-LaScala is a Staff Attorney at End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. She provides training and timely legal technical assistance to domestic violence advocates, other attorneys, and community partners who serve victims of domestic violence. Prior to working at End Abuse, she was the Associate Director at Wisconsin Health Literacy, in which she played an instrumental role in planning, writing, testing, and implementing health literacy interventions for refugees, immigrants, and other underserved populations. While living in Chicago, she practiced law at Pro Bono Advocates (now named Ascend Justice) representing clients in all phases of divorce litigation, and in obtaining orders of protection.
Nicole Johnson has worked in the anti-violence field for over a decade in many capacities including direct advocacy services, SANE services, and in leadership roles. Currently, she supports domestic violence programs across Wisconsin as a Program Capacity & Support Coordinator with End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. She is a deep thinker who thrives on building ideas and connecting with others. Personally, she is building her life motherhood, core memory adventures, belly laughing, morning coffee, gardening, and cooking great food.
Hannah Ferry, B.A., J.D., is an Associate Attorney at Rise Law Center. She provides direct legal representation to immigrant/refugee victims and survivors in the areas of immigration and family law and provides legal technical assistance to partner agencies and advocates. Prior to working at RISE Law Center, Hannah interned at both RISE and ABC for Health in Madison, where she pursued her passion of advocating for the underserved members of our community. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and legal studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she is not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, baking, and spending time with her partner, Kevin, and two dogs, Judge and Jury.
Keira Kowal Jett
Over the past decade, Keira has been leading change work in every sphere they inhabit, pushing for BIPOC and LGBTQ representation and justice in the music industry, academia, and the several non-profits they have served over the years. Keira loves connecting with others and strives to create grounded learning spaces for LGBTQ folks and their prospective allies to build new understandings of how to love and care for each other as deeply as possible. Keira is a passionate singer and actor, and they love to read, write, and run–no matter how cold the weather! Keira came to Wisconsin from California in 2012 and graduated from Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Music in voice performance and a Bachelor of Arts in gender studies.
Director of Statewide Anti-Violence Programs, Diverse & Resilient
Reiko is an LGBTQ+ advocate and community leader with over a decade of experience in LGBTQ+ community work. Based out of Diverse & Resilient’s Appleton office, they serve as Director of Statewide Anti-Violence Programs. They joined Diverse and Resilient in June 2020 as a Youth & Young Adult Advocate. Prior to that Reiko lead the LGBTQ Partnership program of Goodwill NCW for three years. Reiko was born and raised in Hawaii and has lived in the Fox Valley since 2010, when they moved to Wisconsin to attend Lawrence University in Appleton. Reiko is particularly drawn to working with queer, trans, and BIPOC youth because of their energy, resilience, and audacity to demand a world that sees and honors them.
Amanda Mayer is the Deputy Director at Judicare Legal Aid. Amanda started at Judicare as a staff attorney in 2015 and serves on the State Bar of Wisconsin Public Interest Law Section Board and the Family Law Section Board. In her role, Amanda’s work has largely focused on working with victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the family law context, as well as representing victims in criminal court. Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University and received her law degree from Marquette University Law School.
Megan Lee is the Communications & Development Director at Judicare Legal Aid. Megan started at Judicare as a Legal Advocate before becoming licensed in Wisconsin and staying on as a staff attorney. In her role, Megan has advocated for victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault in family law and victims’ rights cases, drawing on her experience working with adult and child victims of abuse. Megan received her undergraduate degree in Sociology & History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.
Karlie Merkel is the Family Law Legal Advocate at Judicare Legal Aid. In her role, she provides consultations, brief supportive services, and legal advice under the supervision of an attorney to survivors of domestic violence navigating the family court system. Previously, Karlie worked as a community-based victim’s advocate, serving individuals who experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. Karlie serves as a member of the Marathon County Sexual Assault Intervention Team and has extensive training in victim-centered anti-violence work.
Martie Washington is the Abuse in Later Life Program Coordinator at the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL). In this role, Washington is responsible for overall coordination of training and technical assistance activities for the Office on Violence Against Women’s Abuse in Later Life Grant Program recipients. She provides training to OVW grantees and other entities in the abuse in later life field, as well as work on special projects. Washington has an extensive background in case management, grant development and management, public/behavioral health, and collaborative team enhancement. In developing and providing technical assistance to these inter-agency teams, Washington focused on topics including elder abuse, drug endangered children, domestic violence and sexual violence. She has created and delivered multiple trainings both in-person and virtually addressing collaborative approaches and alliance development. As a social worker in a long-term care facility, Washington was responsible for the psychosocial assessment of its residents. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and has worked in the social services field in one capacity or another for over 40 years. Washington currently lives and works in Nevada.
Ann Laatsch is the Justice System Coordinator for the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse). Laatsch is responsible for nationwide leadership within the criminal justice system on enhancing safety and the quality of life of older victims and survivors of abuse. In this role, she also provides training and technical assistance on justice system issues, and creates training materials and curricula on justice system responses to abuse in later life.
In her past work, she has provided legal representation to survivors of domestic and elder abuse, and people with disabilities. Laatsch has developed and presented trainings on a range of topics including domestic violence, housing law, public benefits, elder rights, and disability issues.
Laatsch is a graduate of Carroll University. She received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2005. She lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Adam Joel is an impact-driven filmmaker and a survivor of relationship abuse.
He is the Writer and Director of The Last Drop— a short sci-fi film about relationship abuse inspired by the memories of real survivors. Adam is leading an international campaign using this revolutionary film to help people identify and react to the lesser known forms of abuse that tend to occur BEFORE a relationship turns violent. To make The Last Drop as impactful as possible, he consulted dozens of other survivors and an Advisory Board of experts in the fields of abuse prevention, education, and social work, including The One Love Foundation and The Safe & Together Institute, who designed custom discussion guides to accompany the film. Adam is providing this project as a tool to help educators, advocates, policymakers, and community groups lead meaningful conversations about relationship safety all over the world.
Radhika Sharma Gordon manages Education and Training for Apna Ghar (a Hindi-Urdu phrase meaning Our Home), a 31-year-old organization based in Chicago. Apna Ghar provides direct services, advocacy, and education to meet the complex needs of immigrant and other marginalized survivors of gender-based violence. Radhika’s family history features multiple diasporas. Her grandparents immigrated from India to East Africa in the early 1900s. She was born in Nairobi, Kenya and left in 1967 with her family to settle in Kalamazoo, MI. She obtained her BA and her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan in 1989, then moved to Chicago to start her career. She has been working and volunteering in Chicago for the last 33 years providing community and professional education and coordinating community engagement addressing disease, violence, the needs of immigrant communities, and promoting multidisciplinary partnerships to promote women’s empowerment and positive youth development. Radhika is an Adjunct Instructor in Community Health and Wellness at Northeastern Illinois University. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Foundation for Women, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Illinois, and Global Explorers Kids. Her odd but useful expertise includes being able to synthesize information from various disciplines and organizations in order to link people and institutions with a diverse array of resources and new models and projects to improve and expand their work. Radhika’s work has been recognized by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Iris Martinez, The Kedzie Center, The Cook County Commission on Women, and the HIV Coalition of North Suburban Cook County.
Lynn McLaughlin is an entrepreneur, author, peer, trainer, and consultant. Her life experience, education, and training in emotional wellness, trauma, domestic violence and peer support make her an exceptional leader, consultant and trainer. Lynn has a vibrant passion for life and deep empathy for the stories of others, which shows up in all facets of her work. She is a trainer of Emotional CPR and Emotions Education 101 and co-creator of The Missing Piece: Emotional Health & Wellness curriculum. Lynn is a founding worker/owner of Ebb & Flow Connections Cooperative, a Wisconsin based worker owned cooperative that provides training, consultation, and listening spaces related to emotional health and wellness. Along with Karen Iverson Riggers, she launched the Real Vibes Only podcast which talks about real life and emotions. Lynn received her BA in Communications from Marian University. She is mom to her adult daughter Emma who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Lynn lives in Neenah with her two pups—Lennon and Esther.
Karen Iverson Riggers
Karen Iverson Riggers is a writer, entrepreneur, activist, advocate, trainer, and Mom. She is a trainer of Emotional CPR and Emotions Education 101 and co-creator of The Missing Piece: Emotional Health & Wellness curriculum. She is a founding worker/owner of Ebb & Flow Connections Cooperative, a Wisconsin based worker owned cooperative that provides training, consultation, and listening spaces related to emotional health and wellness. Along with Lynn McLaughlin, she launched the Real Vibes Only podcast which talks about real life and emotions. She utilizes her own lived experience in the mental health system to advocate for change and create community spaces where people feel seen, heard, and valued, just as they are. Karen lives in Appleton with her partner Eric and their three children Nick, Quinn, and Ari.
Patrice N. McBeath is an international Clinical Mental Health Counselor specializing in trauma, an author, mental health consultant and trainer. With a background in education and social services, Patrice’s career has been dedicated to developing hope, healing and empowerment to individuals, families, groups and communities. She leads with empathy, integrity and competence. Patrice brings an evoking perspective gained from her extensive work history and personal experience that will empower and unleash untapped potential in those present.
Patrice learned the value of hard work and dedication early in life due to growing up as a child of teen parents in the inner city of Milwaukee WI. Patrice’s strong will and perseverance to avoid generational poverty and mediocrity inspired her to seek her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University in Schaumburg IL. Patrice is passionate about simply “seeing the light come on” in individuals that have lost vision and hope. She thrives on inspiring others to evolve and be the best version of themselves.
Jen Tingle is the Prevention Coordinator for Golden House with experience working with at risk individuals and victims of domestic violence in overcoming obstacles due to a variety of circumstances. Specializing in community education, Jen uses that experience to implement programming that introduces important area resources, while educating students and professionals, in an effort to reduce or eliminate domestic violence within the community.
By focusing on domestic violence prevention, Jen has been able to put the Human Services Associate degree she earned at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and the Bachelor degree in Psychology she earned from University of Wisconsin Green Bay to good use. Over the years, her strengths have benefitted Golden House and the greater Green Bay area in a variety of ways, but it’s the ability to be directly working within the community, educating and positively influencing others, that has become Jen’s greatest passion.
Hola Soy, Stephanie Fierro Padilla.
My parents migrated from Guadalajara, Jalisco to Los Angeles California where I was born and raised until the age of six. We packed our things and moved to Milwaukee, WI and have lived in Milwaukee since then. I have three beautiful sisters and two dogs! I have always had an interest in helping others, I knew I always wanted to work in my community. I graduated from high school and attended college at Milwaukee Area Technical College. I graduated with an Associate degree in Criminal Justice. My idea of helping the community I was raised in was through Law Enforcement. I was on the right path, in 2018 I applied to a police department and UMOS Latina Resource Center. I was offered a position from both. At the time it felt right to go with UMOS Latina Resource Center, my sister had interned there and raved about victim advocacy and the importance in our community. I decided to give it a shot and the rest is history. I started as a Bilingual Domestic Violence Advocate/Housing Advocate. Currently I am a Bilingual Lead Victim Advocate, providing onsite-comprehensive bilingual, bicultural services to victims of domestic violence and their families. I have been working as a victim advocate at UMOS Latina Resource Center for five years providing bilingual victim services to families that are impacted by violence; this includes case management services, legal advocacy, referral to counseling, domestic violence education, crisis intervention, and children services.
In addition to that I mentor a group of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocates. I am the only Advocate at the center that files all Sexual Assault, Harassment, Domestic Abuse and Juvenile restraining orders. This was a process we learned during the pandemic. We realized Spanish speaking survivors were being left behind. Our community expressed to us it was taking days for them to get a call back or weren’t getting calls at all. It was crucial for us to learn how to file to enhance safety. I have since then continued to file them, I conducted weekly case staffing with the advocates and coordinate monthly team meetings with the other leads at the center. The purpose of our meetings is to connect and disconnect from work, we focus on team building and wellness.
Ivana Guerrero Garcia
Ivana Guerrero-Garcia is a lifelong multidimensional learner with thirteen years of experience working in the non-profit sector and is dedicated to authentically uplifting individuals & surrounding communities. She is the Lead Bilingual Children & Youth Services Specialist at the UMOS LRC where she seeks opportunities to collaborate on cultivating inclusive safe spaces that encourages cultural empowerment for youth and community members. Currently, Ivana is working on completing their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at the University- Wisconsin Milwaukee with the intention of continuing their work to elevate the community change desired. Outside of being an advocate, Ivana enjoys kickboxing, being in a nature, spending time with loved ones, and discovering new places to eat.
Morelia Blanco Rincon
Morelia Blanco Rincón has been working with the Wisconsin Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Program for two years. Prior to her work with the UMOS Latina Resource Center, she worked at the UMOS National Farmworker Jobs Program where she served migrant and seasonal farmworkers through the comprehensive crisis relief program and the WIOA-167 program. These programs allowed Morelia to financially assist farmworkers pursuing higher education and those looking for food, gas, or rent assistance. While Morelia was pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she interned with the Legal Action of Wisconsin – the Farmworker Project which allowed her to visit H-2A housing and talk to the workers to inform them of their rights as guestworkers of Wisconsin. Morelia also interned for the Milwaukee Justice Center which is located in the Milwaukee County Court House to assist low-income individuals with filling out court documents such as Divorce, Name Changes, Child Support, modifications, and stipulations. Today, Morelia works as the Lead Anti-Human Trafficking Victim Advocate where she advocates for victims of all forms of human trafficking in the state of Wisconsin.
Here is a short description of WRAP. The Wisconsin Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Program (WRAP) is a statewide program aimed at expanding the capacity of Wisconsin communities to identify and protect domestic and foreign-born victims of all forms of human trafficking as well as enhance the quality and quantity of services available to victims and survivors. WRAP provides training to service providers and community, direct services to victims and survivors, and outreach.
Laverne Badger and Natalie Hayden
Exposed the Podcast Foundation
Who Are We
We met serving on a committee that focused on ways to support survivors of domestic abuse. Once victims of domestic violence ourselves, we decided to turn our traumatic painful experience into purpose. Our mutual desire to end domestic abuse was so much greater than what we could do individually, so we decided to join forces and created Exposed the Podcast Foundation. The podcast is a platform used to talk about life after abuse. As Thrivers, we understand the importance of having our voice heard.
Our mission is to educate, prevent and bring awareness to domestic violence.
Over the years, Exposed the Podcast, has grown into a movement. After becoming a nonprofit, we began facilitating workshops, leading victim/survivor support groups, created curriculums to conduct trainings on healthy dating/relationships and working in high schools to educate its students about recognizing abusive behavior in others and themselves. We have also provided training to the Milwaukee Police Academy on strategies and best practices to de-escalate domestic violence calls.
Exposed the Podcast has been featured on many other platforms to include: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , TMJ4 The Morning Blend, CBS 58 News Natalie’s Everyday Heroes 101.7 The Truth Radio, Milwaukee Magazine, WISN 12 News and many more.
Rashida, pronouns (she/Temptress), Performing Artist, Movement Expert and Author of A Return To Pleasure hails from the southside of Chicago, IL.
For the last decade, Temptress has been passionate about accessing dance as a catalyst for healing the disconnect between our sexuality, spirituality and mental health. Rashida is committed to helping feminine-spectrum people reclaim pleasure as an integral part of our spiritual journey post-trauma.
Rashida serves as the CEO of The Messy Movement Lab ® an online sensual wellness studio for feminine-spectrum people supporting a global student base. She is the lead actor & Executive producer of the short film series Sex Is A God Thing, co-host of the podcast Queer + Married with her Spouse Miller (he/him), and featured Sensuality Coach + Movement expert on Lizzo’s: Watch Out For The Big Grrrls on Amazon Prime.
Victoria Ferguson-Young is the Victim Services Coordinator of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse). In this role, Ferguson-Young is responsible for the nationwide leadership within the domestic violence and sexual assault movements on enhancing safety and the quality of life of older victims and survivors. She develops and facilitates training and technical assistance to Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Abuse in Later Life (ALL) Grant Program recipients and other entities in the abuse in later life field. Ferguson-Young has 15 years of extensive experience in the field of domestic violence through advocacy, prevention, community outreach, training, and education. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a Master of Divinity from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. She currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.
Heather (she, her) has a long history with the organization she works for. It has been a long journey, but as a survivor of child abuse, domestic violence, teen dating violence, and sexual assaults – she set a goal in childhood to work for the organization that had provided her with more care and support than she had ever experienced. She achieved that goal and is now the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate & Prevention Educator with Violence Intervention Project in the rural county of Kewaunee, Wisconsin. Heather loves to learn and has a passion for educating others on better understanding abuse, preventing abuse, and how to respond if either you experience abuse yourself or someone discloses that they have been abused. This past year Heather and her daughter presented at the Teen Summit, educating youth about consent. Heather is also a member of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence, where she sits on the training and education team. The passion and dedication to making our community, state, and nation one without violence is clear. She is grateful for the opportunity to have her story and journey of advocacy heard here at the Collective Transformation Conference.
Dr. Kaitlyn M. Sims is an applied economist and Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the University of Denver’s Scrivner Institute of Public Policy, housed in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Sims is broadly interested in the ways that individuals cope with uncertainty and social turbulence, such as poverty, housing insecurity, and household violence. Sims brings economics training in causal inference to these challenging, policy-relevant questions. She utilizes data in many formats and scales, including big data, geospatial data, publicly accessible national and sub-national data sets, and novel data collection. Recently, Sims has focused on the relationship between housing assistance and other social programs for households in poverty and survivors of domestic violence, including developing wealth and assets, and the impacts of institutional social services like police and domestic violence programs on the incidence of instability and violence within the household.
Tegan Swanson (she, her(s) is the Systems Change Coordinator for End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. She works with direct service programs, state agency staff, systems actors, and community partners to improve safety, increase access to resources, and advocate for holistic liberation and justice for all survivors. She is also a creative writer, a teacher, and a queer, environmental advocate. In other roles, she has been a shelter and a legal advocate, and offered primary prevention outreach education to young people and their communities. Connect with her to talk systems change and the Beloved Community near you – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Adler is a dedicated child welfare professional, currently supervising Initial CPS (Access and Initial Assessment) at Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and over the past 16 years, she has worked in both Milwaukee County and Waukesha County in the areas of Access, Ongoing CPS, After-Hours, and the Children’s Long Term Support Waiver.
Dr. Erin Schubert
Dr. Erin Schubert currently serves as the Director of Outcomes & Evaluation at Sojourner Family Peace Center, a domestic violence service provider in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This unique role allows her to apply her skillset conducting rigorous social science research in a context that is immediately applicable to practice. Dr. Schubert’s position as an academically trained researcher working at a non-profit agency, means that she is uniquely qualified and situated to contribute to translational research on effective prevention and intervention efforts for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence. Dr. Schubert has conducted research on domestic violence, effective interventions for families experiencing domestic violence, as well as families facing adversity in a variety of contexts including homelessness, poverty, and parental incarceration. Dr. Schubert has been involved at all stages of research including initial design, data collection, analyzing & interpreting results, & disseminating findings.
Dr. Schubert completed her doctoral training under the mentorship of Dr. Ann Masten and Dr. Rebecca Shlafer at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She received intensive training from world experts in sophisticated analysis of social science data through Texas Tech University’s Stats Camp, specifically attending training courses on structural equation modeling as well as advanced techniques for examining mediation and moderation.
Dr. Schubert has produced both academic dissemination products (i.e., peer reviewed journal articles, academic conference presentations) as well as dissemination products for practitioners, non-profit and government agency leaders, and the public. She is passionate about projects that allow data and research to improve practice and ultimately the well-being of domestic violence survivors and their families.
Attorney Robin Dalton is End Abuse’s Director of Legal Services. For over 14 years Robin has successfully represented hundreds of LEP victims, including survivors of SA, in immigration matters. A nationally recognized trainer, Robin is often called on as an expert on immigration protections for survivors of SA/DV in addition to mentoring new attorneys. Robin is a 2nd generation immigrant (Thai father, Kiwi-New Zealander maternal grandmother) and is bilingual (Spanish).
Attorney Gricel Santiago-Rivera is End Abuse’s Director of Sustainability and Of Counsel at RISE Law Center, where she provides legal representation mainly to immigrants in matters relating to family law and protection orders. Additionally, Gricel serves as Guardian ad Litem in cases related to legal custody and physical placement disputes, especially when there are issues involving domestic abuse or understanding of cultural dynamics within a custody/placement dispute. Gricel is a former Board of Directors member of UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, a culturally specific domestic and sexual abuse program serving mainly Latinx victims and survivors; a former member of the Board of Directors of the Child Advocacy Centers-Wisconsin Chapter, where she provided her perspective and expertise around issues relating to physical and sexual abuse of children; and a former member of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Legal Assistance Committee. Gricel was part of the Guardian ad Litem Ad Hoc Committee of the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, who along with End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, were responsible for conducting research and writing the Domestic Abuse Guidebook for Wisconsin Guardians ad Litem. Gricel also participated in End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin’s focus groups to review Wisconsin’s research on the correlation between domestic abuse and family court orders. Gricel has presented at prior State Bar of WI’s seminars on domestic abuse and family law. A native Spanish-speaker, Gricel has focused her work on issues disproportionately impacting immigrant populations, using a culturally-humble, trauma-informed and healing-centered framework. A focal point of Gricel’s work is supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, and other violent crimes. Gricel is a 1999 graduate of UW Law School, and has Master’s Degrees in Spanish and Comparative Literature from UW-Madison, as well as a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. In her free time, Gricel enjoys gardening and crocheting.
Cyrena Martin, is an author, facilitator and public speaker. She is wonderful mother of two and grandmother of one and also a known leader in the non-profit arena, especially in the areas of trauma stemming from Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She’s the Founder and CEO of Mahogany C.A.R.E.S and is committed to raising awareness to address the wellness and protection of women and girls as it pertains to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness. Little does some know, Ms. Martin’s advocacy doesn’t stop with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, it continues with her passion for breast cancer awareness. As another way to support highly vulnerable women and girls in our communities, her organization has the resources available for mammograms, self-exams, and post-diagnosis support. Mahogany C.A.R.E.S. hosts an annual event Honoring Survivors Breast Cancer Awareness event to educate and build strength among women in the community. This event creates an opportunity for fellow survivors to be honored, fellowship together, and share testimonies with others.
In conjunction with becoming a advocate for survivors, Cyrena earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Services. She found it crucial to be well-knowledgeable in this area and a more specfic concentration to understand the population she supports. She is now a current graduate student earning a master’s degree in Clinical and Rehabilitation Mental Health Counseling with a focus on Trauma while employed at a local hospital as a Mobile Advocate Coordinator for Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault patients.
Cyrena truly loves God and has been truly blessed with many women mentors; friends and family members who have offered their advice, experience, and encouragement which have basically kept me from a lot of unnecessary heartaches and pain. She has taken their support and molded it into the care and support she gives to other women working hard to survive. The supportive women in Cyrena’s life have uplifted her and inspired her to keep going when she felt like giving up. She plans to continue her work in the community while creating opportunities to gain donations and grants that will be a blessing to her organization, but to the women she helps to survive. While tirelessly doing this great work, she just remembers her favorite quote: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou
Jennifer Malone is a transformational speaker, entrepreneur, and the Founder of Ladies Empowered with Resources, a platform dedicated to empowering women in their personal and professional journeys. With a passion for fostering positive change, Jennifer brings a wealth of experience in coaching and mentoring. Her engaging and insightful presentations inspire audiences to unlock their full potential, embrace leadership, and make a lasting impact. Jennifer is known for her authentic approach and commitment to equipping individuals with the tools they need to succeed.
Hello! My name is Andrea Schneider, I graduated from Verona Area High School near Madison, Wisconsin back in 2011. I went to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) in New York For photography but after one year I changed my mind to have it as a hobby instead. I went to Madison Area Technical College back home to finish up my general education and see what I wanted to do. I’ve worked various jobs till I arrived to Deaf Unity to find what my passion is on including my own side business that I still do now which is house/pet sitting.
I discovered about Deaf Unity through a friend of mine and started there as a volunteer in 2019 then as a staff in 2021; starting off as a volunteer coordinator & advocate to now as an Empowerment Director. I joined this field due to I have my own past experiences of being through domestic violence and sexual violence among other things. I wanted to be able to help out others in the Deaf Communities who go through this also so that they know they aren’t alone and can reach out for support. I value being able to help and support them so we can reduce the violence out there in the world.
I have a huge love for animals, nature/hiking and reading; I grew up being a bookworm. I always partake in doing those things when I can so can get that self-care time in which is important for us all.
*Hand Waves!* Hello! My name is Greta Surprenant, one of the empowerment director at Deaf Unity in Wisconsin.
Little fun facts about me before I tell all about my career journey; I grew up in the rural area but never rode on a horse! I grew up in Wisconsin but never went skiing/snowboarding. Wisconsin is well known for dairy state and I’m lactose intolerant.
After I graduated from high school, I went to Gallaudet University majoring as a social worker. As I’m navigating the life-map of what do I want to do for my future, as 3rd generation of deaf family; deaf community hold a special place in my heart. There is one thing that I’m aiming for is to give back to the deaf community and develop the bridge to various resources. Deaf Unity created the opportunities that tick off my desire with deaf communities. With Deaf Unity, I committed to take various of the training included Transformative Justice and Restorative Justice, trauma as well as advocate. With the training, created the ability to provide the bridge to the resources and ability to advocate with cultural-formed for our survivors in Wisconsin.
Kristin Burki is the Director of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse). This role builds upon Burki’s social work career at the direct practice, organizational leadership, and systems levels focused on effective responses to abuse across the lifespan. These experiences have resulted in her deep commitment to addressing the interconnection of services, community, and system factors that are tied to the safety, justice, and healing of older survivors.
Burki has 20 years of experience in the gender-based violence movement, including work as a member of a statewide AmeriCorps team of gender-based violence advocates and community educators in Oregon; roles as Support Group Coordinator and Director of Services at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) in Madison, WI; and in the position of Prevention and Early Intervention Section Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
Since 2018, Burki has also been faculty at the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she teaches a graduate course focused on integrating social work theory with practice.
Burki holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Bachelor of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. She is a certified Advanced Practice Social Worker in the state of Wisconsin.
Dr. Buck is the founder of INSPIRE Consulting, an agency focused on counseling, educating, and training professionals on domestic violence, trauma, and substance abuse. Dr. Buck was the Director of the Milwaukee Women’s Center for over 7 years providing services in areas related to elder, later life, domestic, and substance abuse, from prevention and treatment to management and program implementation. She possesses a passion for program enhancement and the legitimacy of the profession, which motivates her to educate other disciplines on addiction as it relates to domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health services.
Ms. Buck is nationally recognized as an expert in family violence, trauma, and substance abuse. She has trained Child Welfare, W2, and Criminal Justice professionals on the signs and effects of addiction and domestic violence. Additionally, Ms. Buck has presented at various conferences including those for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), Child Welfare League of America, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, and the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance, Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), University of Wisconsin, NCALL, and a host of others.
Dr. Buck is a proud HBCU graduate of Alabama State University, and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
An interesting fact – she plays the drums!