To end human trafficking through preventing exploitation, educating the community, and empowering survivors.
We fight so that all may live free.
We believe that no human life should be for sale. Children, teens, and adults of all genders are exploited for sex and labor in our city every day. We exist to change that.
To fully end human trafficking, we must both support survivors and prevent people from ever being abused. By learning how to recognize the signs of trafficking, teens know how to stay safe and avoid exploitation. Informed kids are less likely to succumb to traffickers’ tactics.
Educating the Community
Education prepares the community. Through educational trainings, we prepare professionals, first responders, and community members to recognize and address human trafficking situations. Institutions become qualified to aid victims and survivors with a trauma-informed approach. Through our podcast, community members learn how to break down the systems that enable trafficking to flourish.
Outreach prevents exploitation and empowers victims and survivors. Through case management, support groups, and direct outreach, we bridge the gap between service providers and those who need them. We interact with overlooked people to identify exploitation and empower them with appropriate resources for restoration.
Human trafficking is a violation of basic human rights and should be addressed as such. Together, we must restore that basic human right to every trafficked person—freedom.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Celebration of equality is crucial to ending human trafficking. Systemic racism is the incubator of marginalization and exploitation and must be eradicated. Therefore, we recognize our responsibility to drive change. We, at United Against Human Trafficking commit to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
Over the years, we have continually examined our policies, our partnerships, and our programs to ensure the establishment of justice for people who are of any race, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, and ability.
We believe that we are the change we want to see in the world. And together, through love, listening, and understanding, we create a unified movement that brings an end to human trafficking and racism, so that all may live free.
Here’s What We’re Actively Doing
- Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is committed to ensuring our policies and practices abide by our commitment to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.
- We train our staff on the historical context of racism and how to be an anti-racist, providing the space to have deep and honest times of reflection and learning within our organization and with all our partners.
- We train our community on the intersection of human trafficking and racial injustice.
- We provide diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings to our Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition partners and are dedicated to only partnering with organizations committed to this process.
- We commit to sustaining a diverse staff and Board of Directors that reflect the populations we serve.
- We acknowledge that our clients’ ethnicity and race may play a role in their trauma and recovery experiences and build programs with whole-person healing in mind.
Client Services Intern
Chief Executive Officer
Master of Social Work, University of Houston | Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Houston| Non-Profit Leadership Alliance | Executive Leadership Certification at Rice University | FBI Citizens Academy
A licensed social worker, Timeka Walker is an innovative leader with over 18 years in nonprofit management and leadership. Timeka is dedicated to serving the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society to bring dignity and love to each individual. Before joining the fight against human trafficking, Timeka served HIV positive homeless men and women and those suffering from mental illness through the AIDS Foundation Houston. During her decade-long tenure Timeka served as the Program Director, Senior Director of Programs, and finally as the Chief Operating Officer. Additionally, Timeka worked with at-risk youth at Neighborhood Centers for six years.
Joining UAHT in 2015, Timeka passionately leads the organization in its efforts to offer trauma-informed programming and serving as a unifying force for the entire anti-human trafficking movement. Under her leadership the organization has grown from two team members to over 20 members and serves over 25,000 individuals each year.
Timeka received her Licensed Master of Social Worker from the University of Houston and holds an Executive Leadership Certification from Rice University.
Director of Donor and External Partnerships
Master of Public Policy, George Mason University | Bachelor of Arts in English, Baylor University
For 15 years, Elaine’s passion for ending human trafficking has fueled her work. From research and legislative work in Washington DC, to working with survivors in South Korea, to hosting an anti-trafficking conference in Virginia, to running fundraising and communication efforts in Houston, her zeal for ending exploitation continuously deepens. Elaine loves partnering with donors and coalition members who are dedicated to creating systemic change in Houston.
Director of Programs
Master of Arts in Cross Cultural Studies, University of Houston – Clear Lake | Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Houston – Clear Lake | Leadership Certificate Program, University of Texas at Austin
Lisa has over 24 years of leadership experience in social services and nonprofit organizations, working with the most vulnerable and underserved populations. Lisa’s area of expertise is in Building and Sustaining Programs. She has a passion for working with multidisciplinary teams, supporting communities and empowering individuals to live “free” from exploitation and/or forced labor. She envisions a world where all people can live productive, independent and quality lives. Her mission at UAHT is to end human trafficking through awareness, education and outreach.
Chief Operating Officer
M.A. in Historical Theology Lincoln Christian University | B.A. in Biblical Studies & Student Ministry Saint Louis Christian College | Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Certification
A Missouri native, Titus Benton has spent his entire career inspiring growth in organizations and communities. With twenty years of leadership experience in pastoral and nonprofit work, his expertise is in communications, team building, and strategic planning. Since moving with his wife and two children to Texas in 2011, Titus has grown to love Houston for the rich diversity, incredible restaurants, and friendly people. His driving passion is to help those who need help most. He loves great stories, being outdoors, and eating great food.
Katarina Sowerby, MBA
Director of Finance
Master’s in business administration, Loyola University New Orleans | Executive Leadership Certification, Rice University| Bachelor of Science in Social Economics Science, Lambung Mangkurat University
Katarina is deeply passionate about nonprofit organizations and decided to continue her nonprofit management career path upon her graduation from Business School at Loyola University New Orleans where she was introduced further to social justice concepts. Prior to pursuing her MBA, she worked for an international nature conservation nonprofit organization in Indonesia, where she is from, for more than 8 years and worked for an IT company in the United Kingdom.
Now she is a very proud American who continues to strive for making a great and positive difference in the community. She has volunteered for various Houston-based nonprofits and worked for a Mental Health Nonprofit in Houston for more than a decade. She is very thrilled to be part of a highly mission-driven team. Professionally, she believes that the unique nature of nonprofit mission and organization culture need sophisticated management approaches to support the mission.
Education & Outreach Manager
Master of Arts in Sociology, Texas Southern University; Bachelor of Science in Communication, Fresno State University
Au’Vonnie’s optimism for motivating, inspiring and uplifting youth is what led her to be a youth specialist at UAHT. Her passion, drive, and commitment focus not only on herself but to those around her. Au’Vonnie focusses on speaking for those who want to be heard but don’t know how. Through storytelling and expressive discussions, Au’Vonnie hopes to continue impacting lives of youth in all communities positively one person at a time. She notes that “If I can motivate and inspire at least one out of every ten youth that I come in contact with through my own personal story and experiences; then I have done something right–my mission has been accomplished.”
Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Minnesota—Moorhead
Aspiring to see a sustainable and unified effort to fight human trafficking, Nate manages the Rescue and Restore Coalition led by UAHT. Nate brings his experience with nurturing inter-agency relationships in Guatemala to facilitate a culture of collaboration within the coalition and analyze our needs as a unified voice to fight this crime at a macro level. His passion for building partnerships ensures that our communities within and external to Houston are ready to address those needs and assist survivors from identification to restoration.
Bachelor of Science in Communication, Thomas Edison State University
While native to Chicago, Sammy also claims Mexico City as home which is where her zeal for the anti-trafficking movement fully evolved. Her international experience ranges from direct services with victims and survivors, to strategic outreach development, to broader fundraising and advocacy projects. Sammy is passionate about sharing the stories of survivors and people at risk in a way that honors those individuals while also inviting outsiders into the story and into the anti-trafficking movement. Her hope is for justice, for freedom, and for restored dignity for all people, Houston and beyond!
Erin Martin, MSW
Master of Social Work, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio
Erin R. Martin determined that her passion for helping individuals and families through case management is a self-rewarding job. Within 12 years of providing case management services, Erin developed the skills of advocacy, negotiation, education, facilitation, and leadership. Furthermore, Erin aspires to bridge the gap in services within the community to provide resources and information for her clients. Erin has devoted her expertise to the homeless population, at-risk youth, and victims of domestic violence. When Erin is not working she enjoys exercising, volunteering, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin
“What Starts Here, Changes the World.” Misa internalized this motto from her alma mater and believes that individual efforts create a collective impact against human trafficking and social justice issues. With her eyes on the future, Misa plans and strategizes projects today that propel UAHT’s mission and vision into tomorrow. Aside from her dedication to UAHT, Misa delights in sharing with others Houston’s culturally diverse food scene and Fair Trade food, clothing, and goods.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Houston
A former career newspaper journalist, Veronica has transitioned her communication skills to the nonprofit sector and considers her work within it a most personal and impassioned second act. As a native Houstonian, she has long been aware of the susceptibility of labor exploitation and trafficking in immigrant communities, and, as a mother of a young daughter, her troubled concern over the problem of sex trafficking has grown as its shadow has expanded ever wider online. Because of this, Veronica is honored to work with UAHT toward abolishing the slavery that is human trafficking, and she embraces the opportunity to encourage and celebrate the generosity of spirit of UAHT’s volunteers as its community engagement coordinator.
Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Certificate in Latin American Studies, Regis College
Emma first came to Houston through Americorps, teaching ESL to Latinx immigrants at an East End community organization. What was supposed to be only an 11-month term of service became a full-time residency! Emma uses her passion for writing to convey UAHT’s important mission to current and potential donors.
Bachelor of Business in Finance, University of Houston – Downtown
Andrew has always wanted his work to impact the community. As a native Houstonian, he knew he had to be a part of an organization that combats human trafficking. He has long been aware of this problem and now UAHT is giving him the opportunity to make a difference. His previous experience working to fight against homelessness showed him exactly how vulnerable some individuals are. Andrew helps with accounting duties to ensure the organization is operating efficiently so UAHT can progress towards ending human trafficking.
Bachelor of Science in Health Fitness, Sam Houston State University
Rachel loves her hometown of Houston, TX. She enjoys exploring the city and immersing herself in the diversity of its various neighborhoods. After learning about the prevalence of human trafficking in her city, she knew she needed to be a part of the fight. Her background experience in various non-profit positions and passion for assisting those in need are what drew her to UAHT. As Administrative Coordinator, Rachel works to ensure the daily operations of the UAHT team run smoothly so that we can focus on our mission – To end human trafficking through awareness, education, and outreach.
Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, University of Houston
Anna loves Houston—the museums, the free events, the diversity. She grew up here, attended university here, and got married here. That’s why when she heard that her beloved hometown was home to thousands of human trafficking victims, she knew she needed to act. Anna paired her love of storytelling with her passion to bring freedom to Houston and became UAHT’s Communications Specialist. Through blogs, newsletters, and social media, Anna aims to transform difficult and complicated facts into understandable and meaningful conversations.
Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Development, California State University – Los Angeles | Certificate in Non-Profit Administration, California State University – Los Angeles
A grassroots organizer by heart, Argenis Santamaria has dedicated the last 10 years towards uplifting his community through social, environmental, and educational projects aimed developing youth. His knowledge in the field of social work reflects the depth of his passion in helping others. As a Child Development major, he models a Social Systems approach towards building community at both macro and micro phases. Likewise, the connection to his Lenca/ Maya roots allows Argenis to use his platform as a means to advocate for indigenous communities throughout the United States. Combined, he utilizes these foundations to create a better world for all people, one where our voices are heard collectively.
Tyler R. Cunning
Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, University of Southern Mississippi
Mississippi Born, Alabama Raised – Tyler has always had a strong passion for social justice. His background incentivises his brilliance and fearlessness in promoting the rights and interests of vulnerable members of our communities. Tyler enjoys mentoring the youth, specifically those that are considered “at-risk”, going for jogs in Hermann Park, and going on road trips. With his outgoing and neurotic personality, Tyler will fit in perfectly as the new Outreach Specialist and looks forward to spreading awareness about human trafficking.
Sara Jayne Breuer
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science-International Affairs and French with a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California Riverside
A recent California transplant, Sara Jayne works toward a better world where all are free to pursue their dreams and live free from exploitation and violence. When she learned about trafficking in 2008, Sara Jayne knew she wanted to do something. She dove into research and helped enforce anti-trafficking legislation throughout Los Angeles County. For the past five years, she worked at the American Red Cross, teaching communities how to prepare for disasters. She also served clients in shelters, met with families after home fires, and went door-to-door to teach people about fire safety. She is passionate about working in diverse communities, bringing together different people towards a common purpose. Sara Jayne brings her love of community theater and entertaining others into delivering engaging and informative presentations. It has been her dream to work professionally in human trafficking for over a decade, and she is overjoyed to work with UAHT. As the Education Specialist, she hopes to bring knowledge of human trafficking to as many people in Houston and beyond as possible so that we can work together to help victims become empowered survivors.
Dalton Taylor Johnson
Bachelor of Social Work, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Resilient youth inspire Taylor. After seeing human trafficking, sexual assault, and other atrocities ignored by trusted systems, Taylor hopes to change the way our community views some of the most overlooked people in our community: children. Taylor aims to equip young people to grow and advance on their own terms. To do so, Taylor visits schools and juvenile detention centers to facilitate conversations that build the kids’ self-confidence and prevent abuse. He approaches those difficult conversations with compassion and a trustworthy listening ear.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in Sociology, University of Texas in Austin
Samantha has a strong passion for social justice, mental health, and her hometown—Houston. In hopes of creating an equal world for all, she advocates for individuals of all genders and ages whose freedom was robbed. With a deep desire to see trauma victims fully recover, Samantha helped children in the child protection system and empowered adolescents recovering from eating disorders in both Austin and Houston. Humbled by the privilege of higher education, Samantha whole-heartedly brings awareness and sparks activism in her community. Her experiences and education inspire empathy as she builds relationships in overlooked communities and gives a voice to the voiceless with UAHT. With passion, knowledge, and commitment, Samantha’s voice reaches and educates others to fight for freedom for all
Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management, Colombus State University
Chrissy Redmond hails from Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from Coloumbus State University, Chrissy worked within several nonprofits including Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia and the Columbus Alliance for Battered women in Colombus, Georgia, advocating for and providing resources to underserved populations. Shifting from a background in Domestic Violence, Chrissy began working at United Against Human Trafficking with hopes of promoting education surrounding human trafficking that goes beyond mainstream misconceptions.
United Against Human Trafficking pledges good stewardship in every donation received. We are transparent with our finances, annual reports and internal revenue service disclosure forms. We acknowledge your contributions are investments towards our mission to end and prevent human trafficing through education, outreach and awareness.
When you give to United Against Human Trafficking, over 81% of our total revenue goes directly to programs and services; 11% to general operations and 8% to fundraising efforts.
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Center for Clinical Studies
BRITTANY DES VIGNES
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DAN MARTINEZ, JD
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