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2021 SENMCAC Conference Sessions

2021 Conference Presenters


Deshawnda Chaparro
Staff Attorney, New Mexico Immigrant Law Center

Deshawnda joined NMILC in 2018 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. After completing her two-year fellowship, Deshawnda shifted into a staff attorney position and now provides immigration law services to survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other violent crimes. Deshawnda studied political science and Latin American studies at Florida Gulf Coast University where she graduated cum laude. During this time, she was involved in community organizing where she helped campaign for tuition equity and driver’s licenses for Florida’s immigrant community while also organizing citizenship and DACA clinics. Deshawnda moved to New Mexico to attend the University of New Mexico School of Law (2017) and received the Ann C. Scales Jurisprudence Award for commitment to moving the law forward in the service of humanity as well as Clinical Honors. Deshawnda enjoys gardening and playing with her dog in her in spare time.

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Michael DeBernardi, PsyD, MS
CEO, The Life Link

A graduate of 200-hour Pranakriya Yoga teacher training, Michael is excited about sharing this inward-focused, transformative practice. Yoga is a tool that connects us with our inner selves, bringing our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects into balance, and leads to deeper and more meaningful relationships with ourselves and others. Yoga teaches us to embrace the chaos within and around us, and channel it into opportunities for growth.

As a clinical psychologist, Michael has witnessed the benefits of yoga for wellness, healing, and recovery, especially from trauma, and he looks forward to offering these tools to his clients and students alike.

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Roslynn Gallegos
Social Worker, Gilbert L Sena Charter School
New Mexico Dream Center

Roslynn Gallegos is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She was born and raised in Cuba, New Mexico. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work and graduated from New Mexico Highlands University. Roslynn recently completed an administration development program and plans to pursue a license in educational administration. She plans to continue working to improve mental health services in school systems across New Mexico.

Roslynn has worked in various capacities as a mental health provider. She has had the opportunity to work in alternative education settings as well as with homeless youth, at-risk youth, and youth in foster care. Roslynn Gallegos is an advocate for young people and has spent the majority of her career working to establish services for vulnerable populations in the Albuquerque area.

Roslynn believes that every student can succeed if they are given the right supports and connected with community agencies that can best support their needs. She is honored to serve at Gilbert L Sena and be a contributing team member. She would like you all to know that she believes in each one of you!

Roslynn will always make time to help students and families with resources. She hopes to help build a network of community services to help all students succeed.

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Mariana Landaverde
Human Trafficking/Legal Advocate
La Pinon

Mariana Landaverde was born in Roswell, attended Dexter High School, and graduated in 2018 from NMSU with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and Spanish, and a minor in Child Advocacy. She worked at the District Attorneys' office in Las Cruces, until she became the Human Trafficking and Legal Advocate at La Pinon. She has been at La Pinon for about 2 1/2 yrs now, and works with victims of HT, providing legal advocacy. Legal Advocacy entails helping file orders of protection, attending criminal and order of protection hearings, and providing resources. Mariana has always had a passion for helping others and making a difference in the world.

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Roberta Lujan, J.D., MSW
Victim Specialist, FBI

Roberta A. Lujan, J.D. MSW is a Victim Specialist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ms. Lujan has been with the FBI for 23 years responding to victims in the areas of human trafficking, violent crime in Indian Country, bank robberies, elder fraud, financial fraud and others. Ms. Lujan has a master's in social work, and a Juris Doctorate in Law. Ms. Lujan is passionate about assisting and supporting victims within a multi-pronged trauma informed approach.

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Anthony Maez
Former Special Agent in Charge/Commander of NM ICAC Task Force,
New Mexico Attorney General

A certified/commissioned law enforcement in the State of New Mexico for over 32 years. I am the Special Agent in Charge/ Commander of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force for the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General. Because of my leadership style, I created an 89 affiliate/member ICAC Task Force consisting of Federal, State, Military, Local and Tribal law enforcement agencies, in addition to, State and Federal prosecutors, and non-profit organizations. I have also created the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force, which also consists of Federal, State, Tribal and Local Law Enforcement and Prosecutors. I lecture and consult Nationally and Internationally on how vicarious trauma can affect you and the tools to stay healthy.

Visionary leader with a proven track record in analyzing, developing, managing, administering, and executing organizational and mission goals and directives, strategic plans and policies as a law enforcement professional.

Professional Lecture/Trainer/Instructor –Determine training requirements and delivery methods. Developing lesson plans, creating training and job aids, producing course manuals, publications, tests, and identifying supporting resource requirements. Motivational lecture on leadership and wellness.

Experienced, passionate and motivational public speaker. I will create a highly interactive educational environment while teaching diverse, intergenerational groups of people. I specialize in violent crime investigations, the technology used to stalk, and working with victims as law enforcement.

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Suleman Masood
Human Trafficking Subject Matter Expert, National Survivor Network

Suleman Masood is a Subject Matter Expert and Executive Board Member for the National Survivor Network (NSN). Suleman has served as a Human Trafficking Subject Matter Expert in the anti-trafficking movement since 2013. Raised in Santa Maria, California, Suleman’s tireless campaign in completing his education gave him the opportunity to attend California State University Fresno to complete his bachelor’s degree. Suleman has served as a consultant throughout the state of California, as well as for the federal government. After graduating, he was selected to participate in a pilot leadership development cohort under the Office of Trafficking in Persons and NTTAC’s leadership and in partnership with Coro Northern California. Suleman was credited with creating the textbook definition of “survivor-informed,” which was published by the Administration for Children & Families.

Suleman’s experience in public speaking has given him the ability to speak out as an advocate for survivors of human trafficking, specifically male labor survivors of crime. In these presentations, he details his experiences with victim services and advocating on ways to improve the quality of services. He has delivered curriculum and training with OVC TTAC on “Tips of Engagement from a Survivor Leader’s Perspective”, as well as helping to create an “E-guide for Creating a Human Trafficking Task Force”. This work emphasizes the need to partner with survivors and ensure that strategies and implementation are created with a trauma-informed approach. Suleman's commitment to education is living proof that if a survivor is given a platform to return to normalcy, they will not only thrive but be the best advocates in uplifting others.

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Shamere McKenzie
CEO, Sun Gate Foundation

Shamere McKenzie was simply trying to find a way to pay her college tuition when she met her trafficker. He seemed like a nice guy, and he promised her she could make money dancing.
Instead he forced her into sex slavery.

For the next several years, Shamere was forced to perform sexual services both on the streets and inside strip clubs. Strong-willed as she is, Shamere often refused and resisted this man who posed as her boyfriend. Each time, she was beaten to a point where she was unable to take care of herself.
Escape was never an option.

It wasn’t until the police busted the pimp (and her!) that she was able to find a way to liberate herself from his clutches. Even though Shamere was clearly a victim, she was charged alongside the pimp.

Today, Shamere is a free woman. She is empowered by her recognition of her own strength, her faith, and her family and friends. She is now the Chief Executive Officer for the Sun Gate Foundation, an anti-trafficking organization that aims to provide educational opportunities for survivor of human trafficking. She the former Program Assistant for Shared Hope International, an organization whose mission is to prevent, rescue and restore women and children in crisis. In addition, she is a subject matter expert consultant with Fox Valley Technical College Amber Alert TTA; a member of Who is Stolen performance troupe; a mentor to survivors of sex trafficking; a member of the National Survivor Network, the Survivor Leadership Institute and an international speaker on the issue of sex trafficking.

Shamere tells the inspiring story of a woman who was able to survive a fate that is all too prevalent in the US. But she knows that thousands of other girls are still enslaved by tricky pimps. And she also knows that many vulnerable young girls who are seeking a little bit of help or a little bit of love are just a flirtation away from the same harrowing experience she had.

She considers herself to be the voice for those still enslaved, those who perish while being enslaved, and those who were victims and are now free, and are still afraid to share their stories. Her strong determination, passion for success and her faith in Jesus Christ helps her to keep her eyes on the prize. She believes that one day she will be a Human Trafficking Attorney, advocating for victims of modern day enslavement.

In her dynamic talks, lectures, and workshops, Shamere McKenzie not only shares her story, but she educates people about the tricks pimps use to convince girls to get involved in “the game.” Her speeches are moving, inspiring, and may actually save some young girls' lives.

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Heidi Olson, RN, MSN, CPN, SANE-P
Certified Pediatric Nurse, Certified Pediatric SANE & SANE Program Manager, Children's Mercy Hospital  

Heidi Olson is a Certified Pediatric Nurse, Certified Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and the SANE Program Manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She has a wide range of experience in pediatric and forensic nursing and has also taught as an adjunct clinical instructor for the University of Missouri at Kansas City and the University of St. Mary’s. Heidi received the Excellent Nursing Student Educator’s Award in 2017.

Heidi’s current role includes performing forensic exams on children who have been victims of sexual assault, training new SANE nurses, running the day-to-day logistics of the forensics program, following up with victims and their families after discharge, communicating with law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, the FBI and educating the healthcare staff on relevant topics regarding children and sexual exploitation. Heidi also serves an expert witness for the prosecution during trials for victims of sexual assault. In last two years, Heidi has performed and reviewed over 1,200 pediatric sexual assault cases. Last year, Heidi testified in favor of a bill before the Kansas State Legislation to advocate for mental health treatment for children with problematic sexual behavior and it was signed into law.

Heidi has a huge heart for victims of sexual assault and sexual exploitation. Heidi has presented well over 200 times about recognizing human trafficking, the harms of pornography, sexual assault and sexual exploitation in various settings from nursing schools to international conferences. Heidi started and leads a human trafficking committee at Children’s Mercy Hospital to help bring together a multi-disciplinary group that will focus on better care for this vulnerable population. She is also on the planning committee for the Big Search KC (which aims to find missing children), presents with the Anti Internet Child Exploitation Team (a Canadian non-profit), and organized Empower KC, a community event to raise awareness about sexual exploitation in Kansas City. In her free time, Heidi loves being outside, listening to true crime podcasts, and learning.

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Nathan Padilla, LCSW, MS, BS, AA
Clinical Director, Embrace, Inc

Nathan Padilla is a Clinical Social Worker Specialist in Roswell, New Mexico. He graduated with honors in 2009. Having more than 12 years of diverse experiences, especially in clinical social work, Nathan Padilla is not affiliated with any hospital, but does cooperate with many other doctors and specialists and organizations in Chaves County and around the State of New Mexico. Nathan Padilla is a Board member of Con Alma Health Foundation, the President of the New Mexico Addiction Education Network and on Chaves County Health Council.

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Pamela Rose Rodriguez

Trying to Find YouPamela Rose Rodriguez
00:00 / 03:26

I will be singing my original song "Trying To Find You" - written for victims of trafficking. I learned about the issue through a friend and immediately wanted to get involved in helping in some way. I connected to many people in different organizations that guided me in discovering what I could do to help create awareness and be a voice for the voiceless through music. In addition to singing my song, I will be sharing about how no matter how small we feel or if we think we don't have anything to offer to help the cause we are wrong. There are so many ways to help you just need to ask and someone will guide you. Because there is so much to do and all hands and hearts on deck can bring about change.

Listen to her song, Trying to Find You !

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Lynn Sanchez, MA, LPCC
Human Trafficking Aftercare Director, The Life Link

Lynn Sanchez, MA, LPCC Director of Human Trafficking Outreach and Aftercare Services at The Life Link since 2009. Founder/Director of the State of New Mexico human trafficking hotline, 505-GET-FREE (438- 3733), and co-chair of the New Mexico Human Trafficking Task Force. Founder/Director of Sojourners Advocacy Cafe in 2007, providing outreach, intensive case management, and advocacy services to homeless women and families with mental health, substance abuse and trauma histories. Sojourners is a hub for survivors of trafficking and trauma to get support, community and resources for recovery.

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