Panel Speakers

Panel Speakers

Becca Johnson, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Alston, M.S.

Liz Alston has been active within the sex trafficking education and awareness movement for the past five years in various capacities including: building awareness, and providing direct services and interventions to victims of trafficking. Currently, she teaches suicide prevention in local schools, and leads Northwest Family Services’ sex trafficking awareness program, Deceptions, through outreach and education efforts impacting thousands of youth and adults locally, and nationally. This one-hour, three series curriculum has existed since 2011, and is available in print, on-line, and offers ongoing annual updates to those online subscribers. Prior to joining Northwest Family Services, Alston drafted, wrote and implemented Shared Hope International’s human trafficking video, Chosen.  This 20-minute awareness video has been a widely shared resource to thousands of people across the region and the US. Liz has also worked with local Portland Police in building relationships with trafficked women on the street and in local Portland area strip clubs. In addition, Alston serves as a subject matter expert on youth prevention education for Warner Pacific College, and works with those helping to reform state policy to protect those affected by sex trafficking. Liz has become a national speaker and trainer on sex trafficking, and works with a wide group of stakeholders in addressing this issue. When she is not working, Liz enjoys running with her dog, exploring the scenic outdoors, and time with friends and family.

Robin Miller

Robin Miller is a mother to three children, a daughter, a sister and the cool auntie to her nieces and nephew. In 2012, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social science from Portland State University. Robin is also a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation and was trafficked for six years up and down the West Coast and Hawaii. Today, Robin Miller works as the case manager for the New Options for Women Program at LifeWorks NW in Portland, OR. She is part of a team that provides direct services to women who have been commercially sexually exploited or trafficked through prostitution. 

Mike Gallagher

Officer Mike Gallagher has been a police officer with the Portland Police Bureau for 24 years. During the majority of his career he has worked to address the issues related to prostitution & sex trafficking. His work with the victims is accomplished by earning their trust as well as building partnerships with nonprofit organizations that provide needed counseling, housing, and career building services. He also works to address the buyers; through traditional law enforcement efforts as well as education. Ofc. Gallagher has contacted over two thousand victims of trafficking, both minors and adults. He has also dealt with approximately a thousand buyers (johns) in addition to assisting with the prosecution of numerous traffickers (pimps). Ofc. Gallagher is also cross-designated to work as a special agent with the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force.

Joel Shapiro

Joel Shapiro is an attorney and policy adviser who specializes in sex trafficking issues and crime victim advocacy. He served as Chief Counsel to Senator Ron Wyden, and crafted the first federal legislation focused on domestic minor sex trafficking. He led the “Kids Are Not For Sale in Oregon during the 2013 session of the Oregon Legislature and again this year. Those efforts improved Oregon’s grade rating from a “D” to a “B,” including making it a felony to purchase sex with a minor. He also spearheaded the effort to secure $2.3 million for Oregon’s first state-funded sex trafficking shelter, which opened this year. Joel has been a presenter at sex trafficking conferences hosted by the National Association of Attorneys General, the Carter Center, and Shared Hope International.

Kay Vail

Kay Vail is a Probation Counselor for Clark County Juvenile Court and Co-Chair of the Clark County Human Trafficking Task Force. Kay has worked with victims/survivors of trafficking who are on probation in a trauma informed manner. Joan Renner and Kay Vail began the Clark County Human Trafficking Task Force five years ago. Since that time the task force has grown and includes: Law Enforcement, Prosecuting Attorneys, NGOs, Planned Parenthood, Clark County Jail, DCFS, Victim Advocates, YWCA and others. She is part of the Washington State Trainers for CSEC and is committed to fighting CSEC and helping survivors. She feels that creating long term relationships is key to helping survivors and educating the communities on the harm of trafficking.