Who We Are…About GRIT

The Greater Rockies Immersive Training on Exploitation and Trafficking (GRIT) is brought to you by Uprising, a Wyoming-based anti-trafficking nonprofit. By fusing together the latest research, trends, and field expertise coupled with innovative immersion training, GRIT aims to cultivate sustainable change in how criminal justice systems throughout the Rocky Mountain region react to, investigate, and prosecute exploitation-based crimes. GRIT accomplishes this by using a multidisciplinary approach that targets offenders while providing holistic support for the victims of these crimes.

The 2023 theme for the GRIT Conference is ‘marginalized populations.’ We will be highlighting often overlooked or underserved populations that are disproportionately affected by the issue of human trafficking. 

Uprising isn’t just an organization, it’s a movement.

We believe that exploitation of even one person is too much and we are working tirelessly to shine a light on how this is happening, even in Wyoming.

By strategically collaborating with other individuals, groups, and organizations, we can create more awareness surrounding human trafficking and exploitation, expand prevention and intervention efforts, and effectively reduce vulnerabilities that lead to exploitation. Together, we can take steps to ensure our communities are the safest possible. Learn more about Uprising’s mission and programs by visiting Uprisingwyo.org.


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Register NOW!


$349 Individual Registration | $299 Group Rate*

*Group Rates Available for 3+

2023 Schedule

The Greater Rockies Immersive Training

Tentative Schedule-Subject to Change

Registration and Check-In

Human Trafficking 101 (optional)

Welcome & Keynote

Session 1 Rotation

Lunch (Provided)

Session 2 Rotation

Refreshment Break

Skills Application Exercise 1

Happy Hour

Session 3 Rotation

Coffee Break

Session 4 Rotation

Lunch (Provided)

Large Group/Main Session 1

Refreshment Break

Skills Application Exercise 2

Networking Event/Concert

Large Group/Main Session 2

Breakout Session 1

Breakout Session 2

Lunch (Provided)

Large Group/Main Session 3

Refreshment Break

Skills Application Exercise 3

8:00am- 9:30am
Large Group/Main Session 4

Breakout Session 3

11:15- 11:45am
Closing Remarks/Door Prize Drawings

2023 Venue

Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center
800 N Poplar St
Casper, WY 82601

A limited amount of King or Double Queen rooms are available at a special rate of $93/per night until April 17, 2023 or until they run out. We recommend you book your rooms early!

Book Your Room Here

Or call  307-266-6000 to book your room and mention the “GRIT Conference” for your room rate.

  • Casper-Natrona County International Airport – Casper, Wyoming https://iflycasper.com/
  • Casper has an international airport that is serviced by direct flights on United Express to and from Denver International Airport. The largest nearby airport with more flight availability is Billings-Logan International Airport which is approximately a 4-hour drive or Denver International Airport which is approximately a 4-hour drive. Other nearby regional airports with limited flight availability are located in Gillette, and Sheridan, Wyoming respectively.


The Greater Rockies Immersive Training

Session Descriptions Coming Soon

Successful Collaborative and Creative Prosecutions

JR Ujifusa

This session will focus on working together in a collaborative approach to be more successful in holding offenders accountable and supporting victims in the criminal justice system. Taking into account the ideas of being offender focus and victim centered, this session will explore examples and strategies to help professionals work together to create positive outcomes. Using existing case law and statutes, the challenges associated with prosecuting sex trafficking cases can be reduced using creative approaches and working with partners to collaborate.

Survivor-Centered Strategies for Interviewing and Engaging Human Trafficking Victims


Maurice Washington


This critical presentation is designed to support investigators in developing a trauma-informed approach to interviewing and engaging victims of trafficking, and in implementing measures to mitigate secondary trauma. Through case examples and audio/video recordings, Detective Washington will review the interpersonal impact of trauma and how it influences a survivor’s perspective on trust, safety, and cooperation; discuss barriers to establishing and maintaining engagement; and enhance an investigator’s interview skills by providing techniques and tools to elicit evidence and gain cooperation, detect trauma responses, navigate resistance, and reduce the potential for re-traumatization.

A Comprehensive Care Model for Service Providers working with Victims of Human Trafficking: Overcoming obstacles while providing Effective Support and Resources

Rebecca Cary

This session will speak to service providers who work directly with victims of human trafficking. Discussion will center around the use of best practices and the challenges each area might pose, while helping to learn effective and collaborative ways to provide sustainable and long-term support and resources for each victim.

Developing Culturally Competent Services for Victims of Human Trafficking

Cristian Eduardo

Recognizing the importance of culturally competent services and the potential impact on clients and victims of trafficking is critical to achieving healthy outcomes in victim and case management. The presenter will lead attendees in an engaging presentation defining cultural competence and intersectionality within the context of human trafficking cases, followed by a deep discussion on cultivating cultural competency within multidisciplinary teams. Attendees will learn how to integrate key practices within their own agency, mitigate vicarious trauma, and create organizational change in order to improve their relationships with marginalized populations.

Deep Impact

Kimberly Glaudy

This session will explore the “5 B’s” of trauma, which is a conceptualization coined by the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, co-founder of Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). Participants will be introduced to how interpersonal trauma impacts a survivor’s brain, body, biology, behavior, and belief system. Subsequently, participants will be able to indicate trauma’s specific deep impact on trafficked victims and survivors. Lastly, participants will be introduced to the comprehensive trauma-responsive framework of TBRI. Utilizing TBRI’s principles and strategies is one way to extend hope and healing to the needs of this unique population.

Responding to Commercialized Violence against Males

Nathan Earl

Strong evidence supports a high prevalence of commercialized labor and sexual exploitation of male-identifying individuals, yet regional efforts to intervene and support impacted males continue to be a challenge. During this plenary, the instructor will provide a snapshot of prevalence research conducted within both criminal justice and public health contexts. Attendees will examine prominent models and associated dynamics of familial, drug-facilitated, digital trafficking and forced criminality and labor trafficking, including risk, vulnerability, and indicators. The facilitator will explain evidence-informed tools for identification and engagement and provide recommendations for culturally responsive treatment and support. The presentation will conclude with an opportunity for discussion.

Human Trafficking Risk Factors within Tribal Communities


Chris Cuestas


The presenter will review key factors that increase vulnerability for human trafficking and exploitation, trafficker recruitment tactics on tribal lands, and technology trends impacting victims and families. Attendees will discuss potential socio-cultural obstacles to building rapport and networking within tribal communities, along with complexities that impact reporting, case management, investigations, and prosecutions. The presenter will provide recommended steps that can be implemented to mitigate risk factors and unforeseen challenges.


Lauren Trantham

Human trafficking happens every day in every county and state in America, but what do we really know about it? Do you know who is affected by it, where it happens, and more importantly how it happens? Join accomplished activist and educator, Lauren Trantham, as she dispels common misconceptions about human trafficking. This informative and eye-opening presentation will debunk multiple prominent myths about trafficking, identify the difference between human trafficking and human smuggling, explain ‘the four B’s’ of trafficking, reveal the signs to keep your community and family safe, and empower you to take proactive steps to make a difference.


Alexandra Stevenson, Moderator

Nathan Earl, Christine Cesa, Cristian Eduardo, Rebecca Cary, Jenny Footle

Five national leaders with lived experience in sex and labor trafficking provide critical insight into how to engage with victims and survivors on the spectrum of response, recovery, and reintegration. By discussing lessons learned from their own experiences intersecting with professionals and community members, as well as insight gained through interacting with and supporting other survivors, the presenters will highlight harmful practices as well as best practices in victim-centered and trauma-informed approaches. Multi-disciplinary teams will learn tactics for building rapport and empowerment during every encounter with exploited persons, with an emphasis on working with marginalized populations.


Clay Platt and JR Ujifusa

With coaching and facilitation, participants will work together in small groups to apply lessons learned in victim identification and trafficker tactics to assess and analyze potential human trafficking cases. Together, participants will discuss dynamics, identify indicators, and formulate a potential response plan for review.


Clay Platt and Maurice Washington

With coaching and facilitation, participants will work together in pairs and small groups to practice critical victim-centered, trauma-informed interviewing skills including: rapport-building tactics, body language, using proper terminology, sharing control, empowerment and strengths-based approaches to prevent re-traumatization.



Clay Platt


Participants will work together as teams on a case scenario based on an authentic profile of an adult victim in Wyoming. Each team will have two hours to work through the entire case from identification to prosecution as they follow through with the investigation, interview victims/witnesses/perpetrators, collect and review evidence, etc. Faculty will coach and assist teams as needed on best practices and victim-centered approaches.

Breakout Sessions

Presenters: Dr. Katie Edwards and Paulette Red Willow

The purpose of this interactive session is to review and discuss research as well as practice-based wisdom and lessons learned from the field on the prevalence of sex trafficking among Indigenous peoples. Presenters will address risk and protective factors as well as factors that facilitate and/or hinder recovery/healing among survivors, followed by insight on trauma-informed, culturally grounded prevention and response efforts. Specific attention will be paid to multiply-minoritized populations (e.g., Indigenous LGBTQ2S+ individuals) and the ways in which social identities (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status) impact trafficking experiences among Indigenous peoples. During this interactive session, attendees will be equipped with the knowledge and ability to ensure that the services they are providing are impactful.

Presenter: Charlie Falkis

You may be aware of the invisible wounds that victims often face, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), but what about the invisible wounds to one’s morality or soul? A moral injury can occur in response to acting or witnessing behaviors that go against an individual’s values and moral beliefs. This session will take you on an intentional journey through the lens of moral injury. We will look at moral injury through the viewpoint of a survivor with lived experience and learn how they have used this approach to move further in their own healing.

Presenter: Nathan Earl

Drug-facilitated sex trafficking, DFST, is a leading typology of cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The associated health outcomes of DFST often include substance dependency, co-occurring mental health challenges, HIV and STI transmission.  During this workshop, attendees will examine the nexus between substance use, abuse and dependency and commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, including substances commonly used in DFST. The instructor will introduce the syndemic model of exploitation to highlight the SAVA syndemic (substance abuse, violence and HIV), and provide recommendations for the development of targeted syndemic-based interventions. 

Presenter: Tammy Bitanga

This session focuses on the development and implementation of best practices in survivor engagement when working with individuals on a spectrum of healing and self-empowerment. Participants will explore and discuss common bias regarding victims and survivors as well as the impact of primary and secondary trauma on professionals that could influence their relationships and collaboration efforts. The presenter will provide instruction and insight on evolving best practices implemented across the U.S.

Presenter: Ashleigh Chapman

This session focuses on the development and implementation of best practices in survivor engagement when working with individuals on a spectrum of healing and self-empowerment. Participants will explore and discuss common bias regarding victims and survivors as well as the impact of primary and secondary trauma on professionals that could influence their relationships and collaboration efforts. The presenter will provide instruction and insight on evolving best practices implemented across the U.S.

Presenter: Pauletta Red Willow

This session will provide an historical overview on the Lakota tribes and the continued impact of trauma experienced through boarding schools, abuse, and exploitation of tribal members. The presenter will provide supporting data and share from her lived experience regarding current community dynamics, needs, resources, and the dedicated work of building resilience through strengths-based practices and culture-based programming. Attendees will gain tools to strengthen their communication and relationship-building initiatives in tribal communities.

Presenters: Chris McDonald and Ryan Hieb

This course will provide an overview of The Wyoming ICAC Task Force, their mission and how the Task Force supports local agencies in the investigation of online sexual exploitation of children. Additionally, this course will provide summary of electronic evidence collection “best practices” and how Wyoming ICAC can assist local agencies in the acquisition and examination of electronic evidence.

Presenter: Christine Cesa

The presentation will highlight familial trafficking and the differentiation from pimp-controlled trafficking. Furthermore, it will address the complexities survivors endure, and serving survivors of familial trafficking. In addition, it will give attendees tools to work with survivors of familial trafficking and exploitation.

Presenter: Christyne Martens

This discussion-based session will be focused on providing a primer on the criminal justice process, focusing on information that non-lawyers will be able to use when interacting with victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation crimes. Topic areas will include definitions and basic proof requirements for various trafficking related crimes. the defendant’s constitutional rights and how those rights impact others in the justice system; victim and witness rights and obligations.

Presenters: Jessica Munoz and Elizabeth Porter

This session will highlight the impact of survivor voice and choice in community- based programming and residential programming that are both essential to ensure youth have access to the services needed. This session will also highlight what Pearl Haven has learned in providing comprehensive residential care for youth with severe emotional behavioral disturbance, complex PTSD, attachment disorders, and sexual trauma. Pearl Haven is a world-class, special treatment facility in Hawai`i for youth with complex trauma. The pipeline to Pearl Haven begins at the heart of communities with partners who are equally committed to shining the light on this very dark enterprise.

Presenter: Christine Cesa

Human trafficking is a public health issue that requires a trauma-informed, survivor-centered response to achieve best outcomes. When survivors are treated with dignity and trauma-informed care in the healthcare setting, it offers them the opportunity and choice to self-identify and be able to accept assistance when offered. This session focuses on the principles of a “trauma-informed approach” and emphasizes how to engage victims and survivors through a knowledge and accommodation of the impact of their prior traumas.

This session will provide an overview on the latest techniques, tactics and strategies used by organized crime groups, including street gangs and drug cartels, to scale their human trafficking operations in a post-pandemic society. The presenter will discuss how cartel activities establish and evolve in rural communities, review terminology and cartel structure, reveal the use of technology and counter-intelligence tactics to avoid detection, and engage attendees in a discussion around the development of an effective community-based response.


Full refunds are available until April 1, 2022. Refund requests after this date will be considered on a case by case basis. 

**To request a refund, you must email GRIT@uprisingwyo.org and provide the attendee’s name, the purchaser’s name, the ticket order number and an address to send the check. If your billing address has changed since the time of purchase, please provide your updated address. Refunds will be issued by check within 30 days of request.

The GRIT Conference provides top-notch instruction from nationally-renowned experts who have spent months collaborating to develop an innovative training that integrates best practices for each discipline with a coordinated, trauma-informed team approach to victim-centered justice. Rather than choose from a traditional list of breakout sessions according to their topic, attendees will be assigned to multi-disciplinary teams throughout the event to learn, apply, and problem solve together as they move through each instructor’s class. Instructors will provide expertise and engagement opportunities in critical areas of a victim-centered response. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to put the skills they have learned into practice with a hands-on exercise involving a mock investigative operation. 

The GRIT Conference also examines the issue of human trafficking through a rural lens.

The GRIT Conference is intentionally designed as a multi-disciplinary training where attendees from varying professions will learn how to effectively communicate, coordinate, and collaborate together to accomplish more favorable outcomes in cases of exploitation and trafficking.

This training was developed for professionals who work with victims/survivors and potential victims of sex and labor trafficking, such as prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, probation officers, detention staff, social services, child protective services, healthcare providers, victim advocates, advocacy groups, CAC staff, task force members, educators, and mental health practitioners. If your profession is not listed here and you would like to inquire regarding your eligibility to attend, please contact GRIT@uprisingwyo.org prior to registration.

A group rate will be available in 2023 for agencies registering three (3) or more individuals at the same time before March 1, 2023. Agencies may register up to five (5) attendees at this discounted rate through the link provided above. If your agency would like to register more than five attendees at the discounted rate, please contact GRIT@uprisingwyo.org for an invoice and further instructions.

The GRIT Conference is designed as a fully immersive, hands-on experience. All attendees are expected to join us for the duration of the event in order to receive the most value out of their registration. While we understand evolving priorities and unforeseen schedule conflicts, partial registration will not be offered at GRIT 2023.

Given the nature of the immersive and hands-on experience, The GRIT Conference will not be offered virtually.

We are striving to have CEU credits already approved and available for attendance.  Last year the following CEU’s were available:

WY, ID, MT, SD, ND, CO, NE POST were approved, WY, ID, MT CLE general credits were approved, and NASW social work credits were approved. 

If you are in a profession or a state where CEU credits have some very specific requirements for approval then please reach out to GRIT@uprisingwyo.org and we will work with you as best we can to make that a possibility.

GRIT 2023 will take place in Casper, Wyoming right off Interstate 25 in the central part of the State. Weather in early May can be unpredictable and all travelers should allow plenty of time if coming from out of the area.

Casper has an international airport that is serviced by direct flights on United Express to and from Denver International Airport. The largest nearby airport with more flight availability is Billings-Logan International Airport which is approximately a 4-hour drive or Denver International Airport which is approximately a 4-hour drive. Other nearby regional airports with limited flight availability are located in Gillette, and Sheridan, Wyoming respectively.

Nope! Welcome to Wyoming where casual/business casual attire is acceptable and the weather is unpredictable. The majority of the experience will take place indoors, however a portion of the experience may have attendees outside periodically (with potential for rain, snow, wind, or shine) so please check the weather in advance and come prepared. Layers are recommended, even indoors. 

Lunch will be provided on site daily, along with light refreshments and coffee in the morning and afternoon.

If you have a food allergy, please be sure to indicate that during your registration or any time prior to the event and we will work with the venue to address these restrictions.  You may also indicate whether you are vegetarian or require a gluten-free diet and we will do our best to accommodate those requests.


 Please be sure to indicate any accessibility needs during your registration or any time prior to the event and we will work with the venue to accommodate to the best of our ability.

Yes! Event staff will have multiple networking opportunities available. More information will be released closer to the event.

You, your new friends, and  The GRIT Conference staff and presenters will have the chance to connect during multiple, attendance-optional events during the conference in 2023. More details to come.

Yes, WiFi will be available throughout the venue and a password will be provided in your conference program.

The GRIT Conference is working alongside the staff at our training venue, The Ramkota to ensure that our conference attendees remain healthy and safe. With the hotel’s help, we will ensure sanitation procedures and precautionary measures are in place throughout the venue. Safety measures including mask requirements and social distancing will be dictated by the City of Casper and the State of Wyoming. GRIT 2023 will not be administering COVID-19 temperature checks, testing or mask mandates, unless otherwise specified by the local and state governments for the duration of the 2023. By completing the registration, all attendees assume the risks related to attending a public event and agree to not hold Uprising, event staff, and/or affiliates liable for illness or injury incurred as a result of attendance or travel to the event.

CDC Guidelines on COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

As we get closer to the GRIT 2023 dates, we will provide regular updates to registered attendees on any changes in our precautionary measures.

In the unlikely event we must cancel GRIT 2023 due to COVID-19, attendees will be given the option to request a full refund or transfer their registration to GRIT 2024. If an attendee becomes ill due to COVID-19, they may refer to the refund policy provided above.

2023 Presenters

JR Ujifusa

JR Ujifusa has been working on human trafficking crimes and issues for the last 14 years and is also a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the district of Oregon focusing on federal human trafficking crimes. He is the Senior deputy and supervisor of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Drug and Property unit and Human Trafficking Team which oversees the Prostitution Coordination Team, the Sex Buyers Accountability and Diversion Program,  First Offender Program, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Law Enforcement group, National Sex Trafficking Law Enforcement List Serve, and is the primary prosecutor for all felony prostitution and human trafficking cases within Multnomah County. JR has trained, presented and has been a guest speaker at numerous national and regional human trafficking conferences and trainings. He is a member of the Multnomah County and State of Oregon Human Trafficking Task Forces as well as the U. S. Attorney’s Oregon Foreign Born Task Force. JR serves as the chair of the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States. He co-chairs the Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s Human Trafficking Advisory Committee and the Oregon DOJ Trafficking Intervention Advisory Committee.   He has been a Deputy District Attorney since 2005 and has also prosecuted drug crimes, felony property crimes, violent crimes, sexual assaults, domestic violence related crimes, gang related crimes and homicides.

Rebecca Cary

Rebecca Cary is the Founder of Hands of Justice, Consultant, Speaker, Educator, and Overcomer Leader. A recent graduate of Sam Houston State University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Human Services, Rebecca is currently enrolled in a Master’s program for Victim Studies and set to graduate December 2022. She holds the Survivor position on the board of the Montgomery County Coalition Against Human Trafficking and serves on the Survivor Leader Council for the state of Texas. She was featured in a PSA, as well as a short film, for the new Goya Care initiative, appeared on NBC, and has also been an endorser for the “Can you See Me” campaign, led by A21 in various cities throughout Texas. In May of 2022, she published her first book, When Silence Ends, which features Overcomer stories from across the United States. As of July 2022, Rebecca opened up an Economic Empowerment and Resource center for Survivors of Human Trafficking in Conroe, Texas. This is a first of it’s kind within several counties of Texas.

Jessa Crisp

Cristian Eduardo

Cristian Eduardo is an advocate, speaker and educator for anti-trafficking initiatives, immigrant and LGBTQ+ rights. He is a survivor of international and domestic sex and labor trafficking, a Mexican immigrant, HIV+, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and someone who speaks openly about the mental health challenges he has faced that frequently result from trauma. Although these are parts of him, he is whole, who cannot be defined. Cristian Eduardo is also a student, who is science and engineering oriented. Cristian Eduardo’s inspiration for his social justice work is to give insight that victims always remain human beings. Cristian Eduardo is a Lead Human Trafficking Consultant and Survivor with Shobana Powell Consulting, shaping national human trafficking trainings and policies. He also serves as a Survivor Consultant for ECPAT-USA, Center for Court Innovation, and USCRI. He is the Co-Founder of United Immigrants of New York (UIONY), a coalition of immigration advocates providing accessible education and resources to Spanish-speaking immigrants in New York. Cristian Eduardo is on the Steering Committees for New Yorkers for the Equality Model and Louisiana for Survivors’ Justice Coalition and has been instrumental in the development of Equality Model training and legislation across the US.

David Weiss

Maurice Washington

Maurice Washington is a detective with the Seattle Police
Department, assigned to the High Risk Victims Human
Trafficking Unit. He is also a Task Force Officer with the FBI
attached to the Seattle FBI Child Exploitation and Human
Trafficking Task Force. Maurice has held his current
assignment with the HRV Human Trafficking Unit and the
FBI Task Force for over fourteen years. He has 32 years of
law enforcement experience, 22 years of undercover
experience, and he is a master instructor for the Seattle
Police Department focusing on defensive tactics and
tactical movements. Maurice teaches human trafficking
investigation classes (sex trafficking specifically) around
the country and beyond and is a human trafficking expert
witness in both state and federal courts. He is responsible
for investigating crimes of Promoting Prostitution and other
related crimes and conducts this in traditional and
undercover capacities. His unit’s mission is preventing
children and young women and men from being targeted for
prostitution/sex trade, stopping or disrupting
traffickers/pimps running these criminal activities and
organizations, and rescuing and removing those who are
already being victimized.

Alexandra Ford

Chris Cuestas

Chris Cuestas holds a bachelors degree in Administration of Justice from The University of Arizona. Chris has been educating communities, law enforcement, schools and tribal entities for 42 years. Chris is a recognized “sole source” trainer because of his level of expertise and years of “field experience”.

In 2009/2010 Chris’s gang reduction strategy received “national best practice”
recognition for gang reduction in tribal lands. The G.R.I.P.S. (Gang Reduction through Intervention Prevention and Suppression) strategy has shown significant
success in tribal communities seeking to impact this developing sub-culture.

Chris also served as the Lead Detective for the cross pollinated drug, gang and guns federal “Hardcore Interdiction Team” representing the Tucson Police
Department from 1990 to 1996. Chris also currently consults on MMIW/MIP cases on behalf of tribal communities and families.


Alexandra Ford

Dr. Katie Edwards

Dr. Katie Edwards, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln where she directs the Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory. Using community-based participatory action research, Dr. Edwards seeks to answer two questions in her work: (1) How do we prevent sexual and related forms of violence? and (2) How do we most effectively support survivors in the aftermath of violent victimization? Much of Dr. Edwards work focuses on minoritized populations, specifically Native American/Indigenous youth and families as well as LGBTQ2S+ youth and emerging adults. Dr. Edwards highly values community leadership in developing and evaluating strengths-focused, affirming, culturally grounded initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual and related forms of violence. To date, she has published more than 200 peer reviewed journal articles, and over the past 10 years has accrued over 22 million dollars in funding for her research, predominately from federal (U.S.) agencies.

Nathan Earl

Nathan Earl is an anti-trafficking pioneer, fierce advocate and visionary leader with a passion for building resilient communities immune to exploitation. Through his work as a Public Health Consultant at Giant Slayer Consulting, Nathan leverages more than 20 years of lived and professional experience to help organizations and communities prevent violence against boys and male-identifying individuals.
Mr. Earl operationalized and led one of the first direct service programs for males impacted by human trafficking. Based in South Florida, the program provided outreach, care coordination, case management, and housing coordination for young adult male survivors challenged with substance dependency.

Nathan currently assists Federal, State and NGO partners increase their capacity to respond to human trafficking in the areas of research, collective impact, syndemic intervention and policy. Mr. Earl’s research focus areas include the scope and prevalence of various forms of violence against males, gaps in acute mental health care experienced by survivors of human trafficking, and male victimization syndemic to substance dependency, PTSD and HIV.

Mr. Earl is a Fellow of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Human Trafficking Leadership Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of South Florida and is currently Master’s in Public Health candidate at Yale University. Nathan holds additional Certificates in Leadership and in Human Subjects Research.

Christine Cesa

Christine Cesa is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master’s in Intercultural Studies with Children at Risk and a Bachelor of Science in Education
from Ashland University. Christine currently serves as the Outreach Coordinator with the Avery Center. Most recently, Christine served as a Survivor Advocate with CAST LA and Dignity Health responding to victims of violence and survivors of human trafficking and providing emergency services to survivors in the healthcare system. Christine is a lived experience expert with specific expertise in familial trafficking. Furthermore, she currently serves as a consultant with Polaris, the Office for Victims of Crime, the State Department, the New Jersey Coalition on Human Trafficking, and the Board of Ride My Road. Highlights included being published as the author on the fact sheet for the TIP report in 2021 highlighting Familial
Trafficking and one of the co-authors in an anthology, “Medical Perspectives in Human Trafficking In Adolescents”. Christine has trained healthcare systems and spoken at conferences such as National Conference on Ending Sexual Exploitation, Crimes Against Women, JUST, Build Beyond, and other similar presentations.

Charlie Falkis

Charlie is a fierce advocate of anti-trafficking work and a passionate board member of Uprising. He holds lived experience with familial, gang, and domestic minor sex trafficking. Charlie has devoted much of his post-trafficked life to advocacy and outreach in mental health, supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and human rights. Charlie has worked with social justice and mental health organizations as well as devoting his time through volunteer mentorship, support groups, and building community resilience.

Pauletta Red Willow

Pauletta Red Willow is a dedicated advocate for abused, neglected, trafficked, runaway, and homeless youth. With more than 24 years’ experience as a child advocate, Ms. Red Willow is the founder of the transitional living program at Maggie’s House and its Director since 2008. Maggie’s House provides a broad range of services to homeless youth, youth exiting foster care, and youth experiencing abuse. Services provided by Maggie’s House include residential placements, a variety of assessments in education, substance abuse treatment, etc. In addition, Maggie’s House works in collaboration with tribal, state, federal, and nonprofit agencies to develop strategies to address human trafficking and providing housing resources for homeless youth.  Ms. Red Willow is also a certified Human Trafficking Specialist and Tribal Youth Navigator.

Ms. Red Willow has served in various capacities in the Bismarck/Mandan and Standing Rock area as well.  She has served as the Coordinator for Youthworks, North Dakota’s Youth Cultural Achievement Program, providing monthly classes in cultural education, organizing national, state, tribal, and federal trainings in juvenile diversion and justice, and coordinating human trafficking multi-disciplinary team building.  Ms. Red Willow has also assisted in housing placements and application processes.  Current projects Ms. Red Willow is participating in are the Bismarck Adult and Youth Human Trafficking MDT team; ND Tribal Subcommittee for Human Trafficking, SD East River Human Trafficking Task Force, ESG-CG Homeless Prevention Provider; and MDT Development in tribal communities to address human trafficking.

Ms. Red Willow served youth in several capacities ranging from program development for emergency shelters to health care services. She has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and the 4-H organization for more than twenty years combined.  

She is a certified subject matter expert for the Family and Youth Services Bureau Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center sat on their Region 8 representatives for the National Runaway and Homeless Youth Board for 3 terms. She is a current Policy and Advisory Committee member of the SD Homeless and Housing Coalition.  She also is a member of the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment Advisory Board and a board member of the McLaughlin Teen Center, Iyuha Aku.

Ms. Red Willow is also certified by the FBI in their Interview and Interrogations and Crimes Against Children school and an Oglala Lakota Court Appointed Services Advocate. Additionally, Ms. Red Willow has been certified by the National Association of Worksite Health Centers in Native American Holistic Health.  Ms. Red Willow is the first Native certified in the Residential Care and Youth Professional Training curriculum.

Ms. Red Willow received her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary science from Oglala Lakota College.  As a member of the Lakota tribe, Ms. Red Willow was born and raised on Lakota land in South Dakota, is a veteran, and a passionate child activist. 

Ashleigh Chapman

Ashleigh S. Chapman, JD is a human rights lawyer, social
entrepreneur, and one of USA Today’s Women of the Year.
Ashleigh has spent 20+ years building solutions in education,
business, legal, nonprofit, government, healthcare and community sectors – on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Ashleigh presently serves as the President of AFRJ®, a global humanitarian aid organization that exists to end human trafficking, and as the  Founder/CEO of AltusTM, a business for good that powers social justice solutions, including Engage Together® (which strengthens community engagement) and Justice UTM
(which equips justice advocates). Prior to Altus and the AFRJ, Ashleigh served as: the co-founder and Director of the Center for Global Justice at Regent University School of Law; the Director of a non-profit serving thousands of at-risk youth; a Children’s Pastor; and a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Juris Doctorate from Regent University School of Law, receiving the faculty’s Most Outstanding Graduate award, and Summa Cum Laude with her B.S.
from Tennessee Technological University.

Kimberly Glaudy

Kimberly Glaudy has worked in youth and community development organizations for over 25 years. She holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management and Leadership and another in Marriage and Family Therapy. Kimberly’s career has allowed her to serve various communities including homeless and immigrant families, lay Christian congregants, youth leaders and commercially sexually exploited youth. For several years, she served alongside other change agents training Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) and supporting model implementation globally. Since 2019, Kimberly pursued purpose and birthed Family Foundation Initiatives, a therapeutic group practice dedicated to meeting the clinical needs of the entire family.

Lauren Trantham

Lauren Trantham is the Founder and Executive Director of Ride My Road, a national anti-human trafficking organization founded in 2016. As a photographer, Lauren has had the honor of photographing over 80 American survivors of human trafficking. In addition to hosting events across the country, Ride My Road has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support survivors to reclaim their lives. Through their online platform Disruptors University, Ride My Road also provides online education for everyday people to learn about the realities of Human Trafficking in The United States. With a focus on Survivor Leadership and community outreach, Ride My Road envisions a world free from exploitation.

Tammy Bitanga

Tammy Bitanga is an invaluable part of Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s Team as Community Outreach

Coordinator. Tammy offers insight and expertise that can only come from being a

survivor of childhood sexual exploitation. She infuses her boundless energy into

organizing community awareness events and lends her experience from her own

healing journey to the role of advocate to other victims and survivors. Tammy has a key

role as Volunteer Coordinator at Pearl Haven, Specialize Residential Treatment


Tammy’s life’s story is about rising out of the circumstances of early childhood abuse

that led to being in “the system,” becoming a chronic runaway, victimization, and utter

despair. Her testimony highlights the need for advocacy and mentoring for trafficking

victims who desperately need safe adults in their life to guide them to healing and hope

for a bright future.

Tammy works in an advisory capacity to ensure that Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s services are

survivor-informed. In 2015, Tammy assisted with Response and Awareness training of

Department of Human Service, Law Enforcement and First Responders. Tammy has

also undergone several trainings on survivor leadership through Shared Hope

International and is a Ambassador for Shared Hope International; SOAR – Stop Observe

Ask Respond Human Trafficking. She is a graduate of the Rebecca Bender Initiative,

Elevate Academy. Facilitator in training for Ending The Game Curriculum. She has

assisted the Blue Lightning Initiative on development of indicator cards for aviation staff

on how to spot human trafficking in the workplace. Co Founder Asian Network Against

Violance (ANAV); Founding member of Community Against Exploitation Hawaii

(CAXHI); Presentations Includein 2022 include but not limited to: Western States

Information Network; International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety;

International Association of Human Trafficking Investigators. In addition to community

outreach to insure victims|survivor’s needs are met, she works alongside local law

enforcement to ensure a victim centered approach and aid in supporting survivors. This

helps to serve as a bridge between both entities.

Whether on stage as a powerful speaker, behind the scenes as an event organizer, or

working with survivors, Tammy’s leadership is evident and inspiring.

Chris McDonald

Wyoming ICAC Commander Chris McDonald is a veteran law enforcement Investigator with over twenty-two years of experience. Commander McDonald has been employed at the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) since October of 2006 and prior to that, served as a Deputy Sheriff in Campbell County Wyoming for five years. Before becoming the ICAC TF Commander in 2019, Chris supervised a field office of DCI’s Northeast Enforcement Team (NEET). During his law enforcement tenure, Commander McDonald has led and supervised Homicide, OIS, Title III, Political Corruption and ICAC cases. Additionally, Commander McDonald has served as a Special Response Team Member, Certified Arson Fire Investigator, Certified Practitioner Lecturer, testified as an expert in State and Federal Court and regularly presents at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy and yearly DCI Basic Course.

Ryan Hieb

Ryan Hieb is a Special Agent assigned to the Casper Office of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, is the Assistant ICAC Commander for Wyoming and is a Homeland Security Investigations Task Force Officer. SA Hieb received an Associate of Science in Fire Science Technology and an Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice from Casper College in Casper, WY and a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies and Master of Science in Organizational Management from Chadron State College in Chadron, NE. SA Hieb began his law enforcement career with the Casper Police Department working at the Casper Police Department, Casper WY from 2010 – 2016. SA Hieb worked in various capacities at CPD to include Patrol, Detective assigned to the Department’s Specialized Problem Oriented Response Team (PORT) and an assignment to the State of Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations Computer Crimes and Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force.
SA Hieb was the recipient of numerous commendations throughout his career at the Casper Police Department to include Officer of year, three Casper Police Department Letters of Commendation and the Medal of Distinguished Service.

In 2016, SA Hieb began a career with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation as a
Special Agent working major narcotics, official misconduct, officer use of force investigations
and computer crimes. During his time at the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, SA Hieb has been recognized on four occasions with awards from the United States Department of Justice for outstanding case work in major narcotics trafficking cases and child exploitation cases. In 2021 SA Hieb and his team received a unit commendation award from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation for cases in 2020 which were responsible for saving 16 exploited children and leading to numerous successful prosecutions of the offenders.
SA Hieb has testified as an expert in State and Federal Court Venues regarding technical evidence in a variety of criminal investigations. SA Hieb is trained in a variety of Forensic tools including Access Data Forensic Toolkit, Falcon, Cellebrite, Oxygen, Griffeye, and Axiom to assist in forensic examinations. SA Hieb is a Certified Forensic Examiner through Magnet Forensics.

Christyne Martens

Christyne Martens was born and raised in central Minnesota and earned her B.A. in Sociology, summa cum laude, from St. Cloud State University. She received her Juris Doctorate Degree, with honors, from the University of Wyoming College of Law and was selected into the Order of the Coif. She began her career as a prosecutor in Northwestern Iowa. She then joined the Criminal Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, where she briefed and argued direct criminal appeals before the Wyoming Supreme Court, litigated various forms of post-appellate challenges to criminal convictions in the state and federal courts, litigated civil asset forfeitures, advised criminal justice agency clients, and provided a variety of trainings to prosecutors and law enforcement officers. As Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division, she oversaw this work.

Mrs. Martens joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming as an Assistant United States Attorney based in Casper. As a federal prosecutor, she works with a variety of federal agencies to prosecute a variety of crimes, including drugs, human trafficking, white collar, child exploitation, crimes in Indian Country, and natural resource violations. She has served as the Covid Fraud Coordinator, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, and Human Trafficking Coordinator for the district.

Of note, she presented at the Association of Paroling Authorities International’s annual training conference regarding changes to juvenile sentencing law. In the fall of 2014, she was the first member of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office to serve as a National Association of Attorneys General Supreme Court Fellow in Washington D.C. She has also been invited to guest lecture at the University of Wyoming College of Law and chaired the Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions Committee for the Wyoming State Bar.

Jessica Munoz

Jessica R. Munoz is a clinical emergency/trauma nurse practitioner, CEO & Founder of Hoʻōla Nā Pua Pua (HNP) which means “New life for our children,” a nonprofit organization whose mission is the prevention of child sex trafficking and providing care for youth who have been exploited.

Rooted on the “justice gene in her DNA”, her passion to “forever shine the light” into the dark places and watch new life come forth shapes her vision and life’s mission.

She provides executive leadership, innovative thinking, business development and strategy, development and enhancing funding capacity, strategic growth and vision. She has 16 years of health care experience, entrepreneurship, and community advocacy, transformational systems change, and leadership. She has built multiple partnerships across diverse sectors, both public and private, to bring a unified response and resources to ending the exploitation of children through a public health and systems change lense.

Over the past 13 years she has published articles, provided training and strategies on prevention, identification, intervention, and response for hundreds of health care professionals, service providers, law enforcement, and community leaders. She works closely with the judiciary, district attorneys, and state, federal, and local law enforcement to help shape a multi-disciplinary collaborative response to trafficked youth and young adults in Hawaii and beyond.

Since 2009, Jessica and her team have been driving the anti-trafficking movement in the Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific, and across the national landscape. Her passion to serve exploited children and her pursuit of comprehensive understanding of their needs has fostered her role as a trainer and advisor in Cameroon, Africa with Vital Voices Global Partnership. She has also provided training on trauma informed survivor centered care, medical services, and building MDT’s in Samoa, Cambodia, Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, Africa, and Thailand.

Through her work, Jessica has emphasized the continuum of care and the Response Framework needed for rafficking survivors through collaborative, health centric, trauma-informed systems and victim-centered approaches and partnerships. She envisioned, developed, and opened Pearl Haven— Hawaii’s first residential treatment campus for sexually exploited teenage girls. A model of care that has gained national attention and recognition.

Liz Porter

Elizabeth “Liz” Porter is a highly experienced Program Director with nearly 15 years of experience working in residential treatment. Prior to her role as the Program Director at Pearl Haven, Ms. Porter designed and implemented a program for at-risk and traumatized girls in Arizona, which she oversaw as the Program Director from the start- up through its expansion to 70 beds. Ms. Porter is highly trained in delivering trauma- informed services and is a certified facilitator in Thinking for a Change, Trauma-Responsive Supervision, University of Cincinnati Substance Abuse, and Motivational Interviewing. She has completed trainings in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®), Trauma Informed Care, Core Curriculum Childhood Trauma. Adverse Childhood Experiences. and Sex Trafficking Prevention.

Additionally, Ms. Porter has served as a member of the PH Program Development committee and was instrumental in designing the PH program and supporting the start- up.

Alexandra Stevenson

Alexandra is an international motivational speaker and speaks publicly about her experiences of childhood abuse and trafficking to help others and to share how she learned to laugh in the face of trauma.

Though she was trafficked in 2007, it wasn’t until more than 10 years later that she understood what happened to her was, in fact, human trafficking. Alexandra has been a collector of knowledge for more than a decade, holding three degrees in the social services field, and is currently working on finishing her master’s in psychology. After co-founding Uprising, Alexandra’s life brought her back to her home country, Canada, where she continues to push ahead in the prevention education field, as well as stay highly involved with Uprising. She enjoys the outdoors and loves living on a ranch with her family.

Jenny Footle

Jenny Footle received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in International Relations with a focus on human rights and a minor in Dance in 2013, from Knox College, and holds certifications in Group Fitness, Zumba, yoga, wellness coaching, and personal training. Jenny is currently doing research and pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health. She has been teaching various kinds of dance and fitness since 2008, she is a survivor leader and has been working with survivors of exploitation and the organizations that support them for over a decade, including 9 years in Denver. Jenny is the founder of Beautiful Feet Wellness, an organization that helps survivors find a healthy lifestyle through fitness and wellness for the body, mind, and spirit.


Uprising has a very limited amount of booths for vendors at the GRIT conference.
Vendor booths are 6ft x 8ft and include table and chairs.

Setup 4-8pm April 30th
Takedown 12-2pm May 4th

If you are selected to be a vendor we will notify you via email and provide a link
to pay the $50 table fee.

2023 Sponsor

GRIT 2023 has unique opportunities for you, your agency or business to share your resources with our regional audience. For more information about event sponsorship at any level, brand recognition (such as promotion at the annual Networking Happy Hour or other social events), and an easy way to connect with attendees, contact our conference coordinator. We would love to talk with you further about these options and how we may be able to customize any of the options provided below.

We also have another unique way to support our mission. Requests for scholarships from under-resourced professionals are fulfilled whenever possible through generous donations from individuals and businesses. All donations contributed towards registration scholarships are utilized for conference tickets only. We would be thrilled to have your partnership in supporting the attendance of any Wyoming professional.

If you or your organization would like to sponsor scholarships for GRIT attendance, you may do so with a donation of any amount here:

Please note that all donors will receive recognition in our program, but may also choose to remain anonymous. 

Gannett Peak



  • Advertisement on our conference website and Facebook page

  • Full page name and/or logo in the conference program

  • Name and/or logo projected during the morning welcome, lunch program, and wrap-up session

  • Free vendor table

  • 10-15 Minute Time Slot to Address Attendees of the Conference

  • 12 tickets free admission to Keynote opening of the training and networking event

Grand Teton



  • Advertisement on our conference website and Facebook page

  • Full page name and/or logo in the conference program

  • Name and/or logo projected during the morning welcome, lunch program, and wrap-up session

  • Free vendor table

  • 12 tickets free admission to Keynote opening of the training and networking event

Wind River



  • Advertisement on our conference website and Facebook page

  • Half page name and/or logo in the conference program

  • Name and/or logo projected during the morning welcome, lunch program, and wrap-up session

  • Free vendor table

  • 9 tickets free admission to Keynote opening of the training and networking event

Cloud Peak



  • Advertisement on our conference website and Facebook page

  • Name and/or logo in the conference program

  • Name and/or logo projected during the morning welcome, lunch program, and wrap-up session

  • 6 tickets free admission to Keynote opening of the training and networking event

Mt. Moran



  • Advertisement on our conference website and Facebook page

  • Name and/or logo in the conference program

  • Name and/or logo projected during the morning welcome, lunch program, and wrap-up session

  • 3 tickets free admission to Keynote opening of the training and networking event

2024 Presenters

GRIT is a unique, immersive, hands-on training experience. Selected presenters collaborate in the months leading up to the event to design and develop a training curriculum that is cohesive and non-duplicative. Presenters typically spend 5-10 hours throughout the year meeting with each other and preparing their individual presentations. During the event, attendees are divided into multidisciplinary groups that migrate together from class to class throughout the event. Each instructor is responsible for teaching their own approved curriculum in full for each multidisciplinary cohort (up to six times total). Presenters also take part in coaching participants through a mock-case study.

If you are interested in being a presenter at GRIT, please contact Terri Markham below.

About Us

Get to know the conference planning team

Alexandra Ford

Terri Markham

Terri is the co-founder and executive director of Uprising. She has been working in the anti-human trafficking movement for the past 8 years. Her passion is working in the awareness and prevention education field of the movement. She is a certified Love146 #NotANumber facilitator and a certified Unbound Keeping Students Safe facilitator. She has had the pleasure of presenting to and training over 1,000 individuals in Wyoming in the past year alone. She is a mom to 3 daughters, another motivating factor for her work.

Alexandra Ford

Clay Platt

Clayton Platt began his career in law enforcement in 2007 as a State Trooper in the Texas Highway Patrol.  In 2013, Clayton promoted into the Texas DPS Criminal Investigations division where he was assigned to the North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force and the North Texas ICAC Task Force.  In 2017, Clayton moved to Jackson, Wyoming where he began employment with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office where he has been the Detective Sergeant since 2019, also serving as a member of the Wyoming ICAC Task Force as an affiliate. 

Clayton is also an active instructor on numerous topics relating to child exploitation and trafficking.  As a result of this experience, Clayton has had the privilege be a part of numerous training events across the region such as the Wyoming Joint Symposium on Youth and Children, GRIT, and Interdiction for the Protection of Children – Serving in both planning and instructional capacities.

Alexandra Ford

Elizabeth Scaife

Elizabeth Scaife is the founder of FYN Global, a small business focused on supporting individuals and organizations in the anti-trafficking and victim services fields. Throughout her career, she has seen friends and colleagues in all sectors struggle through leadership and organizational challenges that can be solved with strategic solutions and support. She believes that our collective success in ending trafficking, exploitation, and gender-based violence depends entirely on our willingness to collaborate through shared expertise and resources.

FYN stands for “Find Your North” which is a navigational concept she lives her life by. FYN Global was created to add value to the existing missions of Survivors and Allies around the world.