Find Out Who’s Speaking at MACo’s “Fighting Human Trafficking” Symposium

MACo’s Spring Symposium on June 12 will focus on what counties can do and are doing to fight human trafficking.

Human trafficking remains an insidious – and unfortunately lucrative – industry across our country and Maryland is not immune. Attend this symposium to hear what Maryland counties and partners are doing and what we all can do to prevent this practice and protect our residents.

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Shamere McKenzie: CEO, Advocate, Liberator

Expert and knowledgeable speakers have been confirmed, including an advocate who has first-hand experience as a survivor of human trafficking.

Shamere McKenzie is the Chief Executive Officer for Sun Gate Foundation, an anti-trafficking organization that provides educational opportunities for survivors of human trafficking. By turning her past adversities into an opportunity to liberate and protect others, Shamere has brought about social and political change in America and around the world.

Join MACo at this symposium to discuss this epidemic with Shamere and others who are fighting to end human trafficking.


  • Shamere McKenzie, CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, Anti-trafficking Ambassador to Jamaica and Survivor
  • Amanda K. Rodriguez, Esq., Chief Counsel for Policy and Legal Advocacy University of Maryland Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors
  • Laurie E. Culkin, Esq., Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Policy, Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention
  • Jessica Emerson, LMSW, Esq., Director, Human Trafficking Prevention Project, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Kristerfer Burnett, Baltimore City Council Member
  • Jessica Fitzwater, Frederick County Council Member
  • Ed Thomas, Eastern Shore Human Trafficking Task Force

Interested in supporting the Symposium as a sponsor? Sponsor details.

Ready to register? FREE for MACo Members, $75 for NonMembers
Register online.

More information about MACo’s Spring Symposium:

TITLE: Fighting Human Trafficking With Awareness, Advocacy, and Action


  • Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
  • Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
  • Location: Blue Heron Center, Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, MD
  • Dress for Speakers & Attendees: Business Casual
  • Registration:
    • FREE for MACo Members (County Executives, County Council Members, County Commissioners, and County employees) – REGISTER ONLINE
    • $75 for NonMembers – if space allows. A waitlist will be started for nonmembers. If space allows, nonmembers will be notified by June 3. Please contact to be added to the waitlist.
  • Interested in sponsoring? View the sponsorship options


Human trafficking is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world. Maryland’s location along the I-95 corridor makes it a hot spot for this illicit, dangerous, and dehumanizing web of activity. At this symposium, learn how counties along with their state and community partners are working together to raise awareness and take action to stop human trafficking in Maryland.


9:30 am – 10:00 am
Check-in and Coffee

10:00 am – 10:15 am
Welcome and Introduction

10:15 am – 11:00 am
Exposing the Big Business and Hidden Nature of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking can generally be described as the illegal trading, either nationally or internationally, of human beings for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor — a modern day form of slavery. However, it can manifest in many forms… some more obvious than others. Hear from panelists about the seedy, illicit business of human trafficking and how to spot it.

11:00 am – 11:15 am

11:15 am – 12:15 pm
What Hurdles Hinder Human Trafficking Prevention, Enforcement, and Recovery Efforts?
What challenges do anti-trafficking advocates face when connecting with victims and punishing perpetrators? What legal and legislative challenges do law enforcement and government officials face? What steps are being taken to overcome these challenges? Hear from experts and advocates from the frontlines of anti-trafficking efforts.


12:15 pm – 1:00 pm

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
My Shoes – One Survivor’s Journey
Hear a first-hand account of the brutal realities of human trafficking and how to work with survivors afterward.

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Local Solutions to a Global Problem – Building Partnership and Creating Cooperation
Keeping their communities and community members safe from human trafficking and its impacts is a priority for county officials. Participants will hear more about how counties across Maryland are leading the charge against human trafficking, then have the opportunity to share challenges, strategies, and successes with county peers.

3:15 – 3:30 pm
Questions and Adjournment