1-3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, United Church in Tallahassee, 1834 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee
This event is free, but registration is required. Please register using the form below.
This certificate program will focus on the many public policy issues facing the 2020 Florida Legislature in the area of anti-trafficking public policies and laws, including past legislative efforts and current needs. Experts will explain Florida law, needs and gaps, and the workings of the Legislature. Speakers are listed below.
Sponsors: STAC in affiliation with the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the International Rescue Committee and the United Church in Tallahassee
Bethany Gilot is the founder of BGilot Consulting, a firm that provides consulting services on anti-human trafficking initiatives ranging from training and program development to state and federal policy recommendations. In this role, Bethany pulls on her years of experience working in the anti-trafficking field both domestically and internationally.
Prior to consulting, Bethany served as the Statewide Human Trafficking Prevention Director for both Florida’s state child welfare agency and state juvenile justice agency. In these roles, she worked to help strengthen systems of care for youth who have been trafficked, ensuring they aren’t treated as delinquent and are quickly connected to appropriate services. She has implemented state and federal child welfare legislation, created agency policy addressing human trafficking and overseen all state-level efforts to identify and serve minor survivors of sex and labor trafficking.
In addition to her public service work, Bethany gained valuable experience working with non-governmental organizations serving sex trafficking survivors in both Miami, Florida and West Bengal, India. She has direct care and program development experience working with both adult and minor female survivors of sex trafficking. This experience spans multiple levels of the continuum of care from community-based services to long-term residential care.
Bethany has testified for the Florida Legislature and United States Congress on human trafficking and has also been featured in a Time Magazine article regarding trafficking in the U.S
Bethany currently sits on three national advisory groups on human trafficking and regularly speaks at both local and national conferences on human trafficking.
Robin Hassler Thompson, M.A., J.D.
Robin is the Executive Director of the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC), nonprofit agency she co-founded in 2015 to assist survivors of human trafficking. She also is an active member and co-chairs the Social Services Committee for the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Robin’s consulting firm, Robin H. Thompson and Associates, represents a wide range of clients including the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights where she assists in the Center’s work on human trafficking.
In 2001, she traveled to Bangladesh as a part of a U.S. State Department mission, which included a site visit to a trafficking rescue shelter in Dhaka – this trip inspired her work to help build awareness about human trafficking. From 2002 to the present, she has directed numerous local and statewide anti-trafficking projects. Robin has lectured extensively on the topics of violence against women and human trafficking. She is a contributor to numerous national and international publications and curricula including a domestic violence and human trafficking on-line Continuing Medical Education (CME) course for the Florida Medical Association.
In addition to her anti-trafficking work, Robin’s areas of expertise include domestic and sexual violence law and policy analysis, Violence Against Women Act implementation, adult domestic violence fatality reviews, workplace violence law and policy and health care issues. Robin has served on and held leadership positions on local, state and national boards and committees and has chaired the local Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, where she lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
Robin served as the Executive Director for Florida’s first Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence during the administration of Governor Lawton Chiles. At the request of the U. S. Department of Justice, Robin served on the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women. She graduated from Florida State University College of Law and in addition to her law degree, she holds an M.A. from Florida State University and a B.A. from American University in Washington, D.C.
Nicole LeBoeuf Whitaker
Nicole LeBoeuf Whitaker obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2009, graduating with honors. After graduation, she spent a year working for Free for Life International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against human trafficking. This enhanced her passion for helping others and led to her decision to become a lawyer. Her desire to attend a Christian law school led her to the Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, VA; where she graduated in the top twenty percent of her class in 2013.
While in law school, she continued to devote a lot of her time and attention to the fight against human trafficking and worked to amend the Virginia and Tennessee state human trafficking laws. She also interned for a year at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and assisted with the prosecution of Somali pirates. After graduation, Nicole worked as an Assistant State Attorney in Leon County prosecuting misdemeanor and felony cases. Nicole now focuses her practice on wills, trusts, estates, guardianships, and probate law and she is an “of counsel” member of the firm assisting in civil litigation.She is still a devoted advocate in the fight against human trafficking, is a member of the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and has worked to amend Florida’s civil human trafficking laws
Nicole’s husband, Nick, is an accountant and they have two little girls, Isabel and Sophia.
Also invited as a speaker and attending if his schedule with the Legislature permits:
David W. Grimes, STAC Board Member
David serves as the Deputy Staff Director for the Florida House of Representatives, Minority Office, advising the Democratic caucus in the areas of finance, taxation, elections, and justice. He previously served for three years as an Assistant Attorney General specializing in civil rights and constitutional law defense with the Florida Office of the Attorney General. David served as the President of the Florida Government Bar Association for two terms. He is admitted as a member of the three United States District Courts in Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. David received his bachelor’s degree and J.D. from the Florida State University, graduating law school cum laude. David is passionate about youth legal education and proudly coaches the Lawton Chiles High School Mock Trial Team.
Daynica is a 2021 JD candidate at the FSU College of Law. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with an M.S. in College Student Personnel Services and Administration and from the University of Memphis with a B.B.A. in Economics. Currently, she is a student advocate within the FSU Public Interest Law Center Human Trafficking and Exploitation Law Project (HELP), a clinical experience representing child survivors of trafficking in various legal capacities. Other previous clinical experiences include the Children’s Advocacy Clinic and Gender and Family Justice Clinic. She is an inaugural member of the Professional Certification in Trauma and Resilience program offered through the FSU College of Social Work.