Mary C. Burke, PhD
Dr. Burke is a Professor of Psychology at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she teaches in the Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology. Her scholarly interests include minority mental health in the context of oppressive systems, gender based violence, trauma and human trafficking. In 2004 she founded the Project to End Human Trafficking (www.endhumantrafficking.org), an all-volunteer United States based non-profit group that works regionally, nationally, and internationally to raise awareness about the enslavement and economic exploitation of people. In this role, Dr. Burke has lectured extensively and facilitated trainings about human trafficking both in the United States and abroad. She has begun anti-trafficking coalitions in Pennsylvania and Virginia and consulted on the development of coalitions in other regions. In addition, she has spoken to various state and regional elected officials in Pennsylvania and Virginia regarding this issue and has worked on legislation in these states in support of strengthening human trafficking laws.
Current international efforts are focused in Uganda where she and her team work collaboratively with citizens to prevent trafficking through school and community based programming. Access to education and therapeutic services for women and child sex trafficking survivors is also part of the effort in the Soroti and Lira areas of northern Uganda, a region traumatically impacted by armed conflict for over twenty years.
Dr. Burke is a member of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Trafficking of Women and Girls and is working to advance knowledge about current best practices regarding therapeutic work with survivors. She is often called upon to assist news media outlets on the issue of trafficking.
After graduating from The Pennsylvania State University, with a BA in Psychology, Gary worked in both research and clinical mental health at a psychiatric institute and clinic. Professionally since 2003, Gary has been a school administrator within higher education. Thus far, his lifelong passion for the film industry has led to being cast in background acting roles of major productions, including over ten television series and twenty movies. However, throughout the years, Gary's heart broke for those victimized by human trafficking. Moving from heartsickness to real action started in 2014 by lobbying alongside International Justice Mission on Capitol Hill. Congress approved $5M to The Philippines for cyber-child-sex trafficking and Ghana for child-slave labor in the fishing industry, empowering ongoing rescues and convictions. Soon thereafter, with his home church, Gary created a testimonial awareness video to inspire the congregation to get involved in the fight against human trafficking. Next, together with his wife, was instituting and leading a hotel/motel ministry to inform front desk staff and managers on warning signs of sex trafficking, plus arm with resources to act. Over 130 locations have been reached in CA, D.C., FL, IL, LA, PA, & VA. In 2015, Gary spoke on a regional conference's panel, before 400 attendees, to represent the topic of human trafficking. Following these local/state awareness and national/international legislative impacts, a divine appointment emerged. Suddenly in 2016, his passion for the film industry and compassion for victims and survivors of human trafficking were miraculously married by becoming Associate Producer on ‘From Liberty to Captivity'.
Br. Michael Gosch, CSV
Br. Gosch is a member of the Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians). He earned an undergraduate degree in English from Loyola UniversityChicago, a Master of Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social at University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Theological Studies from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Br. Gosch has taught English at high schools in Illinois and Nevada. He has worked as a social worker in Illinois and Belize, Central America. He is the co-founder and co-director of Viator House of Hospitality, a residence for immigrant youth seeking asylum in the United States, a number of whom are survivors of human trafficking.
Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD, FSAHM
Dr. Elizabeth Miller is the Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Trained in medical anthropology as well as Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Miller's research has included examination of sex trafficking among adolescents in Asia, adolescent relationship abuse and reproductive coercion and the impact on reproductive health. Her current research focuses on developing and testing gender-based violence prevention and intervention programs to improve adolescent and young adult health.
Ms. Weismann is a Staff Operations Specialist (SOS) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Pittsburgh Division. SOS Weismann has been with the FBI for six years, starting as an administrative professional focusing on cyber-related threats. SOS Weismann became a Staff Operations Specialist in 2015 and has been focusing on human trafficking threats ever since. SOS Weismann's main focus is to support human trafficking investigations from identification to judicial outcomes and proactively identify potential human trafficking victims and subjects.
SOS Weismann is an active member of the Western Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Coalition, which assists victims in obtaining a variety of services to best serve victims' needs. The coalition also features a law enforcement component which proactively shares intelligence and works jointly in investigations.
Starting out as a journalism major, Debbie planned on following in the shoes of her mother who had produced a documentary in the late 1970s about the plight of the neglected elderly in Chicago ("Because Somebody Cares"). Debbie served as Feature Editor for a college newspaper and went on to write an article that was published in a magazine with distribution to over one million households. Her career goals shifted, and she obtained her undergraduate degree from the New York University Stern School of Business and founded her own consulting business, subsequently consulting on and managing multi-million dollar projects for top healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Her love for children drove her to complete a Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Education. She then taught elementary school for a few years until she returned to the business world. Debbie, like many people, was vaguely aware of the presence of slavery around the world, but her exposure to the reality of modern-day slavery in America came when the FBI descended upon and raided her neighbor's house, finding thousands of pornographic images, many of which were of children being brutalized and raped. Debbie then contacted International Justice Mission and eventually become a volunteer Justice Advocate where she spoke at various events (including appearing on a Philadelphia radio show) to raise awareness about trafficking and slavery. The gap between the prevalence of sex trafficking in PA and the public's awareness led Debbie to decide to leave her career in the pharmaceutical industry and reconnect with her journalism roots and her passion to eradicate sex trafficking.