Recognizing Champions

Recognizing Champions

When a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking comes forward, there are many steps on the road to justice and healing. We honor the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to ensure survivors receive skillful and compassionate responses each step of the way.


CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE

Champions of Change work on a state or national level, to create system-level reforms in the way we respond to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and other forms of gender-based violence.

Kenneth L. James

KENNETH L. JAMES 

CORRECTIONS SYSTEM LEADER AND INNOVATOR 

Kenneth L. James has made an indelible mark on the corrections landscape, protecting incarcerated individuals from sexual abuse and harassment. As the agency Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, he works tirelessly to ensure the system centers human dignity at every level. 

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Tyesha Wood

TYESHA WOOD

A CHAMPION OF CHANGE FOR CHILDREN

Tyesha M. Wood is a powerful advocate with an unwavering commitment to justice for children and victims of interpersonal violence in Indian Country. She is revered for her expertise in helping communities develop cross-jurisdictional responses to safely recover missing or abducted children.

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PATIENCE ASHORKOR QUAYE

PATIENCE ASHORKOR QUAYE

A CHAMPION OF CHANGE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Patience Ashorkor Quaye, Assistant Commissioner of Police (retired), is a resolute champion of change in combatting human trafficking and gender-based violence in Ghana. Joining the Ghana Police Service in 1977, Patience Quaye’s journey in law enforcement has been marked by extraordinary achievements.

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RICK SALCEDO

DETECTIVE, UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

Detective Rick Salcedo has transformed Central Florida’s response to sexual assault survivors. He is relentless in ensuring law enforcement has the training and skills to respond compassionately and effectively when survivors seek help.

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Rachel Dissell Champion Photo

RACHEL DISSELL

SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE PLAIN DEALER

Rachel Dissell’s bold investigative journalism for The Plain Dealer, examining Cleveland’s response to sexual assault and the impacts of trauma on survivors, has led to changes in laws, policies, and public perceptions.

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NOMINATE A CHAMPION OF CHANGE

We are looking for individuals whose heartfelt commitment and tireless dedication have improved system-level responses to gender-based violence. By challenging the status quo, they effect real change, and they inspire others to follow in their footsteps. Do you know someone who fits the bill?

A Champion of Change is someone who:

  • Challenges the status quo to create system-level changes
  • Helps to support survivors and hold offenders accountable
  • Mentors the next generation of reformers and leaders

GAME CHANGERS

Game Changers spark a new way of doing things in their communities, so victims of gender-based violence receive compassionate and competent services, and perpetrators are held accountable.

Katrina Brownless Photo
Katrina Brownlee

DETECTIVE FIRST GRADE (RET.), NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT

After she was almost killed by a man with a badge, Katrina Brownlee decided to become a law enforcement officer. In 1993, Katrina’s boyfriend, a corrections officer, shot her 10 times, leaving her for dead. She had called the police for help on multiple occasions,

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Robi Schlaff

DIRECTOR, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY OFFICE FOR WOMEN

Robi’s staff nominated her as a Game Changer because of her collaborative, solutions-oriented leadership that puts survivors at the center of every decision. She builds strong teams energized to make a difference.

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Madilyn Merritt Photo
Madilyn Merritt

HIGH SCHOOL JOUNRALIST

Madilyn Merritt, student journalist, wants people to start talking openly about sexual assault and to stop blaming victims. She’s using her position on the high school newspaper to push the envelope and call attention to this issue she cares so passionately about.

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Sheree Goldman Photo
Sheree Goldman

NURSE PRACTITIONER, SANE-A, SANE-P

Dr. Sheree Goldman is the Coordinator of the Monterey County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). With over four decades of experience in health care, she has concentrated on forensic nursing for the past 20 years in Monterey County, California.

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Carol Adams Photo
Carol Adams

POLICE OFFICER, RICHMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT, ADVOCATE AND SURVIVOR

As a police officer, advocate, and survivor, Carol Adams is a true Game Changer. Her personal experience with domestic violence drove her decision 30 years ago to join law enforcement to protect families and hold offenders accountable.

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NOMINATE A GAME CHANGER

Game Changers work to create positive change for victims of gender-based violence in their communities. They transform the way we respond to these crimes, so victims can begin the long path toward justice and healing. Do you know a Game Changer?

A Game Changer is someone who:

  • Sparks a new way of doing things
  • Makes a difference for victims and their loved ones
  • Inspires others to join the movement