National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

Advisory Board for the CSEC Action Team

The California Child Welfare Council’s Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) Action Team is a multidisciplinary body, comprised of substantive and lived experience experts.  We research and identify promising prevention and intervention practices, collaborate with survivors, and provide guidance to the state, counties, and community partners. NCYL was instrumental in its creation, and has staffed and served on the leadership of the CSEC Action team since its establishment in 2013.

In 2016, the CSEC Action Team launched the first Advisory Board, comprised of adult lived experience experts – those with personal experience with CSE as children/youth. It was the first state-funded Board of its kind in the nation.

Individuals with lived experience are experts in the field and should be considered as such. The Advisory Board brings unparalleled value to developing and implementing effective CSEC protocols, policies and procedures (SB 855, SB 794).

Now in its third two-year cohort, these lived experience experts hail from varying racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and LGBTQI+ identities. The Advisory Board members hold extensive professional knowledge and are committed to serving as advocates. 

Members of the Advisory Board are tasked with providing leadership and consultation to the Action Team, governmental agencies, community-based organizations and other stakeholders regarding how to improve state and local policy for children and youth who have been impacted by CSEC. 

Counties, community-based organizations, and others are strongly encouraged to collaborate and consult with lived experience experts at every stage of conception, development, planning and implementation.The CSEC Action Team’s Advisory Board is a unique resource available to local agencies and organizations.

Members of previous cohorts have consulted on numerous critical projects, including the harm reduction guidance series, a training video for caregivers, the Commercial Sexual Exploitation Identification Tool (CSE-IT) and the required debrief process when missing or absent youth return to their child welfare placement.

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2021-2022 Advisory Board

Ashley Chesney

Ashley Chesney is a Survivor Leader, advocate and member of the CSEC Advisory Board. Through her own journey, she has found healing that she wants to share with others. In her work, she serves children and transitional age youth who have been affected by commercial sexual exploitation, especially that of the pornography industry. Ashley believes that advocacy, connection, and hope are key in guiding other survivors on a path to reclaim their lives after exploitation. As the Program Coordinator for the non-profit Set Free Monterey Bay, she has assisted multiple survivors in receiving critical services, including housing, addiction services, and therapy. Ashley also runs a street outreach team that engages with women living in vulnerable communities. She is also a behavioral therapist who provides services to children with special needs and who are at-risk. She is pursuing a B.A in Collaborative Health and Human Services with an emphasis in nonprofit-management from California State University Monterey.

 

Reshay Collier

Reshay Collier is an entrepreneur with a local food service business. Her lived experience has given her the hands-on experience to relate to individuals affected by commercial sexual exploitation. She endeavors to be a voice to those who may be considered voiceless, gain knowledge and network. Reshay believes that every experience is important and that coming together collectively will create a necessary change.

 

Alia Dewees

Alia is the Director of Aftercare Development for Safe House project and a survivor underage sex trafficking and adult sexual exploitation in the counties of Ventura and Los Angeles. In this capacity, she endeavors nationally to influence the policies and procedures involved in the identification and care of today’s youth survivors. Alia believes restorative care is essential to the healing of many who have experienced sexual exploitation and that no survivor is ever too far or too gone to find complete healing and pursue their personal dreams. She currently manages a certification process to assist restorative care programs in ensuring they are utilizing best practices and speaks at the national level about her lived experience and the importance of survivor involvement in the fight against trafficking.

 

TKeyah (Kia) Dupclay

Kia Dupclay is a survivor of human trafficking whose goal is to help victims of human trafficking as a whole person. In addition to serving on the CSEC Advisory Board and the East LA Sexual Assault Committee, she is the program director of Restoration Diversion Services. She has completed a series of certifications with emphasis on Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence to become more trauma informed. Her goal is to end trafficking and focus on education, employment, housing, life skills, and mental health. She is driven to change how others with lived experience are perceived and cared for. Outside of her work with commercially sexually exploited populations, Kia aims to complete school for electrical engineering, hoping to open a motorcycle company and with vocational school with student housing.

 

April Grayson

April is the Policy Associate for the Young Women’s Freedom Center. For the last 6 years, she has dedicated her life to raising awareness to mass incarceration of juveniles as well as women locked up in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). April is fully aware of the criminalization of women and girls as she herself spent 17 years in the carceral system. Knowing first-hand the terrors of incarceration, she has dedicated her life to giving women behind bars a voice. She also goes inside prisons to inspire and empower women with the hope of a better life. She is on the forefront of helping pass legislation that ensures women and girls get treated equally and without impartiality. She lives and loves what she does and will continue to fight until the system changes the way it treats our incarcerated women and young girls.

 

Cari Herthel

Cari is a survivor leader, speaker consultant and engaged coalition partner based in Monterey County, California. Following her own recovery from sexual exploitation, Cari worked for 27 years as a Recovery Resource Specialist in the areas of trauma, drugs and alcohol. Her trainings go beyond trauma into complex intergenerational and traditional trauma. Due to her personal experience and as a child of the California welfare system, she focuses on issues concerning the welfare of children. California agencies seek her advice and consultancy to create Native American policies and procedures for children around education and prevention of sex trafficking. She is on the advisory leadership council of Soverign Bodies Institute.

 

Chelsey Holzer

Chelsey is a Case Manager II for Project 180, a forensic treatment agency. In this capacity, she endeavors to give back in a way that serves others in the community and to reduce recidivism.  Based on her first-hand experience, Chelsey believes that change can happen for anyone who desires it. She provides case management, advocacy and pro-social skill-building for people whose lives have been impacted by incarceration. She has worked for 13 years in the mental health system, working with a variety of populations including those experiencing chronic homelessness, severe persistent mental illness and substance abuse disorders. She hopes to use her personal and professional experiences to provide profound change to those who have been impacted by Commercial Sexual Exploitation through her service on the CSEC Action Team Advisory Board.

 

Jessica Kim 

Jessica Kim is the Program Director of Educational Pathways at the Center for Justice and Reconciliation at Point Loma Nazarene University. In this capacity, Jessica endeavors to find solutions to empower survivors of human trafficking. Working collaboratively with organizations and using her lived experience, she believes that one cannot do it alone. It will take all of us working together to eradicate trafficking from our communities. Jessica’s life experience of familial trafficking at a young age and as a Mexican national has given her a deep understanding of what is needed to heal from trauma and has had a profound impact on the lives of the people she serves. Jessica graduated with a bachelor’s in social work from Point Loma Nazarene University and received her master’s degree in social work at San Diego State University. Jessica uses her knowledge and life experiences to assist survivors wanting to exit the life of exploitation. She is the co-creator of the kNow More! The Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention program for middle school and high school youth, developed the Flourish Academy, a 12-week health and holistic wellness curriculum for adult survivors of human trafficking. She was featured in Stolen: A Year-Long Investigation Into Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation documentary, which has won several prestigious awards and has served as the Survivors Voice at the CSEC Advisory Council Subcommittee.

 

Tika Thornton

Tika is an advisory board member and the Lead Crisis Response Case Manager at Journey Out. She also mentors youth on CSE prevention and intervention and currently serves on the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force. Tika previously served as a board member of Two Wings and as a member of the board for the Long Beach GRIP. She is an experienced trainer, having trained emergency service personnel, service providers and community members on how to best support individuals who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation. Tika is driven by the belief that every voice needs to be heard and everyone deserves to be happy and safe, and she strives to achieve personal development and create change through her work.

 

Angelica Zuniga

Angelica Zuniga is a Survivor Leader contracted through the Department of Human Services. She provides supportive services to high-risk and adjudicated youth.

She is a consultant with PACT and a member of the steering committee of the Coalition Against Human Trafficking in Kern County. She co-facilitates awareness training with Common Spirit Dignity Health. Angelica believes that with the support and collaboration of other organizations, victims can turn into victors and experience recovery. She has collaborated with trafficking-focused organizations, Safe Houses, and recovery programs since 2013. In addition, she has overseen Twilight Treasures, aims to reach individuals still active in the Commercial Sex Industry.