Human Trafficking in Lexington

Human trafficking is a rapidly growing crime and extreme violation of human rights. Unfortunately, this corruption is happening behind the scenes in Lexington. Join us for a panel discussion, which will cover the problem as it relates to our community.  We will hear from experts addressing this often unseen corruption, including how law enforcement is contributing to the prevention and where we can help.
Panelists include:
  • Brittney Thomas, Co-Chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Task Force (  and leader of HOPE Children Campaign,
  • David Marye, Assistant United States Attorney and also Co-Chair
  • Marissa Castellanos, Program Director of the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative (
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Hilary J. Boone Center
University of Kentucky
7:15 Coffee and Networking
7:30 Breakfast and Program
Free to Members / Guest Fee $20
Please RSVP by noon Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Register Now – Click Here

More about our panelists…
Brittney Thomas
Having survived one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings at age 15, Brittney took her second chance at life and decided to live it with passion and purpose, honoring the lives of the friends she lost.  While living in a rural village in Cambodia, Brittney developed an untamed passion for social justice issues across the globe and in her own backyard!  She went on to receive her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Kentucky and in 2010 authored a protocol for health care providers on how to identify and assess victims of human trafficking.  This protocol earned Brittney the “Kentucky Liberation Award” for outstanding efforts in combating human trafficking.
Fueled by a new found love of coffee and dark chocolate, Brittney is serves as a CASA advocate, is the co-chair of the Lexington Human Trafficking Taskforce and leads the HOPE Children Campaign, a street outreach in Lexington, KY aimed at providing resource information to domestic minors of sex trafficking.  You can learn more at:
David Marye
David A. Marye has served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of Kentucky (EDKY) since October, 1987.  He has prosecuted violent crimes, economic and fraud crimes, immigration-related offenses, child sex exploitation offenses, and drug crimes.  He has served as both Acting Criminal Chief and Senior Litigation Counsel.  He is currently the Human Trafficking Point of Contact (POC) and the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the EDKY.
David graduated from Centre College in Danville, KY, in 1974, and from the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, KY, in 1977.  He served as an Assistant Commonwealths Attorney in Fayette County (KY) for 10 years before becoming an AUSA.  He resides in Lexington with his wife, Mariana, two dogs, and a cat.  He has two daughters, one step-son, one son-in-law, a granddaughter and newly born twin grandsons.  Unfortunately for David, his older daughter, her husband and his grandchildren live in Hong Kong.
Marissa Castellanos
Marissa Castellanos received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Kentucky. Marissa is the Program Director for the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a program to combat human trafficking through Catholic Charities of Louisville. Marissa has worked at Catholic Charities for the last 10 years, previously as Human Trafficking Project Manager and Program Manager, as she helped start the program and develop a statewide anti-trafficking coalition. She provides trainings on human trafficking throughout Kentucky, assists in developing and maintaining local task forces, provides technical assistance to agencies in protocol development and policy, and works directly with identified victims of human trafficking throughout the Commonwealth.
Marissa has provided case management or advocacy services to more than 100 survivors of either sex or labor trafficking. She works closely with social service providers, health care workers, law enforcement, and others to ensure that human trafficking is being identified in Kentucky communities and that survivors are provided with the resources they need to rebuild their lives. Marissa has previously worked with community action agencies in Central Kentucky, primarily serving foreign national workers and their families through Migrant Head Start and other community service programs. Marissa has taught as an adjunct instructor for criminal justice and social work classes at St. Catharine College. Marissa currently co-chairs the Louisville Metro Human Trafficking Task Force.