DEVOTED TO HELPING CHILDREN
Justin Conway is a brave survivor of child sex abuse who helped change Georgia law with his activism. Justin has always been a fierce competitor, winning a gold medal in taekwondo at Junior Olympics and competing at tournaments around the world. Like many elite athletes in the news, there was a dark secret hidden behind his early successes. After graduating from Villanova University and beginning a career in conservation, his life began to fall apart. His battle with depression and alcohol almost cost him his life. Through determination and what he refers to as Grace, he slowly began to turn his life around. He was the first of many men who came forward to authorities and named the karate instructor who sexually abused them as children. Although the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found the allegations credible, the District Attorney was unable to prosecute because the statute of limitations had run out. Refusing to give up, Justin worked tirelessly with legislators to successfully pass Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act, which unlocked courthouse doors to survivors and helps protect children from abusers.
Corey Feldman began his career at the age of three, starring in a Clio Award winning McDonald’s commercial and hasn’t stopped working since. Today, Corey Feldman is a known whistleblower for child sex abuse in Hollywood. A constant in the industry, Corey has appeared in over 100 films, completed eighty shows in his band’s mostly sold out US tour, and he recently had his first Top 40 Billboard hit single.
In addition to his impressive background in entertainment, Corey is also a NY Times best-selling author for his 2013 autobiography Coreyography. Currently, he is working to turn the bestseller into a Major Motion picture, which will detail and expose the trials and tribulations of growing up as a child in an industry riddled with pedophilia. Corey also owns and operates Corey’s Angels, a nonprofit organization for children and abuse protection through which he has been able to help many newcomers achieve success without having to fall prey to the pitfalls of today’s Hollywood. Corey also launched a Truth Campaign to expose pedophilia in Hollywood. He is committed to bring awareness to the campaign for statute of limitation reform for victims of child sexual abuse.
For years, Lyndsy Gamet has advocated for giving a voice to the voiceless. Helping older adults in Michigan to access food and medical assistance has been, and continues to be, a rewarding career. After years of abuse at the hands of her doctor and mentor, Larry Nassar, Lyndsy came to terms with her abuse and found her voice. She was able to be part of the hundreds of survivors to help put Nassar in prison and protect children from their abusers.
Lindsy’s related work includes nonprofit organization advocacy and legislative efforts to hold individuals and institutions accountable for turning a blind eye (and covering up) sexual abuse. It is Lyndsy’s mission to help victims of sexual abuse and to find and amplify their voice. Voices who have been silenced for decades can and should be heard. She believes that the path to change includes accountability and justice; which, can be achieved through sharing our stories.
Danielle Pollack has been a life-long advocate for women and children. After earning a Masters Degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pollack began policy work in Europe with the chief negotiator of the Oslo Peace Accords. She worked closely with UN agencies, the World Bank, a coalition of 30 mayors from every continent, and many civil society and nonprofit organizations for children.
After nearly a decade in Europe, Pollack returned to the U.S. where she has been an active advocate on Family Court reforms and child sexual assault issues. Pollack supported the effort for legislative reform on Statute of Limitations law regarding child sex abuse survivors in New York. She brought together diverse constituency groups to create and implement strategies to remove sex offender housing positioned less than one mile from playgrounds and schools in residential New York City neighborhoods.
As Ambassador for Family Court Reform for CHILD USA, Pollack is developing a comprehensive program using evidence-based legal, medical, and social science research to reform Family Court standards for responding to child abuse, especially child sexual abuse. Pollack strongly values working closely with policymakers and civil society partners to create systemic changes which safeguard rights for women and children.
Ambassador for Foster Care & Youth Justice Reform
Mackenzie Fierceton is a proud former foster youth, survivor, and member of the LGBTQ+ community. Mackenzie is endlessly passionate about transforming the child welfare and youth justice systems through a restorative and healing-centered approach for youth, their families, and the community. Mackenzie strives to uplift the voices and lived experiences of our most marginalized communities as she firmly believes that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Mackenzie is exceptionally grateful and honored to have the opportunity to engage in this vital advocacy and to uplift the experience of her foster peers. Their experiences are what drives her to demand unequivocal transformation across the systems they have encountered and what liberates her to remain fiercely committed to this work each and every day.
After aging out of foster care at 18, Mackenzie moved to Philadelphia to pursue an undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in May 2020 with a B.A. in political science and will graduate in May 2021 with a clinical Master’s in Social Work. Mackenzie was recently awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which will enable her to study at the University of Oxford beginning in the fall of 2021. At Oxford, Mackenzie will pursue a PhD in social policy where she will execute a transnational study to investigate the Foster-to-Prison Pipeline in the United States, United Kingdom, and Norway. Upon completing her PhD, Mackenzie plans to return to the US to pursue a lifelong career in public service working to build local, state, and federal policy and legislation which transforms the systems she’s encountered and centers the lived experiences of impacted youth.
During almost thirty years, Vinka has worked intensely helping victims, families, and adult survivors of child sexual abuse, while supporting schools and diverse communities in child abuse prevention and trauma recovery. A passionate and respected advocate for children’s rights and social justice, she has been a fundamental leader to promote SOL reform –and the end of SOL- on sexual crimes against children. The recent enactment of this law in Chile (her native country), after a decade of efforts, inspired the strongest support of citizens, all political parties, the government, and survivors. The African proverb, “It takes a village” resounds as mantra for her.
Her work has been pathbreaking. She has formulated an approach to CSA framed by the ethics of care and by her experience as a psychologist, educator, and a survivor herself. After finding her voice and coming to terms with her story of incest and child sexual exploitation, she shared her path of recovery in “Agua Fresca en los espejos”, first book in its gender published in Chile (since 2007). “Mi cuerpo es un regalo” followed (since 2013, more than 16 editions) and has accompanied generations of toddlers and preschoolers in the joy of learning about their bodies, their preferences and limits –an early foundation for the future development of consent-, and the right to care and self-care.
Approaching childhood sexual abuse as a “grand and collective failure to care,” Vinka has made her mission to promote care ethics as an indispensable society’s response in child protection, justice, education and prevention of violence, while helping SOL reform as a symbol of the “human right to time” for victims and survivors everywhere.
National Ambassador for Child and Family Protection
Emmy Award winner, New York Times Best Selling author, actress, and producer: Leah Remini was a member of the Church of Scientology for 35 years. In 2013, Leah left the Church of Scientology and began exposing Scientology’s abuses towards its members and more importantly, their children. In this work Remini created and produced the show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath which gave a voice to victims who were speaking out against their abusers. The documentary series has been recognized with, an Emmy Award, a Television Critics Association Award, two Gracie Awards, the Napte Award, the firstever Impact Award, and a Producers Guild Award.
“We are excited to be able to help expand the important message of CHILD USA. It is our passion to help protect children from predators and abuses and assist in reconnecting families torn apart by cults and extremist ideologies. Unfortunately, too much abuse remains hidden. Prof. Hamilton and her team are doing something about it and it an honor for us to be able to lend a hand to help shine the light and end the abuses.”
MARALEE MCLEAN is a child advocate, domestic violence expert, national professional speaker, and author of PROSECUTED BUT NOT SILENCED: Courtroom Reform for Sexually Abused Children. Maralee has written several articles for the ABA Child Law Journal, Women’s E-News, Ms. Magazine and many other publications on the problems of family courts not protecting abused children. Maralee is with Women’s Media Center (WMC), SheSourceExpert, NPEIV (National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence) and is with APB Speakers and RAINN speaker bureau, Child USA Ambassador, and the APSAC (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children). She speaks at conferences, law schools and is a spokesperson for protective mothers. Her passion for advocacy developed through living a mother’s worst nightmare. Fighting the system with body and soul, she gained the insight that this was not her nightmare alone. She organized a National Rally of Mothers at the Colorado State Capitol and has been involved in legislative work that spans over two decades. She testified before Congress to promote judicial accountability to better protect sexually abused children’s rights in our courts. Maralee’s story has been covered by many media outlets and internationally on CNN.