Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C is the Director of Research and Programs at the SAFE Center where she oversees direct services, program evaluation, research, and policy initiatives. Ms. Rubenstein has advocated for trafficking survivors for over 8 years in both clinical and macro capacities. Ms. Rubenstein is dedicated to assisting youth-serving agencies and organizations to address the issue of human trafficking, particularly among system-involved youth. As an experienced forensic social worker, Ms. Rubenstein has been qualified as an expert witness and provides testimony on sexual violence, trauma, and victimization. Ms. Rubenstein previously oversaw the Anti-Trafficking Program at TurnAround, Inc., a victim services non-profit in Baltimore where managed a program providing clinical services to survivors of human trafficking. Ms. Rubenstein received her Bachelors of Social Work from Skidmore College and a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University with a concentration in public policy and reproductive rights, and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Ms. Rubenstein received the Outstanding Contribution to the Fight against Human Trafficking award from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2015 as well as formal citations from Governor Hogan, Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Baltimore Mayor Pugh for her efforts to fight trafficking.
Sophie Aron joined the SAFE Center staff in June, 2019 as a Research and Program Coordinator. In this role she will help develop and support the SAFE Center’s state and local task force work, public health research and program implementation, and survivor leadership programming. She also works to support the Center’s crisis intervention team. Before joining the SAFE Center in her current role, Ms. Aron interned for a year at the Center in a similar capacity while pursuing her Masters in Social Work. She has also completed an internship with social workers at a D.C. charter school and served a year of AmeriCorps conducting conflict mediation in Montgomery County middle and high schools. Ms. Aron has spent a year in India, Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina studying healthcare systems and how trauma affects access to public healthcare systems. Ms. Aron earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and her BA in Anthropology from Hamilton College.
Danielle M. Barnard is a nationally certified victim advocate, CA, serving as a Case Manager at the SAFE Center. In addition to her experience in victim advocacy, Danielle has background in social justice, community development, international development, and diversity and inclusion. Before coming to the SAFE Center, Ms. Barnard worked as a legal advocate for survivors of sexual assault in Southwest Michigan for the Cora Lamping Center in Benton Harbor, MI. In this position, in addition to providing trauma-informed direct services and crisis response for survivors across the county, she also developed relationships with the county prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, and cross-cutting local groups such as the SW Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and the Interfaith Action Collaborative. Internationally, Ms. Barnard worked on a team of development and social work graduate students in Madagascar working local governments and organizations to support various high-needs populations such as youth in detention, rural farmers, and isolated medical facilities. In addition, while in Madagascar, she and her cohort did policy advocacy on behalf of regions being exploited by transnational corporations and presented proposals to the president’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Barnard has a Masters in Community & International Development and a Bachelors in Theology. In the future, she aspires to complete her Masters in Social Work so that she can provide more clinical support to high-needs communities nationally and internationally.
Jacqueline Bradley-Chacon, Esq. is an experienced public interest immigrant and refugee rights’ advocate. As the SAFE Center’s immigration attorney, Ms. Bradley-Chacon provides bilingual legal representation for the foreign national human trafficking survivors at the SAFE Center. Before joining the SAFE Center’s team, Ms. Bradley-Chacon served as a staff attorney for Kids in Need of Defense, was instrumental in the launch of the United Methodist Justice for Our Neighbors’ immigration legal service program, and worked in private immigration law practice and as an asylum officer. Ms. Bradley-Chacon has also served as a city council member for her community in University Park, Maryland. Born in El Salvador and raised in the U.S., Ms. Bradley-Chacon is fluent in Spanish and English. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar.
Rebeca García Gil is an Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow at the SAFE Center. During her two-year fellowship, she will represent survivors of sex and labor trafficking in all immigration matters and in crime victims’ rights advocacy and enforcement, as well as connect survivors with pro bono organizations and low bono attorneys for other legal matters arising from victimization. Ms. García Gil is bilingual and strives to give clients a culturally competent legal representation. She obtained her law degree in 2018 from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Maryland Journal of International Law and a student attorney at the Immigration Clinic.
Jatnna Gomez serves the SAFE Center team as an Equity and Community Engagement Advisor – providing a level of expertise, guidance, and consultation in the areas of community relationships, partnerships, and the Center’s equity efforts. Before transitioning to this role, Ms. Gomez provided case management and crisis intervention services at the Center. Ms. Gomez has previously worked as a hospital discharge planner conducting psychosocial intakes, case management, and discharge support for high-risk patients in a local hospital. Prior to this, Ms. Gomez worked as a program coordinator for various local nonprofits where she provided case management and crisis intervention services, and supervised and facilitated psycho-educational programs for at risk youth. Ms. Gomez has also worked as a public benefits navigator in a local health center. In this role, she was responsible for connecting patients to resources, supporting the clients in securing health benefits and working with insurance companies to support client’s needs. Ms. Gomez is a licensed social worker who obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Amal Hammad is the Business Manager at the University of Maryland SAFE Center. Prior to joining the SAFE Center team, she spent nearly a decade working within the University of Maryland financial systems performing a variety of grant management functions, including processing and monitoring awards and overseeing cash management accounting activities. Ms. Hammad has a thorough knowledge of the research-related rules and regulations established by both the Federal Government and the State of Maryland. In addition to her previous position within the University, Ms. Hammad is a licensed Acupuncturist. She founded her own private practice of acupuncture to serve the Washington metropolitan area. Ms. Hammad graduated from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2013, earning a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine.
Tanejah Jones, MSW-LMSW joined the SAFE Center as a Prevention Social Worker in September, 2020. Tanejah’s primary role is to help develop, implement and manage the Prevention Project that will be presented in high schools within Prince George’s County. In addition to the prevention project, she is also providing clinical, crisis intervention, and individual and group therapy services at the Center. Ms. Jones completed a Master’s degree Clinical Social Work from Simmons University in Boston, MA. During her time at Simmons she interned with Dove, Inc., a community domestic violence organization as an outreach and education specialist. Her role was to go into the community, local middle schools and high schools to present about domestic violence and the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Additionally, she interned at the Centers for Violence Prevention and Recovery (CVPR) at Beth Israel Medical Center working with survivors of domestic violence, community violence, sexual assaults, and human trafficking. At CVPR she also worked one-on-one and facilitated groups with survivors of violence using trauma-informed care. Tanejah has a passion for prevention work and enjoys working within the community.
Ellie Lewis Park coordinates all communications and outreach projects and services at the SAFE Center. Her role at the Center includes managing the SAFE Center’s online platforms, organizational reports, outreach efforts, and development of training presentations. Prior to this position, Ms. Park completed one year as a Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA member developing the SAFE Center’s economic empowerment and volunteer programs. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant for the University of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice course on human trafficking and served with an international anti-trafficking organization in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to equip trafficking survivors and vulnerable populations with the resources necessary to revitalize their local community. Ms. Park received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017, where she graduated with honors and earned the Sandy Mack Honors Award for her senior honors thesis.
Neil Mallon, LCSW-C is a clinical social worker with The Institute for Innovation & Implementation at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work and a clinical field instructor and advisor to the University of Maryland SAFE Center. Mr. Mallon has over ten years of clinical and macro social work practice experience within a variety of service settings, including child welfare, mental health, immigration, staff training/development, research and evaluation. In his current role at The Institute, Mr. Mallon works extensively with Maryland’s public and private child welfare providers to support the implementation and integration of a functional assessment tool to support decision making, quality improvement initiatives, and outcomes monitoring for youth and families served by the state’s child welfare systems. He is also the clinical field instructor for social work student interns at the SAFE Center and advisor for case management related policies and practice protocols. Mr. Mallon has assisted in the development of the Center’s trauma-informed and survivor-centered approach to practice and serves as a liaison to the State’s public and private child serving systems to support cross system collaboration in service delivery for domestic minor victims of trafficking. Mr. Mallon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.