Daughters of Greatness: Marissa Castellanos

Marissa Castellanos is Founder and Director of The Coterie, providing technical assistance and resources relating to anti-human trafficking.

Fri 09/13/2024

8:30—10 A.M.

At the Center

Daughters of Greatness - Marissa Castellanos banner with picture

Marissa Castellanos is Founder and Director of The Coterie, providing training, technical assistance, resource development, and project formation and implementation related to anti-human trafficking and intersecting issues. Marissa is a member of the Technical Working Group for the National Standards of Care for Anti-Trafficking Service Providers, a project implemented by Freedom Network USA and supported by the DOJ Office for Victims of Crime and the ACF Office on Trafficking in Persons.  

As Director of Grants at Love146, an international human rights organization that addresses child trafficking and exploitation through prevention and survivor care programming, Marissa provides leadership and support for grant management. Prior to Love146, Marissa worked at Catholic Charities of Louisville where she began in 2008 developing what is now known as the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a statewide program addressing human trafficking through services, prevention, training, and awareness.  

In her role at Catholic Charities of Louisville, Marissa provided training and awareness about human trafficking to more than 10,000 professionals and community members throughout Kentucky and in other states including Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas. Marissa has assisted in developing and maintaining local human trafficking task forces in Kentucky and provided technical assistance to agencies in screening, case management, and advocacy services to dozens of survivors of labor or sex trafficking throughout the Commonwealth. Marissa has spoken to eight US State Department Delegations with representatives from 41 countries in Asia, Europe, South America, Central America, and North America focused on human trafficking, violence against women and children, women as political leaders, and supporting displaced persons. Marissa has collaborated for more than 15 years 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 and support they need and deserve. 

Marissa is a representative member of the National Advisory Committee on the Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the U.S. and led the planning and implementation of the first National Labor Trafficking Conference, hosted in Louisville, KY in October 2018 as well as the 2nd National Labor Trafficking Conference in October 2021. Marissa also provides training and technical assistance to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Through her work as a member of the HHS Region 4 Human Trafficking Advisory Group, Marissa co-authored the Guiding Principles for Agencies Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking. 

In 2023, Marissa received the Visionary Voice Award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, which “recognizes creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence”. 

Marissa received her Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Social Work from the University of Kentucky.

Tickets are $35 for Ali Center members and students, and $40 for non-members. Tables of 10 are available. Register to reserve your spot today. 

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