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Upcoming Lectures

The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute is pleased to announce the topic and guest speakers for the next John Ben Shepperd Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS). The title is: “Confronting the Growing Affliction of Human Trafficking”. The lecture will feature Mr. John Walsh, host of television shows “America’s Most Wanted” and “The Hunt”. The goal of the lecture will be to examine and illuminate humanitarian leadership in action against human trafficking at the state and national levels.

The DLS will take place on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM. It will be held at the Wagner-Noël Performing Arts Center, 1310 N FM 1788, Midland, TX 79707. Bob Brescia, Executive Director of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute and Pat Canty, Publisher of the Odessa American will co-moderate the panel. The event is free and open to the public – no tickets or reservations required.

The DLS Panel consists of John Walsh, Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson, retired Fort Worth Detective Manny Reyes, FBI Special Agent Kristin Rehlin, and Traffick911 CEO Deena Graves.

John Walsh is an American television personality, criminal investigator, human and victim rights advocate and the host, as well as creator of America’s Most Wanted. Walsh is known for his anti-crime activism, with which he became involved following the murder of his son, Adam, in 1981. “America’s Most Wanted” was the longest-running crime reality show in Fox’s history and had contributed to the capture of more than 1,000 fugitives. John currently hosts “The Hunt with John Walsh”, which debuted on July 13, 2014.

Senfronia Thompson currently co-chairs the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking. Rep. Thompson is the author of the Sexual Assault Program Fund and scores of other reforms benefiting women, children and the elderly. She also sponsored the National Domestic Violence Hot Line, passed legislation aimed at protecting women and children against domestic violence, extended protective orders to last longer and enforceable within the entire state of Texas and fought to end sexual discrimination in the work place. Associated Press (AP) named her one of 6 lawmakers “Who Rocked the Legislature.”

Manny Reyes is a Detective (retired) with the Fort Worth Police Department, specializing in human trafficking and cold case work. He started the Cold Case Unit in Fort Worth and assisted in starting other units in the area. He has worked closely with police department personnel on human trafficking cases throughout Texas. Manny has consistently been featured on Univision, Telemundo, Azteca, Cold Case Files, A&E, Most Wanted, Most Evil, Star Telegram, Dallas Morning Newspaper, Radio Stations and Magazines.

Kristin Rehler has been a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 1996. Before entering the FBI, SSA Rehler worked as an attorney in Washington, D.C. During her time in the FBI, SSA Rehler has worked a plethora of criminal matters, to include securities fraud, property crimes, drug trafficking, and mortgage fraud. SSA Rehler currently supervises Civil Rights and Human Trafficking matters, to include the Human Trafficking Task Force, a member of the Houston Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA).

Deena Graves is the founder and executive director of Traffick911. She speaks across the nation on domestic minor sex trafficking. She is an international award-winning communicator. Traffick911, which prevents, rescues and restores victims of domestic minor sex trafficking, was recognized by Dallas Homeland Security Investigations as its most-valued partner in this battle to save our American children. Traffick911 has identified or rescued 60 victims of this horrific crime and our work has led to multiple felony arrests, convictions and pleas.

The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute is the state’s Center of Excellence for public leadership education, ethics, and public service. It prepares young Texans in these areas and conducts on-site leadership training at schools and organizations throughout Texas. The JBS Institute is co-located and part of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). Information about the Shepperd Institute and the Texas Leadership Forum is available at www.shepperdinstitute.com.