Keynote Speakers

Teresa Stafford

Identifying and Understanding the Impact of Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias describes the automatic association people make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups. Under certain conditions, those automatic associations can influence behavior—making people respond in biased ways even when they are not explicitly prejudiced. Systems operate on individual, institutional, and societal levels through conscious and unconscious actions and beliefs to exploit some individuals or groups and benefit others based on membership or perceived membership in social groups, including but not limited to race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and ability. This keynote will focus specifically on the issues of implicit bias using primary concepts and advocacy tools to respond to all victims in a trauma informed manner. 

About Teresa Stafford 

Teresa M. Stafford is the founder and principal consultant at Inspiring Change, LLC where she is dedicated to shifting thoughts through transformative conversations that inspire individuals and organizations to change. Teresa expertly creates safe spaces that encourage individuals to lean into discomfort and seek self-awareness. Teresa is a nationally sought out speaker and trainer. Teresa is a contract consultant with International Association of Chief of Police and RTI International.

Teresa also serves at the Chief Advocacy Officer at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, the largest independent rape crisis center in the nation. The Center is a non-profit organization that leverages 70 plus employees and 100+ volunteers to reach more than 40,000 people annually. Its mission is to support survivors of rape and sexual abuse, promote healing and prevention and advocate for social change in our community. 

Teresa has over 25 years of experience providing direct service to both offenders and victims of crime, with a specialization in sexual violence, domestic violence and families of homicide victims. As Chief Advocacy Officer, Teresa advocates for system change needed to create a climate that is trauma informed for all survivors. She provides support, consultation and training to staff and the community at large both locally and nationally. She provides expertise and consultation to communities developing their Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART), and provides training to law enforcement agencies regarding the dynamics of sexual violence, human trafficking, intimate partner violence and working with sexual assault survivors. Teresa specializes in working with faith-based communities, multi-disciplinary teams and systems to enhance their ability to respond to all in a trauma informed manner. She is a social justice activist who is committed to eliminating factors that marginalize survivors and increase their ability to access services. 


Representative Anna Eskamani 

Reproductive Health: Social Justice Activism

Promoting social justice in areas of health, safety, and bodily autonomy are intrinsically linked to the anti-sexual violence movement. To work from a social justice framework, we must see people as whole beings and respect their choices in regard to their health and wellness, body, and sexuality. It is a sad and too common truth that one type of abuse will often intersect with many other types of abuses. Reproductive oppression can be used as a means to control others and make them vulnerable, leaving them with no support system and no options. By removing barriers to health services, reproductive activism helps to put control back into the individuals’ hands. Ending injustices for victims and survivors expands into many areas as we work to ensure emotional, physical, and economic freedoms in their lives.

About Representative Anna Eskamani 

Representative Anna V. Eskamani is an Orlando native and daughter of working-class immigrants who has committed her life to advocating in support of Florida’s hardworking families. A community organizer with a proven track record in building consensus while fighting unapologetically for progressive values, Anna served as the Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. She managed a team of six across 22 counties and is known across the nation as an advocate for women’s health and equality. In addition to her professional work, Anna is a PhD student studying Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. On November 6, 2018 Anna was elected to serve the great people of House District 47 with a vote margin of 57% to 43%, flipping a legislative seat, and becoming the first Iranian-American elected to any public office in Florida. During her first legislative session, Anna fought hard to increase funding for arts and culture, pushed back against anti-democratic legislation, and did her part to build collective power along the way. Tough, authentic and unafraid, Anna is a progressive who has proven herself as a leader who works hard, delivers results, and gets things done.