Our Speakers

The M3 Transformations speakers are a group of starters who combine their talents to design transformation for social justice issues. The team of sought-after trainers equips federal, state and local first-responders and professionals in law enforcement, child welfare, education, juvenile justice, mental health and other fields, as well as civic, non-profit and faith-based groups, to prevent, identify and heal victims of child sex trafficking and other social justice issues.
 
 
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Deena Graves, M3 Director and President

Deena is passionate about making the impossible possible, telling the untold story and her little 3.8-pound Yorkie who thinks she is a German Shepherd. Deena founded Traffick911, a Dallas-based anti-trafficking nonprofit that has received national recognition for her copyrighted Traps of a Trafficker© youth prevention-and-identification program. The Traps also has handed child sex traffickers multiple felony arrests and convictions, including an unprecedented four life sentences for one pimp. Deena is an international award-winning communicator who uses that expertise to give a voice to children whose voice and hope have been stripped away by those preying upon them for their own pleasure and profit. Deena is pursuing her PhD in Strategic Leadership.

 
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Dr. Ben Keyes

Dr. Keyes’ specialties include dissociative disorders, child abuse, addictions, mood and anxiety disorders, and domestic violence. He teaches first response and chronic trauma, clinical mental health counseling, and trauma care of others, among other topics. He has been in private practice for 35 years and has been a researcher in the area of trauma and dissociation for 22 years, receiving the Richard A. Kluff Research Award for his work. Dr. Keyes led a seven-year intensive CSEC treatment research study. Besides helping people heal from trauma, he is passionate about his family, which includes his wife, Kim, his children, and grandchildren.

 
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Melissa Herrmann

Melissa is passionate about social justice issues and has spent the past 16 years working with orphans, child soldiers, and victims of sex trafficking across the globe. Her efforts have entailed establishing and directing numerous children’s homes both domestically and internationally, developing community based programs, training thousands of professionals and organizations around the world, and providing lay trauma counseling and psycho-education.  Her program models have been recognized by multiple governments, which led her to assist the government of Rwanda in nationalized orphan-care policy reform.  In 2010, she was the recipient of the American Red Cross Hero Award.  Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Services and Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology.

 
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Dr. Sophia Grant

Dr. Sophia Grant is passionate about maintaining the innocence and wonder of childhood. To that end, she has dedicated her life to the care of children. She believes that every life is sacred and strives to restore hope, health and happiness in all her patients. Dr. Grant is Board Certified in both pediatrics and child abuse pediatrics and has worked in a wide array of settings, from indigent care, to private practice, emergency rooms, academic medicine, outpatient hospital practice and the mission fields of Belize and Kenya. Dr. Grant’s special area of interest is Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking/Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and educating medical and other professionals on the recognition of victims. She has spoken nationally on the subject of child sex trafficking and has educated thousands of professionals and lay people on the subject. Despite her professional accomplishments, she takes the most pride in her three wonderful children.

 
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Lexie LaVallee

Lexie is a young professional who pulls from a lifetime of hardship. Sexual abuse was a norm for her from her toddler years and created a deep vulnerability for sex traffickers. From the age of 10-12, she was sold for sex just doors down from her grandmother's in the bedroom of the teenager her family had taken in. Little did they know he was part of an organized crime syndicate. Lexie shares her story of growing up exploited in the middle class despite a stable home. She discusses what it was like to not be believed and the effects of child abuse, exploitation, and trafficking on the mind, body, and spirit. She also helps people understand why she kept going back, and how to best come alongside survivors to help break that pull and promote restoration. Lexie facilitates an interactive session to help listeners identify gaps in resources and the logistics of addressing human trafficking, assisting victims, and narrowing their focus. Lexie offers survivor input on their projects, programs, and practices.

 

Derek Williams

For more than a decade, Derek Williams has been working to get pimps, buyers, and their victims out of the game. Derek is passionate about helping people understand how pimps prey upon our youth, the vulnerabilities they target, how they manipulate and control them once they are under their control, and how they keep them coming back. He speaks from an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how they do this after first selling his girlfriend when he was 16 and she was 14. From there, he spent 32 years as a pimp, trafficking more than 150 people in all 50 states, Canada, and Europe. He left the game after a life-changing experience. He comprehends, acknowledges, and takes ownership of the predator he was without any excuses, and his deep remorse for the hurt and pain he caused so many led him to dedicate his life to getting people out and educating others about the horrors and realities of what traffickers do and how they do it. He also is passionate about teaching people how to keep our youth off the path of becoming recruiters or traffickers.