Keynote Speakers

Rachel Louise Snyder
Rachel Louise Snyder
Rachel Louise Snyder is the author of Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade, the novel What We’ve Lost is Nothing, and No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us. Her print work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times magazine, Slate, Salon, theWashington Post, the Huffington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the New Republic, and others.

Since 1991, Snyder has traveled to more than fifty countries. In 1998, she spent two months traveling through Tibet, Nepal and India and interviewed the Dalai Lama. In 2000, she spent a month driving across Cuba on the eve of the new millenium. Once, she attended a fashion show in the desert outside of Niamey, Niger at midnight—a fact she has never managed to work into any story anywhere. She has covered natural disasters like Hurricane Mitch in Honduras in 1998 and the Asian tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia in 2005.

In 2003, she relocated from Chicago to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and became a contributor for the public radio shows “Marketplace” and “All Things Considered.” While there, she rescued a Cambodian street dog and gave birth to her daughter. The dog is surprisingly uppity. After six years in Cambodia, she moved to Washington, DC and created the 3-minute interstitial “The Global Guru” which she also hosted. “The Global Guru” aired on more than 100 NPR stations across the country and received a 2010 “Zeitfunk Award” for the third most licensed interstitial of the year by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

Chong Kim
Chong Kim
Author, activist and world-renowned speaker, Chong Kim has been working to end sexual exploitation
and human trafficking for nearly two decades. Focusing much of her time on activism and human rights,
her dedication and passionate expertise is fueled by her lived experience as a survivor of child rape and
sexual exploitation.
Chong Kim settled in Oklahoma City by way of Pyeongtaek, South Korea when she was an infant. From
childhood, she battled numerous life hardships, including being born with a disability, bullied
throughout school and being a victim of sexual child abuse. The trauma of her childhood forced her into
a lot of new beginnings including being ensnared by deception into a sex trade by the age of 19. Being
equipped with life’s challenges paired with innate instincts afforded Kim lessons of survival that in the
end, kept her alive. Through healing and gaining confidence, her ability to share her story helped pave
the way for her to be recognized as one of the most compelling voices as a survivor.
Having an edge, Chong Kim began working alongside law enforcement to offer a ground level
perspective into sex trafficking. Her intelligence became the touchstone of catching predators,
essentially tilting the multi-layered corruption toward justice. Her dedication to the full spectrum of
human rights led to public speaking appearances for colleges and universities, Human Trafficking
Taskforces, and rescue centers, locally and abroad. She has appeared on several major daytime talk
shows and has been decorated with many honors throughout the United States.
Kim’s liberation swelled to empowerment as she began to write her experiences into art. She began
penning several poems and articles on social injustice. She followed with her first movie production
based loosely on her experience, Eden, which was released in select theaters in 2012. Eden moved into
streaming platforms from 2013 to date, including YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime. In 2017, she
wrote and published her memoir Broken Silence. She has currently completed her scripted TV series,
Every 40 Seconds that is soon to be released.
Today, Chong Kim’s reach encompasses an international turn toward spreading awareness. She is
working to solidify her foundation Velvet Brick and innovations to end social injustice, systemic racism
and child abductions.
“No matter what happened yesterday, every day is like a new audition. When we audition, we put our
best face on. ‘Make every moment your audition,’” Chong Kim, from her poem, “Stage It.”

Workshop Speakers