The Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award

The Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award recognizes individuals who have made a unique contribution to the anti-trafficking field in the United States or demonstrated outstanding leadership and dedication in working to combat human trafficking in the United States. This award is named in honor of US Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife, Sheila, who are both champions of human rights and justice.


Amy Fleischauer

Words from her colleagues



Amy Fleischauer has been at the forefront of the anti-human trafficking movement for well over a decade. From the very beginning she has been an avid advocate of the trauma informed approach, sharing her knowledge and expertise with the network of dedicated professionals. Amy has provided us with the tools to do no harm even when we stumble and become hopeless. She has been a mentor and a trusted ally, providing words of wisdom, ensuring that we never feel alone in this movement, encouraging us to continue to fight for justice in whatever form justice may present itself.


Amy Fleischauer is a true leader and advocate in assisting survivors of human trafficking. For the past 16 years the Erie County Sheriff’s Office has had the esteemed pleasure of working with Ms. Fleischauer in our efforts to combat human trafficking. Ms. Fleischauer has consistently provided an extraordinary contribution with her leadership and education to our law enforcement personnel, by providing education for our law enforcement on best practices to respond to human trafficking. Ms. Fleischauer has developed relationships with other local service provider entities to ensure that the survivors we meet have all the possibilities to succeed past their trafficking experiences. Our successes could not have been possible without her dedication and partnership.


Amy is extremely dedicated, driven, down to earth, and a true humanitarian. Not only is she a pillar in the US anti-trafficking movement, continuing to drive the work towards a high level of racial equity and empowered approaches, she is tremendously generous with her knowledge and expertise. I have never heard her say no to any request for training or sharing, and genuinely loves to engage with organizations striving to be better and do better. Her work on behalf of survivors is never ending and sometimes I wonder how she keeps so many balls in the air! She is an outstanding member of our community who has gone up and beyond to ensure that all survivors are treated with respect and all have access to the enjoyment of their rights.

Past Recipients

  • 2022
    Kate Mogulescu
    Associate Professor, Brooklyn Law School
  • 2020
    Lynette Parker & Ruth Silver Taube
    Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • 2019
    Ima Matul
    Survivor Leadership Program Manager, Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
  • 2018
    Cindy C. Liou, Esq.
    Deputy Director for Legal Services, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • 2017
    Joye Frost
    Former Director, Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
  • 2016
    Miguel Keberlein
    Director, Immigrants and Workers’ Rights Practice Group, LAF
  • 2015
    Damayan Migrant Workers Association
    New York City, NY
  • 2014
    Sheila Neville
    Senior Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA)
  • 2013
    The Honorable Patrick Leahy,
    United States Senator (D-VT)
  • 2012
    Martina Vandenberg
    Open Society Institute Fellow and Human Rights Advocate
  • 2011
    Susie Baldwin
    Chief of Health Assessment, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • 2010
    Pamela Chen
    Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of New York
  • 2009
    Patricia Medige and Jennifer Lee
    Attorneys, Colorado Legal Services
  • 2008
    Susan French
    Prosecutor, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
  • 2007
    Florrie Burke
    Former Director of Anti-Trafficking Program, Safe Horizon
  • 2006
    Coalition of Immokalee Workers
    Immokalee, FL
  • 2005
    Luis cDeBaca
    Prosecutor, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
  • 2004
    Thai Community Development Center
    Los Angeles, CA