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.


Lynette Parker and Ruth Silver Taube

Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, Santa Clara University School of Law

Together, they lead the anti-trafficking community with brilliant advocacy, kindness, humility, generosity, and wisdom. Together, they have spearheaded legal services for immigrant trafficking survivors in the Bay Area, inspiring all of us with their example.  Together, they have raised the profile of forced labor cases, filed and won T visas, filed and won civil cases, advocated for immigrants’ rights, and fought for survivors’ rights in legal processes.

Ruth and Lynette have worked together for years through the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking as well as through the KGACLC. They are subject matter experts on immigration law, employment law, and wage theft cases throughout the Bay Area. What an honor and privilege it is to work with each of them individually and together as a team.

Together, Lynette and Ruth have inspired a movement, bringing advocates together to collaborate and fight for justice for all trafficking survivors. They have worked with other advocates to create comprehensive screening intake tools, setting the stage for comprehensive legal options for trafficking survivors.

Past Recipients

  • 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