2014 Human Rights Day


Simone Campbell, Keynote Speaker

Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Lobby, since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney, and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. Among her many accomplishments while at NETWORK was the writing of the famous "Nuns' Letter," considered by many as critically important in convincing Congress to support the Affordable Care Act, and leading the "Nuns on the Bus" trips across the country to support economic justice and immigration reform. She has received numerous awards and has been the keynote or featured speaker at numerous large gatherings, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She has also often appeared in the national and international media, including recent appearances on 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkala was born into poverty in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She grew up watching her mother suffer from domestic violence that she quietly endured for fear of losing her kids. Cheri and her son Mark lived in and out of places eventually becoming homeless after the car they had been living in at the time was demolished by a drunk driver. Cheri could not find a shelter that would allow them to remain together that winter so in order to keep from freezing Cheri decided to move into an abandoned HUD home. She then began working to help other poor families and became a pioneer in the modern housing takeover movement. For the past 25 years Cheri Honkala has been a leading advocate for poor and homeless in America. She co-founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign. She has organized tens of thousands holding marches, demonstrations and setting up tent cities. Honkala was included in Philadelphia Magazine’s list of 100 Most Powerful Philadelphians and was named Philadelphia Weekly’s “Woman of the Year” in 1997. In 2001 Ms. Magazine also named Cheri Woman of the Year and she's since been the recipient of numerous awards including the Bread and Roses Human Rights Award, Public Citizen of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Social Workers, and the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt award from the Washington Institute for Policy Studies. Cheri is nationally and internationally respected for her anti-poverty work.


David Grant

David joined the Destiny Rescue USA team in April of 2012 after being called to take a more active roll from leading music and youth ministries at his church. Drawing from experience and first-hand accounts, David shares the heart and successes of Destiny Rescue in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, India and Mozambique as they rescue and care for girls who have been forced, lured or sold into the sex trade and work with some of the most vulnerable families and villages to prevent human trafficking.


Dr. Morton

Dr. Morton is a former professor of Philosophy, and is now a full-time housewife. The Morton family is significantly involved in the opening of Terre Foods Cooperative Market, which will focus on addressing many of the issues in Dr. Morton’s presentation.


Dada Maheshvarananda

Dada Maheshvarananda is a yogic monk, activist and writer. In 1978 he became a yogic monk in India, dedicating his life to the service of humanity; since then he has worked in Southeast Asia and Latin America teaching meditation and yoga for personal transformation free of charge, and the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT), a post-capitalist model to empower people and communities to create a better world. His latest book is After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action (Innerworld Publications, 2013) with contributions by Noam Chomsky, Leonardo Boff and others. In 2007 he founded the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela in Caracas, where he currently serves as director. Its mission is to empower all people to improve their quality of life within a more just society by fostering and promoting worker cooperatives, self-reliant communities, environmental protection, universal ethics, and spiritual values.


Jane Henegar

Jane Henegar is executive director of the ACLU of Indiana. Prior to her service at the ACLU she was a deputy mayor of Indianapolis from 2000 to 2006. Henegar has held various positions in government, including state director in the office of Senator Evan Bayh, deputy commissioner and general counsel in the Indiana Department of Administration, executive posts at the Family and Social Services Administration and judicial law clerk for the Hon. Thomas Reavley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Henegar has taught political science and led the Indiana Bar Foundation’s Project Citizen to teach civics to K-12 students in Indiana. Born and raised in Bloomington, she is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.


A J Segneri

For 15 years Segneri has been working in activism and politics. His work primarily is about getting organizations to work together on issues, plus educate people on the issues. He is the Program Director for the Third Coast Society in Chicago.


Angie Hass

Angie is the ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) Program Coordinator for IHCDA (Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority). She has been with the agency for nearly 2 ½ years. During that time she has overseen the ESG federal grant program, coordinated the annual statewide Point in Time Homeless Count, and attended several conferences to learn about homelessness and related issues including the NAEH (National Alliance to End Homelessness) Conference in Washington DC. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a degree in Housing Studies.


Heidi Jo Staggs

Heidi Jo Staggs is a 1st year Student Affair's and Higher Education Graduate student. She is the graduate intern for Graduate and Professional Studies at Indiana State University and is the Practicum Intern for the Office of Diversity.


Takisha Franklin, Max Holmes, Katherine Lugar, Ashley Moon, Ashley Pagels and Emily Price

Six Indiana State University Social Work students, who intern in 6 diverse community sites offer a cross-section of perspectives on services and initiatives, as well as opportunities and challenges, facing those in poverty in the region.


Gayle Helart

Gayle Helart has been a lawyer in the United States Attorney’s Office since 1999, and was a local prosecutor in California since 1991. She has co-chaired the Indiana Protection Against Abused and Trafficked Humans (IPATH) since it started in 2006. She and Mary Hutchison, a prosecutor since 2005 and currently assigned to the Special Crimes Unit of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, are both original members of the task force. Mary Hutchison does all the prosecutions of human trafficking and pimp/prostitute cases within the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.


Joel Phillips

Joel was born and raised in Terre Haute Indiana where he attended Terre Haute South High School. He is currently pursuing a master degree in business administration (MBA) and working as a graduate assistant for the office of diversity. Joel is an avid sports fan, who enjoys listening to all kinds of music, and after completion of the MBA Joel is considering continuing his education to pursue a doctoral degree.


Dr. Lee Ann De Reus

Lee Ann De Reus is a scholar activist who travels regularly to Panzi Hospital in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to conduct research, develop programs for rape survivors, and inform her advocacy work in the United States. She is the co-founder of Panzi Foundation USA and an associate professor of human development and family studies and women’s studies at Penn State University/Altoona. In Rwanda she conducts a Penn State service project with vulnerable children and widows from the 1994 genocide.


Dr. Dutta

After receiving his Ph. D in geology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Dr. Dutta joined Indiana State University in 1983 as a faculty in the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems. He retired from active teaching and research in 2011. Apart from academic activities, Dr. Dutta became involved in mitigating poverty in rural India.