Human Rights Society Staff Team are passionate human rights activists and advocate the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Currently as an all-volunteer staff team with our interns and volunteers, we will always strive to make a difference to make this world a more better place advocating for human rights and fighting its abuses.
ALEX SUM | Founder & Executive Director
Alex began his human rights activism in 2007 after starting a social justice community group amongst friends. When the group got to human trafficking, Alex knew immediately it was “the issue” that resonated with him the most. This began his journey as an abolitionist. First, Alex began volunteering with International Justice Mission (IJM) where got him to see video footages of girls as young as 7-years old in brothels. This devastated Alex to no end and he knew he needed to do “something.” Volunteering with IJM led him to become their Seattle Benefit Chairperson for a couple of years, amongst other events. In 2009, through IJM’s encouragement, Alex co-founded Seattle Against Slavery (SAS) as a region-wide anti-trafficking coalition working with service providers, politicians, law enforcement, and other grassroots activists. In 2011, Alex founded Human Rights Society to focus on human rights on more global perspective. With a highly collaborative approach, Alex is connected with many justice-oriented nonprofits and speaks regularly including as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington. He ideates many programs with his teams. A Seattleite, Alex earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington’s (UW) Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, loves being a family man with 5 wonderful bambinos. He heads up sales for Fuse IQ which has led 400+ web projects, mostly for nonprofits such as United Nations, UW, etc. For more info on Alex: LinkedIn | @alexsum | alex(at)humanrightssociety(dot)org
Christian has been a community abolitionist since 2009. He has helped promote events and legislation on top of performing his own spoken word poems on human trafficking whenever the chance arises. He was also an International Justice Mission Host Committee Member for the IJM Seattle Benefit in 2010. Christian co-leads G2G, a nonprofit providing pure water to impoverished places in the world. He has done humanitarian work in Haiti and traveled to Nepal on behalf of G2G. Christian’s “day job” is working with Digital Media and currently in graduate school in Digital Media with the University of Washington. Recently married, Christian and his wife, Renee, doctorate candidate in Psychology and Counseling at Northwest University, hope to help others toward their path of healing. For more info on Christian: LinkedIn | info(at)humanrightssociety(dot)org
Isabella completed her degrees in law and international studies in 2014 at the University of Sydney in Australia. She grew up in Australia and New Zealand – two great and beautiful countries with robust democracies and political freedoms. Isabella first learnt about human trafficking whilst attending Korean language school. While Saturday morning language school is a dreaded experience for many children of first generation immigrants, for Isabella, it opened her eyes to an important issue. When hearing about “comfort women” (a euphemistic term referring to many Asian and Dutch women who were forced to service Japanese soldiers at military brothels during World War 2) and the absence of legal accountability for these war crimes, this awakened her social conscience. Isabella believes in the importance of advocacy to bring a voice to the victims and to use the law and legal system to achieve human rights protection. Having moved around a lot during her childhood, Isabella has recently returned to one of her many “hometowns”, Melbourne, and is looking forward to working as a lawyer, actively engaging in human rights work, and traveling the world. For more info on Isabella: LinkedIn | info(at)humanrightssociety(dot)org
Kelly learned about human trafficking and other human rights abuses during college. She graduated with a BA in Psychology in 2010 from Elon University in Elon, NC. She spent two years doing social psychology research at UC Davis. She completed an internship at Opening Doors, Inc., a human trafficking and refugee resettlement non-profit in Sacramento, CA. While there she gained much more experience in several aspects of working directly with victims of human trafficking. In 2012, she left the US to attend graduate school at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK to study human rights. Interested in the psychology of human rights violations, she wrote her dissertation on victims of sex trafficking from a psychosocial and human rights perspective. She received her MA (with Merit) in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in 2013. In her downtime, Kelly enjoys both creating and appreciating art, exploring Seattle, and engaging in a constant power struggle and battle of wits with her dog, Earnhardt. For more info on Kelly: LinkedIn | kelly(at)humanrightssociety(dot)org
Maddie has been an abolitionist for many years, first through Not for Sale, as well as with our previous abolitionist awareness group, Hope For Justice. Maddie is the scribe and editor for Human Rights Society’s online content, blog and marketing materials. She is a natural wordsmith and loves to write via her nutrition blog. After an almost three-year stint in Seattle, she moved back to her beautiful hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Maddie studied Journalism at Pepperdine University, and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Westmont College. She also spent time studying Cross-Cultural Communication in Klaipeda, Lithuania, at LCC International University. Most recently, Maddie earned her Certificate in Holistic Nutrition at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and is currently working as a private nutrition consultant. And Maddie just got married in early December 2014! For more info on Maddie: LinkedIn | info(at)humanrightssociety(dot)org
Steph-Mai is originally a British Citizen who moved to New Zealand at the age of 16. New Zealand is a country with a small population, recognised as one the least corrupt places in the world and possibly the best example for what human rights should look like on an international scale. Steph-Mai believes living in such a great country has given her the tools and ideas to try and help combat issues in less fortunate regions of the world. After completing her Bachelors Degree in Politics at the University of Otago (NZ) in 2013, she is currently finishing a Masters Degree in International Studies with a dissertation focusing on the link between human sex trafficking and the deployment of peacekeepers. Steph-Mai has travelled to a number of countries to further her knowledge in human rights, including Poland, which provided her with an opportunity to meet people researching the trafficking industry in Eastern Europe. She has helped raise awareness about human trafficking issues in New Zealand by helping to organise awareness events, creating the Human Trafficking in NZ website, and being cited in a number of national blogs. For more info on Steph-Mai: LinkedIn | info(at)humanrightssociety(dot)org