Karen Countryman-Roswurm and Ashley Garrett

Recorded May 14, 2021 Archived May 13, 2021 50:01 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv000763


Friends and colleagues Karen Countryman-Roswurm (40) and Ashley Garrett (47) discuss how their lives have been different than what they expected, their impact on the anti-trafficking field, and what the future holds for them.

Subject Log / Time Code

Karen (K) and Ashley (A) talk about the first time they met.
K shares that in elementary school her dream was to be a comedian. She says she never could have imagined the difficult things she’d have to face in life, especially in childhood, but she also could never have imagined the beautiful things would happen.
A says that growing up there was a big focus on career and she vacillated between wanting to be a therapist and a singer/performer. A says she never imagined living in Washington DC, being a single mom, or working at a national and international level.
K shares that she went from being a high school dropout to later on getting her PhD. K says that many of the social workers who served her and who talked down to her would later be in her class or attend one of her training sessions.
A highlights the idea of operating with the assumption that there are always survivors in the room. K talks about the importance of not re-exploiting or demoralizing survivors.
A talks about what her future holds. She says after about thirty-five years in the anti-trafficking field, she wants to find a space that creates more of a balance in her life.
K says there comes a point when a true survivor spirit no longer looks like running so fast. K reflects on a journey she is on to see what the future holds. K’s hope is to spend a lot more time reading and writing. K shares she wants to write books of poetry. K says her big dream is to purchase a house in the country where she can host retreats for others.
A talks about how the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken,’ by Robert Frost has impacted her.
A shares advice she would have given herself: it is important early on to build ways that help you take care of you so that you can take care of others. K shares advice to her younger self: as humans, we want to think of ourselves in noble terms and we really have to be careful not to lose our identities in this [anti-trafficking] work. K says she would tell herself that your significance is not found in what you do, how busy you are, how many people are proud of you, etc.
A and K reflects on how the anti trafficking field is at a precipice moment where it can move towards being a more restorative movement. They explain that too often trafficking is dealt with in a silo. K says she hopes that rather than reactive band-aid work, systems can be built to help people. K says racism, classism, and sexism are so prevalent in the United State’s criminal legal system. A talks about the importance of supporting families and not just treating the individual.
A says she hopes that she has done some part in creating space for other voices and creating opportunities for people with lived experiences to lead and to transform. A says as a parent she wants her son to know that he has both an opportunity to demand to be at the table and that there are people out there that will walk with him. K reflects on how A has created space for her. K says she has been pivotal in changing legislation but the thing she has done that she is most proud of is the number of individuals she has been able to meet exactly where they are. K says she is honored to have received the support and healing that helped her be able to do that for others.


  • Karen Countryman-Roswurm
  • Ashley Garrett

Recording Location

Virtual Recording


Partnership Type

Fee for Service


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00:04 Hello, my name is Karen countryman-roswurm. I'm 40 years old. And today's date is May 14th, 2021. I'm recording from Wichita. Kansas with my conversation partner, Ashley, and she is a friend, and a colleague.

00:26 And hi, my name is Ashley Garrett. I am 47 years old. Today's date is May 14th, 2021. And I'm recording from Washington, DC, with my friend and colleague Karen.

00:44 Ashley, this is funny. How did we first meet? Do you remember? I would I want to hear about when your, what your memory is of when we first met and what do you remember about meeting me?

00:59 That's funny. I was trying to think about that and I actually cannot remember the first time we physically met. And I think that's in part because even before we met, I felt like I knew you because we have friends and colleagues and carbon. I've known of the work that you are doing before because we've been doing so much of this work kind of concurrently but not together. So I can't remember. If the first time we actually met was

01:35 When we did the human trafficking Leadership Academy, the first session, and that was the first time we physically met, but it's funny. Right? Cuz I feel like I've known you forever, but we haven't actually known each other that long. What's your memory? So obviously we met via email, you, many times. We spoke on the phone a couple of times even but we first met in Washington DC at an HHS convening of human trafficking. And what I remember about you and that's kind of what I was like, okay, here in a few, don't remember exactly the date or year. That doesn't matter. Like what do you remember about meeting? Ashley. And what I remember about you is that first of all, you had your son?

02:26 And but seeing your face and your smile was really impactful to me and what it communicated to me in was that you were safe and that was something I needed to see, right. So even when I just think about the anti-trafficking movement, it's interesting. Right? We're in the helping field, to just some it down to what it is and yet often times folks, Get Enough from this work, that feeds their ego that in some ways they try to protect it and like keep people out. And when I saw your face and your smile and just saw you as a woman as a man, I felt like an invited me in and I was like, this is a person I can work with because it's not about you. It's about the work. It's about the commitment and that was, that was cool to me. So that's why I love that. Now. I totally remember and I remember that day so vividly, because it was this huge.

03:23 Allegedly, huge National convenience, right of all of these experts from all over and I was supposed to be both engaging and facilitating and speaking but also helping behind the scene and as a single mom, I had a baby who was sick and I had to leave in the middle of it and come back and it was such a personally, like, it felt so humbling and hard to say, there's nothing I can do here right now and I need to bring my kid here and that's going to be okay. And now I can remember you came up to me specifically buy dinner, as I'm holding him feeling, totally overwhelmed and, like, pretty vulnerable honestly, cuz I'm not the like, I don't have all of it together. So, to speak and really connecting first in that Mom experience, and that personal peace, which I also

04:23 I think this field and probably many fields, right? But this field in particular mostly cuz it's the one I know the best. We create these buffers around us to try to look like we are in control and impact powerful in some ways and that's just not how the work can be done, but it's not always the person that you can connect with so immediately and see that connection right in the spirit. And I think you actually validated for me, that what I was doing was right and okay, and you've done that a few other times. And since we've now been kind of more connected personally, but I do need somebody. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

05:17 Lexi. So should we just keep going? You might need to go next on the

05:30 Oh, man. This question. I didn't think about very much. So I just have to say, Obviously, my initial answer to this is going to be more about career. So, I'll never forget that in 3rd 4th 5th. Grade, my dream. And that guy have multiple papers that I wrote about an elementary school, that I wanted to be a comedian. I want to see me jokes.

06:09 But you know, I didn't I never could have imagined the difficult things. I would have to face in life, especially earlier in my childhood, but I also never truly imagine how beautiful my wife could be.

06:25 And I would say the things that perhaps is most different is that I think that especially when we were younger, just humans tend to be pretty.

06:37 For lack of better term self-centered, right? Yeah, and my life has really been a journey of trans transformation and Transcendence to really serve and care for other people. And I never, I never thought I would be doing that. Right? And I think the comedian Spirit though is still very much integrated into who I am today. So then when I think sit back from that question just a little bit more, I can tell you different point in my life. Where

07:14 I think a lot of children dream about being something so big in their life being so amazing. I think I had more times in my life where I didn't have a dream and I definitely didn't believe that. I could grasp what little dreams I had and said there were many days when I wake up.

07:33 And I am just, I just feel so grateful to have what I have today. In terms of just a home and a safe home, and a family, and the love, and the circle of friends and community, and colleagues and friends. Just Across the Nation. So what about you?

07:58 I also was trying to think about this in the moment. You know, I had I feel like when your girl when I was growing up, it was so much a focus on, what are you going to do? You know, what are you going to do in the professional world? And so, that's what I spent most of my time, like when I think back at least that's what stands out to me. And I, I vacillated between wanting to be a therapist. I have papers through that, which doesn't surprise many people when they know something about me and touch up some of the work that I do, but I also wanted to be a singer.

08:32 And yeah, a lot of people ask that of me and I very much I'm the this is going to come as a complete shock to you a perfectionist. And so therefore I do nothing unrehearsed.

08:54 But so so it was sort of some of those which I think helps me now and trying to think about the full balance of where life needs to be about the physical, the Arts. But like all the ways in which our spirit connect around the work around life and the and the pieces of. But if I also reflect so that's what kind of the career trajectory. I always knew I would be doing something about people and something about people that didn't have or experiences or opportunities that I knew I was blessed to have. Like I definitely grew up in a in a family where service and understanding of others was a primary apart. And so I knew that I and I know I got my core.

09:54 Can't be part of a day today, World in which human connection and supporting either by walking next to someone or holding out. Her hand is a piece of whatever it is that I do. What I never thought is, frankly is that I never imagined living in Washington DC across the country for my family. I never imagined being a single mom.

10:24 I didn't imagine, you know, kind of the professional scale of working at in at an international are a national level and set about a community level, but probably the biggest surprises both.

10:40 Being a single mom, right? But not being a mom and a connection with and the

10:54 Journey of my work world and how that intertwine with my journey as a mom, and his mom. And particular is listening to you. I kept thinking, you know, just might my brain is like, wow, it really is amazing. How we often times have a vision for our lives, or

11:18 Begin the journey.

11:20 Based on what people expect of us. And so you like hearing about your family. That's so cool. And I can apply the opposite experience. After my mom, died of like having so many workers in my life, social worker social service providers.

11:36 Who instead of speaking life into me really spoke down to me? So like their expectation of me was so low. And so even for me to think about, like I have a GED. I dropped out of high school and finish High School. You didn't know that. So they don't know my story, but to think I went from being a high-school Dropout. I'm not even sure I completed my freshman year actually, a high school. So I got my GED and then to think that once I was emancipated at sixteen, I went on to get my Ph.D., That's pretty crazy to think about strangest thing is like, how many individuals as like my social service provider who spoke negative things about me? Or like the leaves that my life wouldn't turn out. Okay. I ended up being there, like college professor.

12:36 Later on or taking the training that I was the soliciting. And so, you know, I mean in some ways I'm kind of jumping ahead in our conversation and I didn't and I'm sorry for that but I think about what that has taught me about how I see the survivors and drivers an overcomer. I have the opportunity to meet and walk alongside. Right? So I'm constantly when I'm training even my staff just talking to them about like and who are survivors themselves, but like trying to hate. I understand what your experiences are, but you kind of have to sit back from that sometimes. And because what this experience taught means is that we need to when we meet an individual, every individual regardless of what their story is, is to see them for who they were created to be in there, right? Immeasurable value in purpose, that week. It is beyond our imagine.

13:36 And we need to breathe life into that instead of seeing them for their trauma, or their Brokenness or they don't know whatever you walking alongside right now. This might be the invitation to walk alongside our next boss. Our next raid Professor are next to fill in the blank. Really what it was, amazing. So sorry. Ashley, I guess I was listening to you. I'm like, that's kind of the opposite of my experience. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I talked a lot about

14:15 You know, there are survivors, amongst us every moment of every day. I come from a family of survivors of trafficking but of other forms of trauma and we never know. And I think the more that we are creating a space for growth and opportunity for all you're going to more and more likely have people that are survivors of trafficking or other things working with you that you don't know. So I think that's a piece too and it's a struggle that I have as a person, that's not a survivor of a partner in that with people with lived experience. And also countering that to say, like not everyone that lived experience wants to state that the correct what they bring to the table. And sometimes we happen to know about that and sometimes we don't and we shouldn't assume that Folks at the table don't have it.

15:15 And so we always I always try to hold that space. That anyone in the space that I'm in, could be a Survivor and they are certainly a Survivor nobody in this world. But that the level of complex trauma that many human trafficking survivors experience. Like we should just operate that, that is a baseline of who's in our room always end and function from that.

15:51 You know, as much as as a Survivor, like the serve as a part of us Survivor leader Community. Like, we spoke so much about like not letting people really exploit through, you know, unpaid storytelling or whatever. And yet I see within the Survivor community, that survivors are probably most likely to kind of push another Survivor to enter into that space. Every exploitation ization as we heal.

16:27 Holistically and we're seeking holistic healing in our lives. Intentionally. We no longer need to compare our trauma to another trauma. So, like, I don't need somebody to say, why I haven't been through what you've hey, look, this isn't a competition of these traumas, worse. I do think that there's differences that are important to recognize at certain times, but I think the greater lessons of life and based on on, on my professional experience is particularly. I believe that we just need to have a broader better understanding of trauma, and then demonstrate, passion to each other, and not, and not compare. But leverage, all of this information to build healthier communities, right? We talked a little bit about how our lives are different, but then what maybe we imagined, or what was breathe, but

17:27 20 years and anti trafficking.

17:37 In the field at the age of 16, when I just been emancipated.

17:43 Working in Street Outreach programming. So like, that's how I enter this. Okay. I love. You know, it's interesting and kind of coming to that place where I don't know, but I know that I'm now at a point where I'm starting to look forward in, what could be different. I mean, I love what I got to do. I feel such a privilege in the space that I can work in and the people that I can work in and I have to have faith. And I do believe that there's things that I've been able to support, or Advocate, or make that are change, but I also know that it can take a toll, it takes a toll right on family and on my creativity and my, and my passion for all. And so

18:38 I don't know what it looks like because we're also in the midst of. So it's been five years since we started the national human trafficking, try to answer to the closest of them are five years on the next. It's a contract rights, we should compete for it. So it gives us a chance to reflect back and then to look forward, but I don't know. I do know that I want to find a space that he creates a little bit more of an even mess around or a balance. I think he's a balance and why isn't it? I mean ever seeking never found experience, but

19:19 You know, you look actually at look at you as a, someone who is a mom and a partner and has worked in Academia and on the on the ground and has a lot of different hats that you wear. And I feel like I have some hats that I need to find and that create a little bit more space in a little bit. Less pressure. I am definitely a person who I feel so responsible for the people that I work with. On the people whose I work on behalf, and I'd never want to let go of that. But

20:01 I also want to create a little bit more of an opening. I don't know what it looks like. I'm just realizing now that I'm kind of ready for that next thought about you cuz you've been in transition you've been in a pretty significant transition mode.

20:22 You know what?

20:24 I have been intentionally.

20:28 Entering into a space of transformation that relates to this question for two years. So I I wake up and I smudged and I pray about this everyday. I write about this and I feel a lot of the same things you feel as like I'm super committed to and passionate about, not only this work but the individuals I serve and walk alongside and my staff and

20:57 I I have taken great pride in and I have been energized by and feel like I've made a difference through the multiple hats as you say. But there comes a time where

21:14 A true survivor Spirit, looks like no longer running that fast, but stopping at turning around, looking at your true self in the eye and embracing yourself.

21:27 You are so brave and wise and

21:32 That is scary because it means you're going to potentially let others down in our world in your community who look to you to be something in particular fill in the blank right? And sitting through all of that of like when am I really being

21:55 True 2 myself.

21:58 Because you do take joy in these things, right? But it's somebody you just come to this. Like, what does this look like for me? And so,

22:06 I would say that there's parts of my myself and you mentioned creativity, which if you understand like brain science, even what we know is that when you're under chronic stress or trauma, you're working all the time. You're the you're the boss lady, right? Like that's what I'm used to do. There's so many people who are looking to you. You're writing grants are keeping up with her just going and then teaching in facilitating, right? I mean like your creative brain stops working and so my heart has been pulling me to see you. Now when I think what is the future hold? We'll see how it happens. Scared and scared to take the sleep and I don't think I'll ever fully fully walk away, but I've been in the transition of walking to 811 step at a time.

22:57 But I'm I My Hope Is that I will spend a lot more time.

23:04 Reading and writing specifically. I I really want to write my story and I want to write books of poetry. I love poetry. So I write a lot of poetry and it's actually some of what I was speaking of. Like, I wrote a poem about like coming to the end of a particular journey and recognizing like, how can I embrace the things that helped me get here and yet be okay with letting them go in order to really meet me where I'm at. So I want to write more poetry and then like, truly my big dream that I'm scared. We'll never come true. So I've got to figure out a way to to take the jump is I want to purchase a home out in the country, near a lake. And I want to have a retreat center for

23:59 Specifically, women kind of like me and like you and I only want to host a retreat, like maybe two times a year. I love it. Oh my God. I did my PhD in Psychology, my masters in social work. So facilities, hated Retreats where we were and we get spa treatments that we talked and we journey and we focus on creativity development, and embracing. So that's what I want to do.

24:33 Oh my God, I love that. I've literally started to say, I know. I was like, I've actually been trying to think through about, how do I even just carve out one a weekend or a week to create space for something like that? Right? That allows me to do the debrief and, like, the let go. But then also challenges me and encourages me and create just need space to think and be and be creative. I have no idea where to find that. So, yeah. Yeah. It is. It is an interesting. I mean, that's the other piece, right? Is, I really struck when you said, you know, we don't when you're so go, go go and I think there is a difference in a go, go go environment, where you're like helping to build a widget or run a hotel versus. Do you mean something like you? And I do which is rooted.

25:33 In our heart, which

25:36 In a really different kind of way and is so connected with people that how do you balance that and strike that wanting to continue to feed that? And that is a piece of who you are but letting it not hold you back and going forward from that and finding new ways. I actually was just having I've reconnected with some girlfriends from high school, but I changed high schools in the middle of my senior year and husband is kind of weird Journey yet what you just shared but I don't really either because of this weird kind of transition time. And so I just the benefit of Facebook a million years ago. I was a Rican and I reconnected with some girlfriends and I literally haven't seen since I was 16 or 17 and

26:29 They one of them was talking and there was this poem. Speaking of poetry, Robert. I think it's Robert Frost, the road not taken, and for some reason that has been. Strawberry one. From when I was a child, it's one not when I graduated from high school like you give I gave gifts to friends and I printed that out and I frame and it wasn't until this past year. That was the first time that I didn't have that on my, in my office or in my room and it's, because I passed it on to a young woman who is that has become a family friend and an a connection to my son. And she's kind of starting her journey, but when you were just talking about, kind of the pausing, looking back and looking forward,

27:21 All of a sudden I went, I have to look at what that next road is. Right because I definitely took a path that many wouldn't have and I think I could take a lot of pride in that identity to it. But now it's, what's the next PATH? That's awesome. What is the current one that I bought? And I have, I don't know how to do that. But to make sure that your identity doesn't get lost in the work, which I think this other question of, like, what would you what advice would you have given your younger self?

28:00 God, so hard.

28:05 That it is.

28:09 More important to build in early on ways that you take care of you. In order to do work that takes care of others and instead now and having to go back and kind of relearn how to do that or unlearn bad habit or you know just habits that I never grew up with and and, and that's important. But if I could have done that earlier, like that's definitely it.

28:47 Yeah, and I think that's the biggest one for me. Honestly. How about you? Yeah, I mean, I think that this question to me based on where our conversation has just gone. Also connect to some of the questions. I know he wanted to talk about in terms of like what do I wish people understood about and in this is maybe what I would say is like, none of us. We want to think of ourselves and Noble terms, right? As human. Yes, and I'm in this field.

29:34 And,

29:36 We really have to be careful and I alluded to this earlier not to lose our identities in this work. And so I would have

29:49 I would have told myself a lot more that your significance is not found in what you do or how hard you work, or how many things you're juggling and how many people are happy with you. Your significance is found in simply being who you are, right? Your significance is no less or no greater when you are just simply joyous and hula hooping and gardening and listening to your reggae beats in the backyard or roller skating all the things I love to do right then when you're

30:31 Working with a Survivor out on the streets or you're getting an award because you had to work 75 hours a week for the last decade. This is bad. I'm just saying, where oftentimes becoming the casualties.

30:50 Yep. 2

30:53 This way. Some people would say it's a calling, right? But for for me, it's probably been in some ways like fighting a battle or fighting with an award that I know harmed me at some point. And yet, I'm simultaneously, like, killing myself in it, and I see people who are in their 70s still working, and they have not had this moment of self-awareness or actualization Transcendence and I'm like, yes, you for these horrible things that happened to me. So I can have this moment and really examine myself and try to figure it out. It's not easy, right? It is, it's it's a hard balance.

31:39 I don't totally get it. But yeah, yeah, it's a rather long in it than me. I am grateful for the conversation till like, really. I feel like I'm at that point where so much of it, my work. And my world is a, is identified about by work, and that's so important. But how to be good with just the beginning and then find yourself and not being. You present yourself and interact with your children with those that you love with your friends and who's going to be there, especially that can feed the ego. You really needed a check that because I also think that the unawareness of that, part of yourself is also what drives folks in the field.

32:39 To stick to that quote unquote rescue mindset. They are, they're almost becoming god-like to try to fix other people. Then when that person doesn't get fixed, right, the way that they want them to their angry. And I see even workers become hostile, or were frustrated, angry, or controlling, in some ways, become like, a trafficker, to the victims and survivors, the individuals that they're trying to serve, right? Or or if they're not that, the other reaction is that they become really depressed and they have a lot of trauma themselves. And so, I think that this, this is just an important conversation. I wish I would have had it with myself when I was young or somebody would have had it with me. So I'm trying to have it with all the younger folks that I that I meant or that are my staff or and I teach graduate students and Mentor several young people as their spaghetti.

33:39 Christmas at the conversation. I'm trying to have but I think of it like, you can't know until you're there, right? Like, I mean, you want to get out and life is just starting, right? I think I know who I was in my twenties versus now and where that, where, that Focus would be. I also think if you look back, right, like if you look at the last 20 years in the field and the evolution that it has a, that has happened. We are, I feel like we're at a moment that is sort of a precipice in some way for really transforming.

34:22 Our communities that are most impacted by trafficking because it to me trafficking is symptomatic of so many other things. And I think some of those are all starting to converge together and wait, is that we can either step into that and not make it about what I need to put the Box around, this is trafficking but rather recognized how how trauma and how inequity intertwines and so many different ways. And I feel like, you know, like the conversations we're having about racing and equities are allowing or hopefully creating an opening that will allow us to look differently in this smaller scale, around the trafficking work, but take it to a different space. That becomes restorative, that becomes healing.

35:21 And doesn't put it on on the backs of either the people that are doing the day-to-day work with a Survivor or with a person experiencing like, it becomes bigger than that. I'm saying it clearly, but it is an interesting moment oriented in a reaction. Yeah. To what somebody has done to somebody else. And now I think we have a reckoning of what is, what does the future Community look like? And how do we take that forward in a way? That really looks at looks at the person at the core and

36:11 Yeah, I don't know. I'm not sure. I'm making myself. Clear, but thinking about the movement. What do we wish people knew?

36:22 What are the successes that we know what things have we accomplished in this movement? But where are the gas? I mean, you kind of talked about that, just right there in that moment and I agree with you that.

36:37 We have far too. Often put human trafficking in this. Silo over here, not even connected and have not really understood that. First of all, I believe most survivors would even tell you. It wasn't the trafficking. That was the most traumatic event. That was a result of a lot of other issues. Right? But this is about trauma, and this is about also systemic barriers, right? So the issues of of race and sex and these other in justices that are more Broad in our community. And I think so all of that.

37:19 In what you were saying? What I heard was taking from it. And also liked is based on the work that we are doing here with the center for combating human trafficking in that. I'm so thankful to be doing with you with your project, with the human trafficking Leadership, Academy is how do we say? Okay, we get that. So, let's move forward, right? Let's recognize these issues and let's move forward, so that we don't continue to see these issues. Let's bring the threads of these different issues together and address them at an Adaptive level at a systemic level rather than just doing bandeya technical fixes constantly and

38:01 I think that would me the two things. I'd hope with that.

38:05 Is that we've been?

38:07 Create systems, where people would truly have more access to becoming the people they were created to be rather than us. Again. Just putting out fires like the rescue work and putting on Band-Aids and like giving people just enough to survive but where they're always reliant on some other system and they're being blocked and kept out over here or they're just getting enough, something like that. It's only scraps. And the other thing, I think I really want to see what that because where I see, I would say I see racism sexism and classism most apparent in working with the criminal justice system.

38:51 Or what, what we call the criminal legal system. And because we do see a significant difference in how

39:03 Different races or classes of individuals, like how they are seen by law enforcement. And that's how their cases are decided and that's where we get so much criminalization where it's like, okay, I thought the law says, this is a victim, but the law doesn't really treat the people with these that fit into these different categories like, or sometimes, we don't even care right at all, in our sons. And so, I want to see that address. Might hope that that's where our movement starts focusing. Its efforts. We've done the awareness. We've written a lot of good laundry Elysee. Now, we really need to shift our hearts and do this adaptive work so that we have systemic change.

39:44 Yeah, I think that piece I would add to that is the whole family cuz it's only been in the last 2 years that we've even really looked at somebody who as a Survivor who's not coming forward to law enforcement and yet we still need to provide programming and service but regardless of what so that's huge and I have a self honestly, you know, you don't become a victim, you don't have a victimization and then it goes away in two years you have that you have that experience for the rest of your life. And so how can we support and walk alongside so that as a mom or as a son or a daughter, all of those other people play into that. And so how does the system also not treat? Just the individual or, or respond to just the individual. But to really look at the historic.

40:44 The ways like that can either be passed down in ways that are opportunities and room for growth and and transformation and ways that it's that it can continue to keep weather. That individual, right? Like it. Just we have to look at that piece to. I look at the men and women. I know that have that. I am privileged to know that they have shared some of their on them. They are survivors and I look at the parents and the leaders that they are and the things that I like, I've learned from you. And I learned from so many others. And I want that piece that

41:32 Whatever it was for each of them. I want that for everyone to be able to have and and we just need to do better at at looking at, not a moment, but a whole person and a whole life. I love that. So Ashley.

41:50 I know our time is coming to a close as I want to die. Now. Think about your, you have played a role in the anti-trafficking movement. Like when I read the history books.

42:07 Perhaps we're going to be mentioned in this similar chapter, right? And so what, what lasting change?

42:17 Do you believe you've made that you're most proud of and or what's the Legacy you're leaving for your own child, perhaps children for your siblings that you leave in this world someday.

42:35 Right, I think, but I do feel and I hope that I have done some part in creating space for other voices and creating opportunities where a particularly people that hat speaking. As an on Survivor. I have helped in the ways that I can to create openings and opportunities for people with that experience, to be not just brought able to speak, but brought to the table till weed and to transform.

43:31 So I hope that there's either and I think that is a theme throughout the many different hats, but I've worn, I think in the same way as a parent, like I know we we do this work and it takes us away from our kids, but it also enough part of what wanting to have this conversation was right. I want him to know that in the same way that I've done that that,

43:59 That's how I want him to approach his world, right? That he has both an opportunity to demand to be at the table and to be part of it and whatever that looks like, right? Whether it's you wants to be, you know, electric guitar at the next Santana or he wants to do whatever, but that he can, he can step into that. And that there are people out there that will walk with him and doing that and that and doing. So the world will be different in some some small way me and, you know, I love what you just said. And let me just first, say Ashley, you have done that.

44:43 Because in that some of going back to the first question, like you remember when I met you in like I'm I think I have a good read on people and you definitely created space for me and I appreciate that and I appreciate that. You didn't, you've never made me have to decide.

45:05 Will I be the professional Karen or?

45:10 Will I be the like personal story? Keren? Like, I'm all of that, right? And so, I really, I think he's in some ways like my work, and what? I'm most proud of in the Legacy. I want to leave connected to that. So I think, you know, I've, I know that I've made a huge difference. Have been a writer and ask her about changing law and have actively been the person who has pushed. Yep, changing legislation, creating the first legislation, even in the state of Kansas and Across the Nation in with a part of the TV PA. I mean, I was actively involved in all of that. And

45:50 And I've also created a ton of like applicable practice tools and you know, so they all cool stuff. That's may be part of the Legacy, but I think similar to you the most critical thing that I've done in the anti-trafficking movement that I am. Most proud of is the number of individuals who

46:12 I've been able to just meet them where they are at and say i c u. I honor you and I will walk alongside you so long as you will have me. And I'll offer the resources that are. We can leverage together the resources and skills because you have a measurable value and purpose. And I want to see you step into your true identity until like the walking alongside and seeing affect a Survivor just posted on my Facebook yesterday. Evening about like she just graduated with her master's degree. And yeah, she's like a little sister. She has children of her own. She owns a house now, she's graduated with her criminal justice degree. So, you know, and now she's working for a different Federal agency.

47:12 I need to know that.

47:15 I've been able to be a small part of other people's journey to helping them realize who they are is so huge, but I cannot say that that just came from within me, right. I'm really honored that I

47:32 Was able to receive the support in the healing that I did in order that I can do that for others, you know, how even my own life impacted the work that I do today. It's because when my mom died and right, I talk to you about some of the negative social service providers. For every negative. There was, there, was at least one or two, and I specifically think about a woman named Risa remmert, who

48:05 You note the day. My mom died. The police. Took me to the Wichita children's home. She was the first person I met.

48:12 And then I work for her and Street Outreach for about a decade. And then she left for me at the center for combating human trafficking and she has been a consistent part of my life and I think about how he's always been the person who thinks my jokes are funny and she loves me really unconditionally and has stuck.

48:34 She's just stuck through me. And yeah, yeah. Yeah, even in this relationship I'm getting something great and hopefully I'm contributing it. You wouldn't take that. You embrace it and hopefully were just sat reading it because that's where the true. The true change happens is when I see you as a whole person, you're not broken or damaged. You're an expert of your own life, ultimately, but perhaps you need some of what I've got right now, and I need some of what you want all of it. Right? And let's Journey. Let's do this together and see each other in our fullness. And that's how we create a legacy at home with our children.

49:19 And when we're out in the field in the movement on the field, they love, I love God, that's so amazing. And I was like, can we just do this every night?