FJC Conference Speakers

2022 Tennessee FJC Conference Speakers

Tuesday, May 17th

9:15 – 10 AM- Keynote – Karyn Johnson & Nicole Hanie – Survivor VOICES

Karyn Johnson

A Northern Dame turned Southern Belle, Karyn Johnson is originally from the Midwest but has resided in Nashville, Tennessee, for almost seventeen years. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, and Vanderbilt University, earning her Master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Science. The recipient of the Survivor of the Year award in 2021 from the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Karyn volunteers with VOICES through the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Office of Family Safety.

A writer and former spoken word artist, Karyn speaks out against domestic violence to show women how they can be Wonder Woman for themselves and turn their tragedy into a triumph. She hopes to teach women to rediscover themselves and use their past as a stepping stone to something greater. Karyn is currently writing a book regarding the sexuality of older Black women, which will be released later in 2022.

Nicole Hanie

I am a mama, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter,  friend, volunteer, believer, and Braves fan. I’m also a survivor of domestic violence. I want to use my VOICE so that others know that hope, light, and peace are possible. That they will come out strong because it is innate and not because of the abuse or abuser.  I’ve been so grateful to chase joy everyday.

My childhood is something I cherish and I want the same safe, active, joy filled childhood for every child. I want for every child to experience a childhood without witnessing violence. I’m so thankful for the Office of Family Safety and to be a part of VOICES on my journey to a more peaceful future. The services they offer are something I wish I had along the way and something that every community deserves to ensure safety and hope for everyone. Together we can.

10 – 11:15 AM – Workshop Part 1 – Panel – Tennessee’s Family Justice Center Network: Celebrating Our Past & Looking to Our Future

Panelists: Jessica Cleveland, OCJP; Carmen Pitre, Sojourner Family Peace Center, Christy Harness, Scott County Shelter Society, Kathryn Ellis, Knoxville Family Justice Center, Jennifer McCraw, Safe Hope Center, Jackson

1 – 2:30 PM- Clemson B- Breakout Session A – Kristin Burki- National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life- Strategies for Addressing Abuse in Later Life in a Community Coordinated Response

Kristin Burki, M.S.W., A.P.S.W.

Kristin Burki is the Director of the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (End Abuse). This role builds upon Burki’s social work career at the direct practice, organizational leadership, and systems levels focused on effective responses to abuse across the lifespan. These experiences have resulted in her deep commitment to addressing the interconnection of services, community, and system factors that are tied to the safety, justice, and healing of older survivors.

Burki has 20 years of experience in the gender-based violence movement, including work as a member of a statewide AmeriCorps team of gender-based violence advocates and community educators in Oregon; roles as Support Group Coordinator and Director of Services at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) in Madison, WI; and in the position of Prevention and Early Intervention Section Manager for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

Since 2018, Burki has also been faculty at the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches a graduate course focused on integrating social work theory with practice.

Burki holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. She is a certified Advanced Practice Social Worker in the state of Wisconsin.

Contact Information:

Kristin Burki, M.S.W., A.P.S.W. Director, Email:

1 – 2:30 PM- Clemson C- Breakout Session B – Jane Anderson- AEquitas- Balancing Interests: Trauma-Informed and Evidence-Based Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence

Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson brings her expertise in prosecuting domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking to her role as an Attorney Advisor with AEquitas. Prior to joining AEquitas, Jane served as an Assistant State Attorney with Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County. As a prosecutor, she tried many of the state’s first human trafficking cases, including related sexual assault, child abuse, and money laundering crimes. In her role as a founding member of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit and Task Force, Jane developed policies and procedures to better identify and provide necessary services to trafficking victims as well as hold offenders accountable by using digital evidence and creative charging decisions. Before focusing on human trafficking, Jane served as the Chief of Litigation for the Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Unit where she trained new attorneys and oversaw the prosecution of domestic violence, stalking, and violations of civil protection orders. Throughout her career, she prosecuted felony level crimes of all types, including homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, and other violent crimes.

Jane leverages her experience in the courtroom and in developing policies and procedures to assist prosecutors and allied professionals in developing a victim-centered, offender-focused approach to cases of domestic violence, stalking, sexual violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. She provides trainings and technical assistance related to investigations, case analysis, and trial strategy, as well as authors and develops resources, publications, and curricula.

Jane graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law after earning a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to her legal career, she lived and taught English in Bangkok, Thailand. Jane is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2:30 – 4 PM- Clemson B- Breakout Session C – Nashville Conflict Resolution Center- Shifting from Conflict to Communication in Multi-Disciplinary Settings

Deborah Denson

Deborah Denson is a Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil/Family Mediator and focuses solely on family mediation and conflict management where the relationship between co-parents will be ongoing. She has a Masters in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University and has studied Nonviolent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg. These experiences have particularly shaped her views on the ability to stay connected with others even in the midst of conflict.

Deborah is passionate about conflict management, because she thinks it underpins managing stress, personal relationships, business relationships, and life in general. “There is going to be conflict, but if I can walk through my days without getting tripped up by disagreements big or small, I am more likely to have a smile on my face.”

Sara Figal

Sara Figal is the Executive Director of the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC). Before becoming ED in 2015, Sara previously served as both a volunteer and staff member of NCRC beginning in 2010. Sara is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil/Family Mediator with special training in domestic violence; she earned her AB from Yale University and her PhD from Harvard University.

Sara Figal serves on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission for the TN Courts; she serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Adventure Science Museum; and she volunteers as a member of the ACE Nashville Continuous Quality Improvement team, working with a consortium of organizations to help reduce adverse childhood experiences in the region.

Additionally, Sara plays the jazz harp, weaves on large looms, and is becoming quite proficient with a chainsaw.

Robin Wheeler

Robin Wheeler joined the NCRC staff in spring 2019 after mediating as a volunteer. She is a Rule 31 Listed Family/Family Mediators Specially Trained in Domestic Violence/General Civil mediator.

Prior to joining NCRC, Robin worked in Columbia, South Carolina where she was the South Carolina Bar’s Pro Bono Director and the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission’s Executive Director. Prior to that, Robin worked as an attorney for Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities now known as Disability Rights South Carolina.  Robin has been licensed as an attorney in South Carolina since November 1999.

She is keenly interested in mediation and its critical role in access to justice. Robin has observed firsthand, community mediation centers offer access to justice for families in crisis, particularly low-income families.

2:30 – 4 PM- Clemson C- Breakout Session D – David Kennington & Lt. Michael Gooch- Metro Nashville Police Department Professional Wellness Section- Building Resiliency In A World of Trauma:  The Battle Against Vicarious Traumatization, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout

Lieutenant Michael Gooch

Lt. Gooch, a Nashville native, is a twenty-two year veteran with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Early in his career, he spent seven years as a domestic violence detective where he earned recognition as the “DV Detective of the Year” for his commitment to the MNPD Domestic Violence Division.  In January 2020, he helped to establish the MNPD Sworn Wellness Unit where he supervises a full-time staff that is solely dedicated to Officer Wellness. His role also includes overseeing the MNPD Peer Support Program and Mentoring Program which consists of over 300 police department employees who volunteer to support the men and women of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. In March of 2022, Lt. Michael Gooch added a new employee, named Toby, to his unit to help with serving the employees of the MNPD. Lt. Gooch and Toby are a nationally certified K-9 Therapy Team who work hand in hand to improve the mental health of law enforcement officers that they encounter.  Lt. Gooch has also been recognized by the International Association Chiefs of Police as a subject matter expert in the field of Officer Wellness.

David Kennington, MA, LPC, MHSP

David Kennington is a Licensed Professional Counselor employed by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) since 2007. He manages The Professional Wellness Section, which was cited as a model officer wellness program in a 2019 Department of Justice Congressional Report.   The Professional Wellness Section is a comprehensive officer wellness program which contains 3 separate, yet interactive Units (Counseling, Wellness and Chaplain.)  Each unit offers multiple programs and services including, psychotherapy, training, trauma and critical incident response, peer support, family support, veteran support, chaplain services, mentoring and wellness checks.  The Professional Wellness Section is comprised of both sworn and civilian employees.

He provides therapy to law enforcement personnel and their families, is a certified officer wellness instructor and leads critical incident stress debriefings.  He has over 30 years of experience working as a clinical psychotherapist.  He is recognized by the IACP as a subject matter expert in officer wellness and has served as a delegate on Officer Safety and Wellness Panels at the Department of Justice.  He has a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin (1988) and a M.A. in Professional Counseling from The University of Texas at Tyler (1994).

David has been married to Korree for 25 years.  They have 2 sons, Collin (21) and Cooper (1).

Wednesday, May 18th

8:45 – 10:15 AM- Workshop – Maximizing Our Resources: Guided Conversations on Innovative Practices & Emerging Issues

10:30 – 12 PM- Workshop Part 1 – Michelle Toledo-Cainas & Quaila Hugh- Center for Court Innovation- Understating Risk Assessments When Addressing Domestic Violence Cases: Tools & Strategies to Prevent and Reduce Domestic Violence Homicides

12:45 – 2:15 PM- Workshop Part 2 – Michelle Toledo-Cainas & Quaila Hugh- Center for Court Innovation– Lessons from the Field: Applying Strategic Planning to Create Safer Communities by Preventing and Reducing Domestic Violence Homicides

Michelle Toledo Cainas

Mrs. Toledo Cainas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Florida Metropolitan University and a master’s in forensic psychology from Argosy University. She founded the Georgia Latinos Against Domestic Violence (GLADV) task force in 2009 to support the Latino community and those who work with them. GLADV held community meetings addressing issues impacting the community and offered a platform for advocates to network and gain more knowledge and skills. Mrs. Toledo-Cainas currently works for the Center for Court Innovation, as the Domestic Violence Resource for Increasing Safety and Connection (DV RISC) Coordinator.

Through the years, she has gained knowledge, skills, and abilities to present to a range of audiences on the subject matter of cultural responsiveness, language access, and trauma informed care and its intersection to domestic violence / gender-based violence. Examples of those conferences, are Arte Sana’s Nuestras Voces National Bilingual Sexual Assault in Des Moines, Iowa and Laredo, TX, Encuentro Latino National Institute on Family Violence Latinos and Domestic Violence: Increasing Access to Services in Austin, TX, and Latinos Against Domestic Violence in Dallas, TX.

Her leadership skills have led her to be part of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Arte Sana Board of Directors; most recently she is part of the BOD of Ahimsa House. In addition, she has successfully engaged and increased participation for the Forsyth County Anti-Violence Task Force during her tenure as Chair. This led to the 2018 Task Force Member of the Year award from the GA Commission on Family Violence.

Quaila Hugh

Quaila Hugh is a Senior Program Manager on the Restorative Practices team at the Center for Court Innovation. Quaila works on initiatives across a broad range of demonstration projects. She is currently developing restorative responses to serious violence through the district attorney offices across New York City. She also facilitates restorative circles for a reentry program that focuses on family reunification following long periods of incarceration.

Prior to this work, Quaila was on the Restorative Justice in Schools Project, a multi-year randomized controlled trial of school-based restorative practices. Quaila facilitated community-building circles with students and staff as well as co-facilitated response and reentry circles for students in crisis. In response to teen dating violence, Quaila created a Healthy Relationship series and led sessions with students around healthy communication within relationships. She presented this work at the 2019 National Association of Community and Restorative Justice Conference. Quaila has spent time working with adjudicated youth in Washington, D.C. and mentored children of incarcerated parents. Quaila graduated from John Hopkins’s Bloomberg School of Public Health with a Master’s of Public Health.