2023 Tennessee FJC Conference Speakers
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.
Michelle Graff is the founder of Cultivating Human Resiliency and the author of The Compassion Fatigued Organization. After more than twenty years in social services, she now focuses on helping the helping professional. Michelle has worked with children and families impacted by trauma in a variety of capacities including providing direct in-home services, professional and program development, and agency leadership. She has an MA in the field of Political Science and a BA in Psychology. Michelle is also an experienced trainer and consultant utilizing her expertise in child welfare, organizational leadership, and trauma informed care. Her experiences include:
- Developing dozens of training curricula utilized by state child welfare agencies in training therapists and social workers to successfully engage clients and create positive change.
- Delivering hundreds of trainings to human service professionals in both public and private agencies across the nation
- Offering a proven record of developing programs to meet the needs of the community, implementing trauma informed models and leading organizational change.
Kelsey McKay trains and consults nationally for communities to implement the protocol in various fields including intimate partner violence, child abuse, sexual assault, the use of expert witnesses, translating trauma, and other complex topics. She was a prosecutor in Travis County, Texas for twelve years. For six years she exclusively prosecuted strangulation-related crimes ranging from assault, sexual assault to capital murder. She has developed and implemented protocols for strangulation and domestic violence response and treatment. To that end, she has strengthened how communities collaborate, investigate, treat and prosecute strangulation and intimate partner cases. She works to develop medical and non-medical experts in the community to testify to a jury regarding the evidence in strangulation, trauma-related crime, and family violence cases. She works with law enforcement to develop the protocol and implement the use of a Strangulation Supplement (recently retitled: The Asphyxiation Assessment) into the field transforming the role of first responders to be more investigative by carrying her knowledge and needs as a prosecutor into the field on every case. In collaboration with the non-profit, RESPOND Against Violence she is working to develop an evidence-based protocol to assist communities to implement a Blueprint of Policies for Asphyxiation Crimes.
Becky Owens Bullard is the Senior Director of Programs for the Nashville Office of Family Safety (OFS) where she oversees the strategic work of OFS programs, client services in both court and community based Family Justice Centers, training and technical assistance, and multidisciplinary response to high-risk domestic violence, firearms dispossession, human trafficking, strangulation, sexual assault, and fatality review. Ms. Bullard is also a national speaker and consultant for the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC TTAC) on multi-disciplinary collaboration, leadership, interpersonal violence, risk assessment, and the intersections of human trafficking & domestic & sexual violence.
Julia Holtemeyer (MPP) is a Resource & Training Specialist for the Stalking, Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC), an AEquitas initiative. As a Resource & Training Specialist, she develops resources and publications on stalking, and provides training and technical assistance.
Prior to working at AEquitas, Julia was the Project Manager for the National Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative at the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In this role, she managed the programmatic, administrative, and financial activities for the Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Julia coordinated and conducted training and technical assistance, providing subject matter expertise on improving police response to violence against women as well as identifying and addressing gender bias. She also supported additional projects on gender-based violence, gender bias, and victim services.
Julia’s work in gender-based violence began as a college student, when she worked at a rape crisis center and as a peer health educator. She later served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, where she lived and worked at a secondary school in a small rural community, teaching mathematics, health, and life skills, including discussing gender-based violence. Julia went on to work in gender integration in global health, first with the USAID Office of HIV/AIDS and later with the USAID ASSIST Project, a project to improve the quality of health services in more than 20 countries around the world. Julia applies her experience with gender-based violence, gender studies, global health, public policy, and knowledge management to her commitments to equity and justice.
Rev. Dr. Anne Marie Hunter
Anne Marie Hunter is an ordained United Methodist pastor who has worked extensively in the field of domestic violence and elder abuse since 1984. Hunter holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Religion and Society from Drew University. While attending Harvard and Drew, Hunter worked for two battered women’s service groups: Harbor Me in East Boston, Massachusetts and Jersey Battered Women’s Services in Morristown, New Jersey. Hunter also served for six years as the pastor of East Saugus United Methodist Church in Saugus, Massachusetts. In 1991, Hunter linked her pastoral, seminary, and domestic violence services experience and partnered with a group of faithful women to found Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse. Safe Havens is a religiously pluralistic nonprofit that works locally and nationally to strengthen the capacity of diverse faith communities and service providers to engage in collaborative efforts to address domestic and sexual violence and elder abuse through education, resources, and technical assistance. Since 2003, Safe Havens has provided national Technical Assistance to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women.