Human trafficking legal expert, Martina E. Vandenberg, will deliver the keynote address to several hundred participants at the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland’s 2014 Maryland Partners for Justice Conference, an event dedicated to the examination of critical legal issues facing poor and underrepresented Marylanders now in its 16th year.

The conference will take place on Thursday, May 15, 2014 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center, located at 1 West Pratt Street in Baltimore City.

Vandenberg, the founder of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center in Washington D.C., has spent nearly two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. A former Human Rights Watch researcher, she spearheaded investigations into human rights violations in the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine. A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar, Vandenberg has also taught as adjunct faculty at the American University Washington College of Law.

The Maryland Partners for Justice Conference will consist of panelists from across the country who work both in and outside of the legal services community. Panelists will cover 18 different topics exploring an array of access to justice issues including workers’ rights, advocating for homeless youth, and the advancement of a human right to housing. The conference is the result of a collaborative effort of legal services advocates, judges, private practitioners and professionals.

Panel examples include:

  • Serving our Servicemembers
  • Making the Affordable Care Act Work for Low-Income Marylanders
  • The Role of Legal Advocates in Addressing Baltimore’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • How Tax Sale Foreclosures Undermine Community Stability and Threaten At Risk Populations

Sharon E. Goldsmith, Executive Director of the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, states, “This is an energizing opportunity for anyone interested in how we address the legal injustices in our country and work on a practical level to protect the legal rights of Maryland’s disadvantaged and underrepresented populations. We are especially honored to have Martina Vandenberg address participants in this time of heightened sensitivity to the very real problem of human trafficking and continued challenges for women and minorities in our state”.

On-site registration, which includes breakfast, materials, and a plated lunch, is $105. Lunch tickets are available for $45 for those interested in hearing Vandenberg speak. Media passes available.

For additional information about the conference, including a full list of panel topics, panel descriptions and panelists, visit: www.probonomd.org/conference.

About Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland: Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc. (PBRC) is the statewide coordinator of volunteer legal services. Our mission is to promote equal access to justice in Maryland by coordinating and supporting volunteer civil legal services, providing resources and support for legal advocates for the poor, and promoting cooperation within the legal community. For more information, please visit: www.probonomd.org.

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