Getting to know Stacie
What’s your background?
I was born and raised in a small town in Northern Nevada called Fallon. When I was growing up, I never imagined that I would one day live in Washington, DC and become a lawyer. I went to law school here in DC at Georgetown- go Hoyas! I chose to become a lawyer because I learned about the issue of human trafficking during undergrad and during my time serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria. After my two years in Bulgaria, I knew that I wanted to come back to the U.S. and become a lawyer to help individuals involved in commercial sex, whether that involvement was from choice, coercion or circumstance.
What is your role/tasks at Amara?
I am the Executive Director. I wear a lot of hats! My main job duty is to uphold the mission and vision of the organization. I do this through leading and managing our staff, working with our board of directors, and creating community partnerships. I also currently represent a handful of clients directly, provide trainings to service providers and other lawyers, speak at public events, and push for policy changes at the local level. In addition to this, I am the primary fundraiser and administrator of the organization.
What inspired you to found Amara?
Amara was founded by a group of dedicated individuals who wanted to create a place where individuals involved in commercial sex could receive free legal help without any judgment or eligibility requirements. I was particularly drawn to help create this nonprofit because I felt that a true gap in legal services existed for these individuals.
What’s your favorite part about working at Amara?
So many things! I love working together with the staff, board, community partners and our clients to continually refine our mission and strategy. I love advocating on behalf of our clients- both in court and in public policy discussions. I love sharing with others about the work we do and inspiring them to get involved in caring about the issues facing our clients.
What other causes besides people’s rights being violated during commercial sex are you passionate about?
I am also really interested in criminal justice reform overall. I have represented a lot of clients in criminal matters and have seen the devastating impacts of our unfair and discriminatory criminal justice system. I’d like Amara to step into a space where we can make a bigger impact on the system in general.
What’s your favorite part about working/living in DC?
There is never a dull moment here! My absolute favorite part about living in DC is the passion that people have for their work- most people have a cause they are fighting for, whether that’s locally, nationally, or internationally. I am continually inspired by those around me.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I love yoga and meditation- it helps keep me calm and grounded. I also love getting out of the city and spending time in nature- there are so many beautiful places within an hour or two of DC. And I love spending time with my wonderful friends- couldn’t make it without them!
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Next on my bucket list is South America- Peru and Columbia for sure!