Rosa is the AFS Conference Chair/Organizer, Founder of the Anti-Fur Society of the Misha Foundation, a 501 ( c) 4 organization, and the Fur Free Society, a newly founded 501 (c) (3) organization whose missions are to end the abuse and exploitation of fur bearing animals on fur farms and in the wild. The Anti-Fur Society was started in 2004 to help revive anti-fur activism as fur was making a comeback. The AFS has since been successfully reaching out animal rights activists worldwide in order to form a chain of activists to help educate the public, with the goal of making fur consumption not profitable or worthwhile for the fur industry. Rosa is the author of the children’s book, "How the Little Fox Saved Her Coat", which in addition to being a charming children’s story, offers an anti-fur/anti-hunting message as well as an instructive lesson in leadership for children. Additionally, Rosa has been effectively working with animal rights groups in China to help promote the rejection of fur inside of China. Fur Free Society Little Fox Book - Anti-Fur Society - AFS ConferencePeople4ChineseAnimals
Julie is the founder and leader of the group "Caring Activists Against Fur' in NYC and NJ where for the last nine years, she has been taking the message to the streets, informing massive crowds about the horrors of the fur industry. CAAF is a group of self-supported activists genuinely dedicated to helping end the fur industry by educating the public in their areas. Their work is based on the belief that outreach and taking the message to the public are most essential for all in order to help animals. By using large video screens to show fur footage, distributing educational materials in high-trafficked areas, and targetting large shopping districts on weekends, their presence is deeply felt by both retailers and shoppers alike. Julie is now dedicated to helping empower other activists by sharing her experience and determination as she feels that it is not complicated to be an anti-fur activist. All it takes is being sympathetic to the demise of fur bearing animals used by in the fur industry, and take on a leadership role. CAAF GROUP
Activist, author, actress, comedian, vocalist, radio personality and relationship expert are all hats worn by Robbyne Kaamil. Robbyne’s sassy style has landed her appearances on numerous radio & television shows including The Howard Stern Show and Bravo’s, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. As an actress Ms. Kaamil has graced the silver screen in several independent films including: Bear City: The Movie and Violet Tendencies starring Mindy Cohn of “Facts of Life”. Last summer her monthly advice column, “Dear Diva” was launched in Australia’s top gay publication DNA Magazine. She is also the Official Relationship Expert for Playgirl. She was inspired to become an animal rights activist after seeing the PSA “Saving Lolita” which focused on the life of the orca Lolita who has been held at the Miami Seaquarium for over 45 years. She saw the parallels between Lolita’s story and her own family’s history in the Atlantic Slave Trade. She wrote the song “Let the Girl Go: Free Lolita” to help raise awareness about the orca. The music video was recently selected to be screened at the 2015 Wildlife Film Festival. Her latest music video, “Free the Monkeys”, exposes the mistreatment of monkeys being used in lab experiments in Hendry County, Florida. The video was produced & directed by NY Times bestselling author and former HLN television host – Jane Velez Mitchell. PETA recently enlisted Robbyne to write & narrate several public service announcements to protest animal captivity in marine parks, zoos & circuses. The PSA’s are currently running nationwide on ABC, FOX and Bounce TV affiliates.
SPEAKERS 2017 So far.....
Elizabeth has been a dedicated and outspoken animal rights activist and abolitionist for over 25 years – all on an independent and volunteer basis. She works in the design field in the private sector but her free time is devoted to grass roots animal issues. She is the president and co-founder of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages Banhdc.org/ dedicated to the ban of horse-drawn carriages in NC. She is also the co-founder of Horses Without Carriages International, Horseswithoutcarriages.org/ whose goal is to globally expose the injustice, cruelty, and inhumanity in the horse-drawn carriage industry. She helped to draft the first ever historic bill on banning the carriage industry in NYC. Having worked on this issue since 2006, she believes that in order to bring about change to entrenched, institutionalized cruelty, a campaign must be multi faceted, have an intense focus and a consistent commitment.
Kimberly Moore, Esq.
Kimberly Moore is a senior attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, D.C., where she specializes in tax, joint ventures, private equity, public-private partnerships and complex financing. She is a nationally recognized expert on affordable housing development and syndication and an expert on laws governing both the treatment of animals used in research, exhibition and transport and the slaughter of animals raised for food. Kimberly is committed to advancing animal welfare through legal reform and is a strong advocate for immediate legal reform at both the federal and state level to protect fur bearing animals. Kimberly has represented animal rescue groups, has assisted charitable institutions on organizational and strategic matters and is an outspoken critic of existing laws that fail to adequately protect animal rights. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from New York University.
Edita Birnkrant is the Campaigns Director of Friends of Animals (FoA), www.friendsofanimals.org an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957 which works to cultivate a respectful view of nonhuman animals, free-living and domestic. FoA's goal is to free animals from cruelty and institutionalized exploitation around the world. Edita runs the New York City office and has organized, led and spoken at high-profile demonstrations, rallies, press conferences, media interviews and outreach events for over a decade on a range of diverse issues affecting animals locally, national and internationally. Edita works on numerous campaigns that seek to ensure that wild animals remain truly wild and unharmed by humans, including: wild horses, deer, bears, coyotes, swans, geese, fur-bearing animals and many more. Edita has appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX, been quoted in the New York Times and many other news sources defending animals, both wild and domestic. Edita also speaks with children in schools and youth programs and at conferences about treating animals with respect, promotes veganism and widely distributes FoA’s NYC Vegan Restaurant Guides, Vegan Starter Guides and other literature published by FoA to help others live a more ethical, healthy and environmentally conscious life.
Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH
Aysha is a neurologist and public health specialist and is on a mission to show that what’s good for animals is also good for humans. Exploring diverse topics including infectious disease epidemics and their link with the wildlife trade for exotic animal skins and other uses, Dr. Akhtar explains how many of our most urgent and pressing public health threats are connected with how animals are treated. Dr. Akhtar is the author of the book, Animals and Public Health. Why Treating Animals Better is Critical to Human Welfare, which examines how the treatment of animals impacts human health. You can watch her TED talk, Do Animals Hold the Key to Your Health? where she discusses the connection between animal protection and human health. Dr. Akhtar is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, is a medical officer for the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats of the Food and Drug Administration, and serves as Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Dr. Akhtar has appeared in the television shows, 30 Days, produced by Morgan Spurlock, and in Nick News, on both occasions discussing animal experimentation. She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. You can read how animal protection benefits human health here. She is on the Leadership Council of the Classy Awards. Visit her website www.ayshaakhtar.com to find out more. DISCLAIMER: Since Dr. Akhtar works for the governments, she must provide the obligatory disclaimer: "The opinions expressed are solely those of Dr. Akhtar and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Government.
Robin is an animal advocate and award-winning novelist. She is currently working on a series of suspense/thrillers that feature an animal rights investigator http://www.thekinshipseries.com/. In preparation for her most recent book The Trap, she extensively researched the government agency Wildlife Services, its brutal trapping methods and its secretive collaboration with the animal agriculture industry. Prior to becoming a writer, Robin was an actress, private investigator, and county prosecutor. As Director of Operations of a New York investigations firm, she worked with undercover operatives to track down producers of counterfeit products. After earning her law degree, she practiced as an Assistant District Attorney in Westchester County.
Karen Davis, PhD
Karen is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. Her books include Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry; More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality; and The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities. Award-winningly profiled in The Washington Post, and the author of many published articles and book chapters, most recently in Meat CultureBrill (2016), Karen maintains a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia and was inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2002 for “outstanding contributions to animal liberation.” UPC President Karen Davis' Bio
In the early 1980s Mark worked for Greenpeace in the UK as Wildlife Campaigner. During this time the first European ban on the import of whitecoat seal fur was introduced and the ban on commercial whaling passed at the International Whaling Commission – issues that Mark worked on while at Greenpeace. At the same time in the UK, Mark led the successful campaign to close down live dolphin and whale shows. Leaving Greenpeace in 1985, Mark set up anti-fur group Lynx, now called Respect for Animals, and has worked on the anti-fur campaign ever since. Respect for Animals led the consumer campaign in the UK against the wearing of fur which resulted in the closure of 90% of fur outlets as well as the political campaign which resulted in the ban on fur factory farming in 2000. Respect for Animals has also campaigned successfully with other animal welfare groups in the European Union to ban the import of cat and dog fur as well as all products from commercial seal hunts. As part of his campaigning work Mark has been involved with undercover investigations photographing and filming inside fur factory farms as well as the Canadian seal hunt during which, on one occasion, he was arrested by the Canadian authorities. Mark was given the Lord Erskine Award by the RSPCA in 2009 for his contribution to animal welfare. RespectforAnimals.org
Nora Constance Marino, Esq.
Nora has been in the private practice of law since 1997, focusing on litigation involving negligence, constitutional law, contract disputes, and family law. She does pro bono work on animal law issues, and is a member of the Animal Law Committees of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association. In 2006, Ms. Marino ran for New York State Senate, and in 2011, Mayor Bloomberg appointed her as the Queens County Commissioner of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission. Ms. Marino is the chief litigation attorney for a lawsuit filed in NYC that seeks an injunction against an animal slaughter ritual, a high profile case that has received substantial press coverage. A prominent advocate for animals, in 2014 Ms. Marino founded the Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to expose animal cruelty issues through main stream media. ACEF already has aired an anti-cruelty commercial in NYC, which reached over 700,000 viewers, and a second commercial is in the works, along with several billboard ads. See Animalcrueltyexposurefund.org & MarinoJustice.com.
Odette Wilkens, Esq.
Odette is Executive Director of the Equal Justice Alliance, which is seeking legislative and judicial remedies to repeal or amend the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. She is a member of the Committee of Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals of the New York City Bar Association. As a corporate attorney, Odette was Assistant General Counsel for a major international recruiting firm. She holds a masters degree in business administration in Finance from Stern, New York University. She has spoken at bar associations, law schools and legal conferences on the Act’s implications for civil liberties. www.equaljusticealliance.org