The ACE-DV Leadership Forum is comprised of advocates in the movement to end gender based violence who identify as having experienced domestic violence in childhood. The Leadership Forum was established to amplify the voices and experiences of ACE-DV to enhance our work to end domestic violence.

Two green chairsWe envision a movement that includes the perspectives and priorities of ACE-DV in the provision of services, the development of policies, the direction of research, and the general approach to effectively address and prevent domestic violence.

The goals of the ACE-DV Leadership Forum are to:

  1. Promote the leadership of ACE-DV within the movement to end domestic violence and beyond.
  2. Provide technical assistance, training, and guidance related to this issue.
  3. Support the development of trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, asset-based research and information to influence policy and practice impacting children exposed.

Read more about the Purpose, Goals, and Beliefs of the ACE-DV Leadership Forum (Updated April 2016).


Members of the ACE-DV Leadership Forum are available to provide technical assistance and training, serve as project advisors, write or review materials, and for consultation on the development of research, programs, and policies that may impact the lives of children exposed to domestic violence.

For assistance, contact us. To connect to the project, like us on Facebook.


Steering Committee Members

The ACE-DV Leadership Forum Steering Committee, comprised of 12 active members, meets quarterly and is responsible for guiding the work of the group.

Photo of David Adams

David Adams, Ed.D.

Dr. David Adams is co-founder, as well as, Co-Director of Emerge, the first counseling program in the nation for men who abuse women, established in 1977. Dr. Adams has led groups for men who batter, and conducted outreach to victims of abuse, for 40 years He has led parenting education classes for fathers for 20 years. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on men who batter and has conducted trainings of social service and criminal justice professionals in 46 states and 21 nations. He has published numerous articles and book chapters, and writes a popular blog on The Huffington Post. Dr. Adams is a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Sexual and Domestic Violence and Director of the National Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Management Training Project. His book, “Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners” was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2007. Dr. Adams is an experience Expert Witness in family and criminal court cases involving allegations of domestic violence.


Photo of Rebecca Balog

Rebecca Balog 

Rebecca Balog has a deep-rooted self-identity as an advocate. Rebecca brings 14 years of healthy relationships and anti-violence work through national and grassroots activism. Firmly committed to raising cultural awareness, she believes cross-cultural bridges and unified voices across communities are a foundation for social change. As a member of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center team, Rebecca serves as Grants Compliance Manager, tracking and overseeing program grants, deliverables and reporting outcomes for various NIWRC projects. Rebecca also provides support for NIWRC Technical Assistance projects. Rebecca has been a facilitator/researcher/writer in various capacities: domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, homelessness intervention, reproductive justice, economic justice, intergenerational trauma, first responding against hate crimes, Disabilities, human rights, leadership building, mentor projects, advocacy in anti-oppression, specialized Indigenous community advocacy and introduction concepts to Tribal Nations in mainstream programs. Rebecca invests in the restoration of sovereignty for Native women, safety for all families and networking with allies who challenge both visible and invisible privilege. Through the teachings of her mentor, Rebecca firmly believes healed people heal people and hurt people hurt people. We are all on a healing journey. Rebecca is excited and honored to be a part of this healing journey with other sisters and brothers dedicated to keeping healthy relationships as the center of our circles, as healthy relationships and healthy communities is our path to healing. Rebecca was born and raised in Pennsylvania and is Oglala Lakota, Mohawk, and Czechoslovakian Gypsy/Romani descent. She has lived in various areas of the northern, central and southern Mid-Atlantic Region and offers liaison advocacy to Native families on Turtle Island in her spare time as a community volunteer. Rebecca is also a Technical Assistance Specialist for the Women of Color Network, Inc.

Photo of Lenny Hayes

Lenny Hayes, MA

An enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton-Oyate of the northeast corner of South Dakota, Lenny Hayes is also owner and operator of Tate Topa Consulting, LLC. He has extensive training in mental and chemical health issues that impact the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ community. Lenny has always worked within the Native American community which includes the American Indian Family Center, St. Paul, MN, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and was a consultant/therapist with the Little Earth of United Tribes, Minneapolis, MN. He is currently in private practice specializing in Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ issues with adults and youth. Lenny was most recently selected to be a technical assistant/consultant with the Office for Victims of Crime, Washington, D.C. His lived experience and training have made him a sought after workshop presenter on Native American Historical and Intergenerational Trauma and how it impacts the Native American community as well as the Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ individual and community. Lenny has traveled nationally training on Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ issues.

Photo of Casey Keene

Casey Keene

Casey Keene has served in various capacities at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence since 2001. Specializing in issues related to children’s exposure to domestic violence, Casey is an expert consultant and trainer on the statewide, national, and international level. Most recently, she worked on the Honor Our Voices online training for supporting children in shelter and the Change a Life Program to promote resiliency in children exposed. As a young woman, Casey formed a strong partnership with her mother in the on-going struggle for safety and freedom from her mother’s batterer. She is determined to share her story to influence the ways in which advocacy is done on behalf of children exposed to domestic violence. Ms. Keene holds a Master’s in Social Work from Temple University, and has been active in the movement to end domestic violence for more than 15 years.


photoRev. Dr. Aleese Moore-Orbih

Rev. Dr. Aleese Moore-Orbih brings over 17-years of experience to her current role as Systems Training Program Director, for the Women of Color Network, Inc. In her role she is responsible for providing training and advocacy in the areas of: adult domestic and sexual violence prevention, youth exposure to domestic/sexual violence awareness and trauma informed care for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Additionally, Aleese has 25 years of leadership in pastoral care practices which include supporting women who are seeking spiritual direction and personal growth. Aleese has been instrumental working with leadership-clergy helping to educate about, recognize, prevent and address sexual misconduct within their spiritual influence. Through her work in diverse settings, Aleese has gained considerable expertise in community organizing. She has particularly focused her advocacy efforts on social justice related issues such as; dismantling systemic practices of racism, poverty-reduction and increasing affordable housing. Aleese thrives in systems-change work within multi-cultural, multidisciplinary, multigenerational and ecumenical collaborations formed to educate and equip individuals, communities and institutions to develop platforms of opportunity for transformation. Aleese has also co-developed many faith-based leadership training curricula, has been published in many faith-based publications and is the editor of, You Are Not Alone, Book of Prayers & Meditations for Women, Editor, 2007 AVA Publication of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC).

Shenna Morris
Shenna Morris

Shenna Morris (Black/African American; pronouns: she/her/hers) joined NRCDV as the Director of Policy in 2021. In this role she provides policy vision and expertise across NRCDV areas of focus and social justice issues impacting survivors of domestic violence. Shenna has been a social justice advocate for over 15 years with most of her work being in the gender-based violence movement. She has used both her lived experience as a child witness survivor of domestic violence and professional experience, to lead efforts that engage and mobilize communities, stakeholders, and lawmakers in addressing the intersecting issues of domestic violence, homelessness, racism, and oppression. During her time as the Director of Policy and Community Engagement at the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADAV), Shenna led capacity building technical assistance efforts to culturally specific community based organizations, efforts to strengthen collaborations between community-based and mainstream dv programs, worked with system partners to strengthen service provision and housing advocacy for survivors and people experiencing homelessness in HUD housing programs, provided training and support to systems on addressing systemic racism and building equitable response systems, and advocated for responsive public policies that met dv survivors needs. Shenna continued many of these efforts during her time with Collaborative Solutions Inc. where she provided technical assistance to communities’ implementing HUD and homeless system programs.

Her leadership has been credited with increasing the capacity and approaches of organizations in their effort to serve and advocate beside Black, Indigenous, and People of Color survivors and communities.  Shenna holds a M.A. in Criminal Justice Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of West Georgia.  


Photo of Reyna Perez-GarciaReyna Perez-Garcia

Reyna Perez-Garcia has worked alongside Caminar Latino as part of La Voz Juvenile for over 12 years collecting research and presenting data. Some studies she has helped conduct include, youth gang violence, domestic violence in the Latino community, the effects of law enforcement on the Latino community, and more. She has presented at numerous conferences with a wide range of audiences including victims of domestic violence, advocates, and law enforcement. Reyna, along with other members of La Voz Juvenile have helped coauthor “Latina/o Youth Researchers: Responding to Violence Through Research and Action - Latino/a Psychology Today” and “Participatory Action Research with Latin@ Youth: Exploring Immigration and Domestic Violence - National Latin@ Network Casa de Esperanza.”


Reyna is a recent college graduate currently working with a law firm in Atlanta, GA. She hopes to apply to law school in the upcoming year and eventually practice criminal law with the District Attorney’s office. In the mean time she keeps herself occupied traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.


Photo of Julie Ann Rivers-CochranJulie Ann Rivers-Cochran

Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, MSW is the founder and principle consultant for Blackbird Consulting for Nonprofits, LLC. A national leader in the field of the prevention and intervention of intimate partner violence, Julie Ann has a history of the successful development and implementation of statewide policy and direct service programming. Currently, she serves as the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health’s (NCDVTMH) Project Manager for a new Office for Victims of Crime grant program that seeks to increase access to services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who have a psychiatric disability. From 2004 – 2016, Julie Ann worked for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she served as Vice President of Programs and Planning and worked closely with Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence centers. Throughout her career, Julie Ann has worked with countless survivors of abuse who are also living with a psychiatric disability. For Julie Ann, the intersection of intimate partner violence and mental health is deeply personal: Julie Ann’s mother lived with the diagnosis of schizophrenia and survived abuse. As her mother’s advocate, Julie Ann witnessed firsthand the stigma and discrimination that survivors often face. Julie Ann’s mission is to work to eliminate those stigmas and myths while helping to create a violence-free future for all.

Photo of Zulema (Ruby) White Starr

Zulema (Ruby) White Starr

Ruby White Starr is the President of Latinos United for Peace & Equity (LUPE) a national initiative of Caminar Latino. Prior to co-founding LUPE, Ruby was the Chief Strategy Officer for Casa de Esperanza where she served as director of the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities. Ruby spent over 15 years with National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) where she served as the Family Violence Program Director. In that capacity she directed several projects including the national Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, the Safe Haven’s Supervised Visitation and Exchange Technical Assistance Program, and the Federal Greenbook Initiative, an interagency collaboration to address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. Ms. White’s areas of expertise include children exposed to domestic violence, collaboration, systems reform, co-occurrence, resilience, and cultural competency. Ruby is the author of several articles including Resiliency in Children Exposed to Family Violence in Resiliency in Action Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities published by Research Press; Promoting Safety in Cases Involving Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment in The Connection, published by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association; and Tapping Innate Resilience in Children Exposed to Domestic Violence in SYNERGY, Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 2003 published by NCJFCJ. She holds a B.A. in speech communication from the University of Nevada, Reno. Ruby shares her personal experience as a child witness and child and adult victim of domestic violence with the media and to various groups throughout the country in hopes that her experiences will lead to better practices and outcomes for women, children, and families who have experienced domestic violence.

Photo of Olga Trujillo

Olga Trujillo

Olga Trujillo is the Director of Education & Social Change at Latinos United for Peace & Equity (LUPE) a national initiative of Caminar Latino. She is an attorney, speaker, author and survivor. Her experience over the past 27 years has been as a private attorney, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, and a consultant to many local, state and national organizations. Olga is an internationally sought speaker and author and is featured in the video A Survivor’s Story, a documentary and training video based on her personal experience of violence. Olga has authored a number of articles and publications. Her memoir for New Harbinger Publications entitled The Sum of My Parts was released in October 2011. She also co-authored a Handbook for Attorneys Representing Domestic Violence Survivors Who Are Also Experiencing Trauma and Mental Health Challenges which was released in January 2012.