Melissa Gomez

PACT Project Director, Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Marina, CA

Melissa Gomez has contributed 20 years of service to the anti-trafficking movement. Her international and local leadership has been instrumental in establishing multi-disciplinary coalitions and in coordinating comprehensive care to survivors of both labor and sex trafficking in Europe and the Central Valley, California. As the Chair of the Central Valley Freedom Coalition and Program Manager of Fresno’s Central Valley Against Human Trafficking, she contracted with partnering agencies to provide services throughout six central valley counties.  Additionally, she acted as regional liaison to facilitate 24-7 trauma response in partnership with Polaris’ National Human Trafficking Hotline. Melissa is dedicated to the advancement and integration of diverse voices to pioneer systemic change and co-create pathways of empowerment. In 2018 Melissa was selected to participate in first cohort of the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, where she contributed to national guidance on survivor informed practices within federal grant programs. In 2020, Melissa was recognized with an Outstanding Service Award by the CDSS for her efforts to increase awareness and improve services to survivors of child labor trafficking. Ms. Gomez is currently the acting Director of the Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking Project for the Child and Family Policy Institute of California. In partnership with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), she facilitates a statewide model of cross-coordination strengthening child welfare programs serving vulnerable children and youth within California. Melissa resides in Marina, California and is the proud mother of two creative boys.

Sarah Johnson

PACT Regional Coordinator (Southern CA Cohort and Bay Area Cohort), Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Long Beach, CA

Sarah is a victim advocate and community leader. In her current role as the Preventing and Addressing Child Trafficking Regional Coordinator for the Child and Family Policy Institute of California, Sarah provides training, technical assistance and coordination for Child Welfare Agencies across the state of California on Child Trafficking Related Issues.

Sarah was previously the Program Manager for Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission’s Central Valley

Against Human Trafficking project. and Chair of the Central Valley Freedom Coalition. Sarah has over five years’ experience providing comprehensive trauma-informed client services, advocacy, outreach, training, and public awareness.

Sarah is a Rise Up Gender Equity Initiative Fellow and a Human Trafficking Leadership Academy Fellow. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations and a Minor in Human Rights from the University of California, Davis and is a Master’s of Social Work Candidate at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Sarah resides in Long Beach, CA where she enjoys relaxing with her partner and taking her dog to the beach.

Jessica Pittman

PACT Regional Coordinator (Central Valley Cohort), Child and Family Policy Institute of California

Fresno, CA

Jessica Pittman has been a community advocate and faith leader for the past twenty years in the Central Valley. Jessica is the Founder of the Central Valley Justice Coalition, a non-profit organization that partners with the church and community to prevent human trafficking through education, partnership and outreach. Jessica has paved the way for partnerships and advocacy in the Central Valley by building strong relationships across sectors, and is passionate about engaging the entire community in addressing systemic injustice and providing opportunities for holistic change. Prior to establishing the Justice Coalition, Jessica pioneered a new position at Fresno First Baptist Church and spent ten years focused on community development and global partnerships.

Jessica has a Masters in Social and Civic Entrepreneurship from Bakke Graduate University, and loves to creatively work with others within and across cultures to find innovative solutions to bring empowerment and change. She lives in Fresno, CA with her husband and children and loves to skate, hike, go to the beach, and drink coffee.