Katherine Kaufka Walts

Katherine Kaufka Walts the Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She earned her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and her B.A. and B.S. from the University of Michigan. She began her legal career at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she successfully represented survivors of serious crimes and human rights abuses in criminal and immigration legal proceedings. Observing that many of her clients were young people, she later joined the International Organization for Adolescence as its Executive Director, where she developed programs and to advance the rights of children in the United States and internationally via services, leadership development, advocacy, and policy. At Loyola University, she conducts interdisciplinary research, teaches, mentors students, and continues to provide training and technical assistance to various stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations and governmental bodies on the experiences of migrant children and child trafficking victims. Publications and CV can be found on her faculty profile.


Sarah J. Diaz

Sarah J. Diaz, JD LLM is the Associate Director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago. Prof. Diaz has worked at the intersection of child migration and human rights since 2005 working for organizations such as the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, and providing clinical instruction on immigration practice, including children’s cases, at the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic at DePaul University College of Law. Throughout her career, Prof. Diaz has participated in several initiatives designed to create access to justice for children and migrants on a local, state and international level including co-authoring the Illinois Voices Act, developing and co-leading a DACA legal services collaborative that directed policy feedback for the Obama Administration, and offering her expert opinion on the use of private security firms for migrant child detention at the U.N. Prof. Diaz is a graduate of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, LL.M. Program in International Human Rights.  Publication and full CV can be found on her faculty profile.


Chlece Neal

Chlece Walker-Neal-Murray is a staff attorney with the Center for the Human Rights of Children, focusing on labor-trafficking research.  She is a 2013 alum of Loyola’s dual law and social work program. After law school, Chlece worked for legal aid and then went to work at the Cook County Jail as a high school equivalency instructor for adults. In 2014 Chlece joined the Justice Entrepreneurs Project which focuses on helping new lawyers create socially conscious and sustainable law practices. In 2015 Chlece started Chicago Advocate Legal, LLC a solo law practice. She is a candidate for her Ph.D in social work through UIC.

In its pursuit of an agenda of interdisciplinary research, education, and service to address critical and complex issues affecting children and youth, the Center for the Human Rights of Children relies on faculty from a broad range of disciplines and schools. Below you will find a constantly growing list of affiliated faculty and staff contributing their efforts to the Center's mission:

  • Mary Bird, JD, Director of Public Service Programs (Law)
  • Amy Blair, MD, Associate Professor (Family Medicine)
  • Sacha Coupet, JD, PhD, Professor (Law); Director of Research, Civitas ChildLaw Center
  • John Donoghue, PhD, Assistant Professor (History)
  • Diane Geraghty, JD, Professor (Law); A. Kathleen Beazley Chair in ChildLaw; Director, Civitas ChildLaw Center
  • Hille Haker, PhD, Richard A. McCormick, S.J., Chair of Catholic Moral Theology (Theology)
  • Grayson Holmbeck, PhD, Professor and Clinical Program Director (Psychology)
  • Ruth Kafensztok, PhD, Assistant Professor (Public Health Sciences)
  • Caleb Kim, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor (Social Work)
  • Amy Luke, PhD, Professor (Public Health Sciences); Director MD/MPH Program
  • Arthur Lurigio, PhD, Professor and Faculty Scholar (Criminal Justice and Criminology)
  • David Olson, PhD, Professor (Criminal Justice and Criminology); Co-director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice
  • Timothy O'Brien, PhD, Professor and Graduate Program Director (Mathematics and Statistics)
  • Julia Pryce, PhD, Assistant Professor (Social Work)
  • Maryse Richards, PhD, Professor (Psychology)
  • Peter Schraeder, PhD, Professor and Graduate Program Director (Political Science)
  • Shweta Singh, PhD, Assistant Professor (Social Work)
  • Noah Sobe, PhD, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director (Education)
  • Katherine Tyson McCrea, PhD, Professor (Social Work)
  • Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, PhD, Associate Professor (Psychology)
  • Maria Vidal de Haymes, PhD, Professor (Social Work)
  • Anita Weinberg, JD, MSSW, Clinical Professor (Law)

Center Staff

CHRC Child Trafficking Coordinator: Chlece Neal

CHRC Graduate Fellows: Grant Everly, Stephanie Salinas, Laila Alvarez Tavares

CHRC Adjunct Faculty: Jenny Lee, Claudia Valenzuela, Katie Vannucci

CHRC Graduate Assistant: Elizabeth Moran

CHRC Student Administrator: Hannah Groth


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