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Advisory Board Biography

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Patrick J. McKenna, Esq., is one of the co-founders and Directors of the nonprofit organization, Virginia Coalition Against Human Trafficking (VCAHT), an alliance of service providers, attorneys, survivor-advocates, and community members on a mission to remove barriers preventing survivors from achieving a full and healthy life through public awareness campaigns, policy reform and enacting survivor-centered human trafficking legislation.

Mr. McKenna has also co-founded and is the President of Human Trafficking Justice & Freedom International (HTJFI) HTJFI exists to seek justice and freedom for those who have been afflicted and abused by human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation through legal advocacy, education and policy reform. It works with survivors of trafficking to address their legal needs beyond criminal defense.

Mr. McKenna has recently joined the Amara Legal Center as Managing Virginia Attorney. Amara’s mission is to provide free trauma-informed legal representation, access to support services, and advocacy for a more equitable legal system for individuals impacted by sex trafficking or involved in sex work in the DC-metro, Virginia and Maryland areas. His role with Amara is to increase legal services in partnership with HTJFI throughout Virginia and continue its partnership with VCAHT in expanding legislative relief for survivors of human trafficking.

He is also a Co-Founder and former Executive Director of the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative (“VBJI”, now known as “Freekind”) a faith-based non-profit organization founded in 2011, dedicated to ending human trafficking and restoring those victimized by it throughout southeastern Virginia. 

Since 2011, Mr. McKenna has been raising awareness, training groups about the ploys of traffickers and signs of human trafficking, facilitating case management for victims, partnering with governmental and non-governmental organizations to form local and statewide coalitions advocating for better state laws and partnering with others to develop protocols and wrap-around services for victims in the Hampton Roads area.  As a local expert in the area of human trafficking, Mr. McKenna has done interviews with TBN, CBN, local television ABC, NBC & CBS affiliates, radio, and newspaper/internet news sources.

Mr. McKenna has practiced law for over 32 years and is a member of the Virginia State Bar.  He earned his B.A. and B. Mus. Degrees cum laude from S.U.N.Y. at Potsdam and his J.D. degree from Regent University School of Law.   He has been happily married to Lori for over 32 years and is the proud father of three adult children.