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Class Year: 
Home Town: 
Watchung, N.J.

Melanie '12, co-founder and co-director of Citizens Against Trafficking, played a key role in the 2009 passage of a law closing a loophole that allowed indoor prostitution in Rhode Island. To convince legislators, she spent hours staking out illicit “spa-brothels,” creating a meticulous database that demonstrated the immense human cost of the earlier status quo. “When you legalize something, you legitimize it,” Melanie says. “And I could never stand behind legitimizing something so inherently dangerous to women and children. Rhode Island was part of an international legislative debate about prostitution. The whole world was watching, and this change will have policy implications throughout the world.”