About Us

Our Organization

About Children’s Defense Alliance (“CDA”)   

CDA is the educational division of Children's Rescue Alliance ("CRA"). CDA's mission is to educate and bring awareness to the American public about the atrocities that are happening right here, in the United States.   


CDA's mission includes:  

1. Awareness  

2. Education  

3. Prevention  

4. Self-Protection  


CDA has robust educational programs for children ages 4 to 18, college students, parents, educators, counselors and clergy. The educational programs are age specific (4 to 8, 9 to 12, 13 to 18). The program teaches "Awareness, Prevention, Evasion and Self-Protection." It also includes our trademark "Color Code of Awareness." There is a hands-on training at the end of each program.        


About Children’s Rescue Alliance (“CRA”)   

CRA is dedicated to bringing all of America’s children home.   


CRA’s mission is three-fold:   


1.To serve as a conduit for the rescue of kidnapping and human trafficking victims, specifically, American children.   

2. Education and Prevention.    

3. Public Policy and Advocacy.     


OUR MISSION   

Children’s Defense Alliance is a nonprofit organization whose mission is three-fold:   

1. Awareness   

CDA brings awareness about the atrocities of child kidnapping for sex trafficking and organ harvesting – that are happening right here in the United States. CDA de-mystifies the thought that trafficking only happens “over there,” in other countries, far from our shores. CDA speaks on panels, at conferences, schools, churches, synagogues and civic organizations.   In 2017 CDA had the unique privilege of speaking at the United Nations.   

2. Education   

CDA offers its robust education programs nationwide. Programs are offered for children ages 4 to 18 (age specific), college students, parents, teachers, counselors, civic leaders and clergy. The programs focus on Awareness, Prevention, Evasion and Self-Protection. CDA offers hands-on instruction following the educational class.   

3. Public Policy Advocacy   

CDA uses its public voice to advocate for more effective laws, law enforcement and public awareness of the size, scope and tragedy of human trafficking in and from the United States. The business of rescuing kidnapped and trafficked children, educating families and advocating to end the horror of human trafficking stands above all partisan politics. 


CDA does not endorse any political party or candidate for public office. Our Board of Directors may from time to time determine CDA will advocate specific legislature that impacts human trafficking or the care of its victims.          


OUR VISION  


American children are disappearing at an alarming rate. They are being stalked – their every movement tracked-for days, weeks, sometimes months. Then, when one least expects it, they are gone. They have vanished into the ether – to never be seen or heard from again.      


CDA's vision is to combine the facilitation of rescues with awareness and education to help prevent these abductions from ever taking place. Once a child is abducted from the U.S., the ability to locate the child and bring them home becomes a very arduous and near impossible task. Many of the countries where these children are taken, have little or no laws about human trafficking.  Those countries, and even many with solid human trafficking laws on the books, are reluctant to divert scarce resources to locate and rescue an American child. Further, similar to the global illicit drug trade, the billions of human trafficking dollars have a pervasive corrupting influence on these agencies. This renders indigenous law enforcement agencies ineffective at best, if not aggressively hostile to the rescue of a child.      


Therefore, Awareness and Education becomes a necessary tool for even the youngest American.   

It is the goal of CDA to provide the tools for families to stay safe.        


All of us at CDA will continue to do what we do,   

“Until they all come home”   

“Insquequo they totus adveho domus”

"Until they all come home"

"You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know."  

- William Wilberforce  Abolitionist, 1759-1833

Our Team

Alex Riggs

CEO / FOUNDER


Alex brings thirty-two years of working as an advocate for survivors of violence. She began this effort in 1982 in New York City. Comprehensively trained in peer counseling, legal advocacy and case and crisis management, Ms. Riggs has worked at various rape and domestic violence shelters throughout the United States and Asia. Alex also volunteers for Search and Rescue (serving in both the Katrina and Ike disasters), Red Cross, C.E.R.T., and FEMA. In addition, her extensive expertise in logistical analysis made her ideally qualified to work in dangerous, remote "hot spots" in over 50 countries on five continents.  In 2010, while traveling internationally, Alex literally stumbled upon a small child who had been kidnapped in the United States for the purpose of human trafficking. Filled with outrage, she formed a group of similarly enlightened individuals who dedicated themselves to both educate and end child trafficking in the United States.



ariggs@childrensrescuealliance.org


Dr. Talia Witkowski

MARKETING DIRECTOR


As a Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Dr. Witkowski's expertise in crisis intervention, debriefing and childhood trauma have assisted C.R.A. in developing programs for families and children on how to prevent abduction. From 2002 to 2008, Talia volunteered on the Maple Counseling Center's Crisis Response Team, providing crisis intervention and counseling to children and adults at crime scenes in conjunction with emergency response personnel. There, she received extensive crisis intervention training, supervised staff, coordinated with emergency response professionals when on site and facilitated post-intervention debriefings.   Talia received her doctorate in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology and her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Women's studies from Brandeis University.


Talia also owns and operates Digital Mavericks, a social media company.



twitkowski@childrensrescuealliance.org

Frank Taboada

LEGAL COUNSEL


Frank J. Taboada serves as General Counsel overseeing legal affairs from contracts to compliance. He founded Taboada Rochlin Govier LLP’s Los Angeles Office, where he serves as Partner, and has extensive experience providing legal and business advice to a variety of companies in all stages of development. His clients are business leaders in multiple industries from technology and entertainment to manufacturing, financial services and national defense. Prior to his career as an attorney, he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1985, his naval career included two tours of duty at the height of the Cold War. He tracked Soviet Union submarines as Mission Commander of a P-3 Orion aircrew and served as an Analysis and Intelligence Officer in an Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center. He received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1996.


ftaboada@taboadarochlin.com


Wendy Flood

EDUCATION DIRECTOR


Wendy has over 14+ years award-winning Training Development, Coaching, Facilitation and Program/Project Management experience for Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (WBEI) and other organizations.  She has helped present over 300 workshops for Children’s Defense Alliance (CDA) within just one year.       Her employment / clients include WBEI, Los Angeles Superior Court, America Online (AOL), DC Comics, Home Box Office (HBO), and Employment Development Department.     Wendy is CPR certified, trained in Search and Rescue, and was the prior Safety Floor Warden for 65+ employees.     Ms. Flood passionately educates and motivates students of all ages, with high-value, interactive workshops.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and reflected in her favorable reviews as a Public Speaker for events with 1 to 500+ attendees.


wflood@childrensrescuealliance.org


Phil Gambell

DIRECTOR of BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT


Phil has been in the sales/marketing and logistic business for over 25 years. 

He started his career as a commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He transitioned into civilian life via the Telecommunications Industry. As an entrepreneur, Phil specialized in the government bid process, GSA scheduling as well as working through the procurement process for government contracts.

In the logistics arena, he specialized in transportation and coordination for Maritime operations. He was one of the logistic contractors to move the Concorde on water to its final resting place at the Intrepid Museum in New York. 

Over the past several years, Phil has turned his attention to creating applications for the marketing and sales of new technology.  Phil currently heads our educational program initiative -- providing educational services and programs, stateside as well as internationally.


pgambell@childrensrescuealliance.org

Athena

WONDER DOG


Athena works with CDA and attends programs taught by our CEO, Alex Riggs.  She is a 4 year old German Shepherd that also works within CRA (Children's Rescue Alliance).  She was trained at the world-famous Canine facility -- WOLFGANG German K-9 EXPERT (in Gardena, CA). She responds to German commands. She understands English, but only responds if the words are "treat" or "biscuit."

Testimonials

Cub Scout Leader

"The mission of the Alliance should be every American's first priority. We applaud the Children's Rescue Alliance and the Defense Alliance, for their Patriotism, dedication and sacrifice. 


Actions speak louder than words. This Mission is what we all want, what the children deserve and truly, what it means to be an American. 


As a Cub Scout Leader, where a Committee of parents cannot decide on what to have for refreshments, the overwhelming positive response to the CDA program left me speechless. 


As a parent, I feel so strongly about my kids being made aware that they have the ability to protect themselves when I cannot, that we're going back for more training from CDA." 


- B.N. Cub Scout Leader, CA

Ladies LA

"The Children's Rescue Alliance did an amazing job hosting Ladies LA's June monthly event. They taught us the Color Code of Awareness, how to thwart off an attacker, and gave us tips for educating friends and family. 


After a dynamic presentation by the founder and CEO, we got to practice self-defense maneuvers for the most likely points of attack for women. After the presentation, I received feedback from many of our Ladies LA members that they felt empowered to protect themselves for the first time. 


Since then, a few of us, myself included, have practiced with our spouses and friends and have encouraged them to learn more about the risks to loved ones.


 I highly recommend this organization for anyone looking to host an empowering event!" 


- Ladies LA

Freedom Road

"I am writing this letter on behalf of Children's Rescue Alliance, whom I heard speak at a Freedom Road of Malibu meeting, a local organization that focuses on education and advocacy regarding human trafficking. I went with my 16 year-old daughter and a friend of hers. The three of us left the event with an enormous amount to talk about in regard to trafficking globally and locally. While the information presented is certainly sobering, we also came away with a sense of comfort in our increased awareness and ideas for personal safety. The girls were so impressed that they asked Children's Rescue Alliance to speak the following week at an event that they were hosting at their high school.


The heart of their  message was Be Aware, Not Afraid. Their safety tips made a good impression on these high school students. Children's Rescue alliance provides a valuable service by speaking with adolescents about personal awareness, maintaining a buddy system and speaking up when someone or something seems questionable. "


--Sincerely, J. Hirsch-Ettenger

Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School

"I would like to thank Wendy Flood and Toby Ball from Children’s Rescue Alliance for the excellent presentation of “How to Be Your Own Super Hero” to our Kindergarten through 5th grade students on November 9th.

The students effectively learned and have a better understanding of valuable tips about safety with strangers that they will be eager to put into good use.

The presentation was very clear, interactive, well-structured, and easy to understand. We could see the enthusiasm in the students’ eyes when they were fully engaged in the wonderful workshop. The information and methods to remain safe were very relevant and positive. The students answered questions as well as raised their own questions. 

We commend you and the organization for your efforts to raise awareness about safety and for educating our youth about prevention to help keep them safe.

With best wishes for success in your future endeavors,"


Lina Arslanian, Principal 

Principals - South Operations Team

 "Ms. Riggs,

The South Operations Team wanted to take a minute to say Thank You for supporting our Principals on the April 30th Meeting at Legacy High School Complex. 


Your presentation was phenomenal! 


You presented, on a very sensitive issue, in a way that was comfortable to our principals, especially learning of this for the first time. Your tone and calm demeanor fostered an environment that was open to learning and seeing how to best support our students in crisis. You did a fantastic job of raising awareness and for that we say Thank You. 


You are truly a valuable resource and we look forward to working with you in the near future. All children need an Alex Riggs in their corner!!!!"


Sincerely,

The South Operations Team

Kabbalah Children's Academy - KCA

"Our 6th and 7th graders had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Children's Rescue Alliance program.


The content was serious and informative without scaring the students. The practical safety tips were very simple, effective and easy to do. 


The kids couldn't stop talking about what they learned and are looking forward to participating in othre programs with the Children's Rescue Alliance."


--Kabbalah Children's Academy --KCA






   

Malibu United Methodist Church

"We asked CRA to come and make a presentation at our church – we were so impressed with their vast range of information and ways to address issues of Human Trafficking.      


We thank them very much for sharing with us their expertise regarding this issue and were blessed to have them with us that evening."        


- Reverend Sandy Liddell  Malibu United Methodist Church

Marc Ferrari, Parent

"Time spent with your child is a precious commodity and I can't think of a more valuable return on an investment of time than the recent "Teen Safety Awareness" workshop, presented by Alex Riggs and Wendy Flood, with Children's Defense Alliance.      


Truly an eye-opening learning experience, it illuminated us to some of the possible dangers which we face in our daily lives and offered us practical advice to take preventative measures to ensure our collective safety. We have already put into motion some of the tips and techniques we learned at the event..this should be a 'must-do' for anyone who has a child."    

- Marc Ferrari

Parent of Missing Child

"Hi, Alex,     


You helped me a great deal when my son went missing last May.      


Frankly, you went above and beyond for a stranger (me), and I remain grateful beyond words."     


- J.E.