Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of posts from Jabesso “Jay” Yadeto discussing and reflecting on his internship at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
My name is Jabesso Yadeto, also known as Jay, and I am a senior at Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School. I am a writer, musician, artist, and have an interest in social justice issues. I also happen to be an intern at President Lincoln’s Cottage. I was introduced to the Cottage by Cosby Hunt and Caitlin Wolf, from Center for Inspired Teaching, through a class called Honors Real World History, created by Mr. Hunt. The Cottage of former president Abraham Lincoln is a gem in the northwestern sector of our nation’s capital. This home away from the White House was a place where ideas of our nation’s future and the concepts of freedom, equality, and unity were brought about. At the Cottage I am surrounded by the legacy of the late father of emancipation and the people who have continued this legacy some 153 years after his renowned Emancipation Proclamation. This space that I occupy every Friday serves as the space where I combat the issue that Lincoln combated during his presidency…slavery.
No, not the early American triangular trade form of slavery, but modern slavery that often becomes overlooked. You may have heard of it, it is known as human trafficking. At the internship we focus on human trafficking, specifically labor trafficking and sex trafficking, both equally horrendous, both equally eye opening phenomena that sober the spirit and reveals how much injustice there truly is today. With human trafficking injustices such as manipulation, kidnapping, abuse and rape are common and traumatize victims. Some to the point where they cannot imagine a life free from such horrors.
Throughout my internship I want to accomplish three goals: to expose the issue of modern slavery/ human trafficking to my peers at Roosevelt with the help of “The Future Project” and or the SGA; to create a social media presence (via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) in which posts discuss, educate, and notify in developments in the fight against modern slavery; and to create a club or organization within multiple schools, if possible , in which the goals of SOS is the primary focus.