Nearly two years ago, four high school students believed they had a responsibility to do what they could to end slavery in their time. These students created Students Opposing Slavery, or SOS, to spread awareness in their community. As the “Cradle of the Emancipation Proclamation,” President Lincoln’s Cottage (PLC) is thrilled to be the home base for SOS activity and initiatives. More than a youth engagement program, SOS provides participants an opportunity to develop big ideas around this issue and gives them the tools they need to continue Lincoln’s fight for freedom in their own communities. SOS is creating a network of young abolitionists around Washington, DC, the nation, and the world who are working together to end slavery today.
Today kicks-off the first annual Students Opposing Slavery International Summit. Throughout the week students will engage with DC and international Embassy officials, MTVExit, survivors of modern slavery, abolitionists working in the anti-slavery field, and each other to identify campaigns that they will launch in their own schools to raise awareness on modern slavery. Following the Summit, students will remain engaged with PLC, and each other, for guidance as they take the movement back to their own schools.
President Lincoln’s Cottage opened to the public in 2008, providing the public with unparalleled insight to the Emancipation Proclamation and Abraham Lincoln’s visionary leadership. Given our history and the work Lincoln did here and to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we launched Can You Walk Away? Modern Slavery: Human Trafficking in the United States, an exhibit that connects slavery’s past and present, and shows that slavery is an ongoing issue requiring big thinking and direct action, just as it did in Lincoln’s time. The exhibit was endorsed by Mrs. Laura Bush and has won national awards for excellence and leadership.
With SOS, our goal is to create a local, national, and international network of young abolitionists working together to end slavery. To follow us through this journey, subscribe to this blog; follow us on Twitter; and/or like us on Facebook.