Grateful American® Foundation

March 2017: Students Are Opposing Slavery — Join the Revolution!

Slavery. It’s an issue that still exists today. In 2012, four teens founded Students Opposing Slavery at President Lincoln’s Cottage — the site where Lincoln spent one quarter of his presidency as he led the country through the Civil War and the consequences of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

June 2017 marks the 5th International Summit of Students Opposing Slavery, which has won awards for its power and importance in raising awareness about modern slavery — including the EdCom Award for Excellence in Programming from the American Alliance of Museums, and the Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

And, in October 2016, SOS received the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons at the White House meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to monitor and combat this issue.

President Lincoln’s Cottage CEO and Executive Director Erin Carlson Mast (pictured right) explains:

“The SOS participants are committed to ending slavery in their lifetime. Through the Students Opposing Slavery International Summit, we bring dozens of youth from around the world to President Lincoln’s Cottage to gain knowledge and training, which they use to continue the fight for freedom in their communities.”

President Lincoln’s Cottage Associate Director for Programs Callie Hawkins, who organizes the Summit, adds:

“Thanks to the Summit’s presentations, workshops, and reflection exercises presented by experts in the anti-trafficking field, students in the SOS network have emerged as leaders and have become trusted voices on the issue internationally. They have started NGOs; published articles; participated in stakeholder meetings with federal agencies; and organized assemblies, concerts, fundraisers, and school-wide art shows to raise the awareness of this problem.”

Here’s to empowering students and bringing American history alive. — David Bruce Smith, founder, and Hope Katz Gibbs, executive producer, Grateful American™ Foundation and Grateful American™ Kids.