Contemporary Abolitionist of the Month: Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.
By Emily Balan
The fight to end slavery is rooted in history and extends until today. Each month we will profile some of the brave men and women, both contemporary and historical, who have fought to eradicate slavery. Our contemporary abolitionist of the month is Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.
Ken Morris is a direct descendant of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. He embraced his heritage by founding Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, an abolitionist organization that uses lessons from history to combat modern day slavery. It provides opportunities to young people to learn about and teach human trafficking. Morris believes that building awareness is the first step toward ending slavery in our time.
In 2012, Morris started the “100 Days to Freedom” initiative, where students produced written proclamations of freedom for the victims of modern day slavery modeled after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. His organization created free curriculum modules for secondary school teachers to teach students about labor and sexual exploitation of children around the world and the similarities and differences between slavery in American history and modern day slavery.
Morris has reached around 60,000 middle and high students through the Frederick Douglass Dialogues Tour—and has reached many more through his appearances on CNN, PBS, NPR, and CBS Evening News.
In honor of the 13th Amendment’s passage 150 years ago, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives launched Globalize 13 Faith + Community, a campaign to educate communities through faith leaders. The campaign includes training on recognizing human trafficking in local settings and will culminate in a march in Washington on December 5th.
Ken Morris is also part of a diverse anti-trafficking coalition assembled by Human Rights First. Composed business, government, faith, and nonprofit leaders, the coalition has launched a campaign to bankrupt the business modern day slavery. Through this and many other service projects, Ken Morris is dedicated to advancing freedom through knowledge and strategic action.