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Friday, May 24, 2024
Students held signs on East Campus Mall Tuesday to spread awareness about modern-day slavery.

Students held signs on East Campus Mall Tuesday to spread awareness about modern-day slavery.

Force for Freedom begins Freedom Week to spread awareness about modern-day slavery

The UW-Madison student organization Force For Freedom: An Abolitionist Movement began Freedom Week with a demonstration Tuesday on East Campus Mall to raise awareness for modern-day slavery.

UW-Madison senior Elle Waters helped organize the events this week as a part of the leadership team for Force For Freedom: An Abolitionist Movement. She said the group chose to “stand for freedom” by holding demonstration signs that display facts detailing the pervasive, global problem of slavery.

She said she hoped this act would help spread awareness about modern-day slavery to other UW-Madison students.

“There are over 30 million people who are enslaved in the world today, and that can be anything from physical labor to sex trafficking. It looks different all around the globe,” Waters said. “We are just raising awareness to let people know that slavery did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s still a problem.”

Waters said the event is part of a larger national initiative that takes place on college campuses across the country that have the same goal. She said Force For Freedom has been planning the events this week since the beginning of the 2015 Fall Semester.

She said the group received a lot of interest from students who happened to be walking past their demonstration and that she noticed a lot of students stopping to read the signs.

“It’s super cool to see students just randomly walking by to come grab a sign and stand with us,” Waters said.

UW-Madison freshman Nicole Meyers is not a part of the organization that planned the event, but said she decided to hold a sign anyway.

“Being a female student here, it’s extremely important that people know that this is happening to young girls who are far younger than I am,” Meyers said. “This is something all of our hearts break for.”

There are planned events for Freedom Week at UW-Madison until Saturday, which concludes with a brunch at Pres House, where students are invited to sign petitions aimed to curtail to the effects of modern-day slavery in Wisconsin. An entire list of events can be found on the organization’s Facebook page

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