posted February 7, 2007

Speaker to Discuss Contemporary Slavery

Dr. Kevin Bales, one of the world's leading experts on modern slavery, will discuss contemporary slavery and human trafficking on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m. at Hope College in the Maas Center conference room.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Bales is president of Free the Slaves, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending slavery around the world. According to Bales, there are 27 million victims of slavery worldwide.

The presentation is being presented in conjunction with "Remembering the Crossings," a celebration running in 2007 and 2008 in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. England's parliament passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act on March 25, 1807, and the Trans-Atlantic trade became illegal in the U.S. beginning in 1808.

Activities planned through "Remembering the Crossings" will examine a variety of topics related to the slave trade and its ongoing impact. Several organizations are involved in the commemoration, including not only Hope but also Aquinas College, Calvin College, the Cornerstone University Library, Davenport University, the Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids Community College, the Grand Rapids Public Library, the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Valley State University, the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the Public Museum of Grand Rapids and the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.

While at Hope, Bales will also participate in other activities, including speaking to one of the college's history classes.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., at the corner of 11th Street