Hope College Human Trafficking Awareness Week - Slavery Now and Then: Methods for Change

February 21, 2013 | 4:00 PM |
Winants Auditorium, Grave Hall

Dr. Robertson is the Oglesby Endowed Professor of American Heritage at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She is Director of Bradley’s Women’s Studies program and in 2010 published, Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She is also a co-president of Historians against Slavery.

Dr. Robertson argues that 19th Century Abolitionists can serve as a model for the abolition of modern day slavery.  As she says: “Support for modern-day abolitionism has exploded in recent years.  The reason for this upsurge in consciousness is the movement’s sophisticated use of the latest information technology.  Like nineteenth-century abolitionists, today’s antislavery activists know how to educate and motivate using the communication tools available to them.  In the 1830s, William Lloyd Garrison relied on the printing revolution -- with its steam press and cheap paper -- to spread his message across the nation.  He stirred up a pamphlet storm that blew across the South and enraged slaveholders. Today’s abolitionists tweet and twitter, and they use Facebook and text messages.  They produce stylish, informative websites and mainstream commercials featuringHollywoodstars.  Like their predecessors of 150 years ago, modern abolitionists recognize that their strength lay in a savvy, technology-driven grassroots effort to reach as many hearts and minds as possible.”

Co-sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, Hope United for Justice, International Studies Program, Department of History, Department of Religion, Department of Economics, Management and Accounting, Department of Political Science, Department of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, Department of Communication, Dean of the Chapel’s Office, Dean of Arts and Humanities, Dean of Social Science, Dean for International Education and Multicultural Life.