Project Abolition raises awareness about modern slavery

Smith and member Clare Meccariello promote Project Abolition by participating in the RSCO Christmas Tree ContestSmith and member Clare Meccariello promote Project Abolition by participating in the RSCO Christmas Tree Contest

There is an issue that has recently come to the attention of Lindsey Smith, founder of the new club Project Abolition. This issue is human trafficking.

After Smith heard about human trafficking in high school, she was inspired to research it further. Smith said she is appalled that modern-day slavery even exists. The most difficult setback is that 92 percent of Americans know nothing about it.

It is an overwhelming topic, but Smith said we need to create Project Abolition in order to abolish slavery. One person really can make a difference.

“We cannot just sit back and ignore it. We have to join the abolitionist movement to eradicate it,” Smith said.

Because so few people know about human trafficking, there is very little they can do to break the chains of slavery. One very discouraging statistic is the fact that 27 million people are enslaved today. Although modern-day slavery is illegal, it is the fastest growing illegal industry in the world and is increasing everywhere.

Frighteningly enough, in some countries, a child can be sold for as little as $1.30 (almost the same as a bottle of water). In addition to children serving as soldiers, other prominent forms of slavery include debt bondage, sex slavery, sweatshop labor, agricultural labor, domestic labor, and organ harvesting.

Smith said many students and faculty members have responded to the issue of human trafficking. Most people are shocked that it even exists.

“I have experienced an amazing response from faculty members, who have offered many wonderful ideas for awareness and fundraising events, and who want to know how they can help. Project Abolition’s faculty adviser, Dr. Daniel McFee, has been especially helpful and encouraging,” Smith said.

The purpose of Project Abolition is to raise awareness and funds to fight modern-day slavery. All of the money raised will go to The Home Foundation, which supports its own rehabilitation homes along with other anti-slavery organizations such as International Justice Mission, Shared Hope International, The Salvation Army, the Not For Sale Campaign, Amnesty International, Free the Slaves, and Justice & Mercy International.

So far, more than 20 students are interested in the group. The first meeting will take place either this coming week or the following week. Students should look for flyers posted around campus.

If you are interested in the group, contact Lindsey Smith at

She plans to set up a documentary screening, benefit concert, guest speakers and a panel discussion, as well as posting flyers, information tables and spreading awareness by word-of-mouth.

Human trafficking is a pressing issue, not only in our country and communities, but around the world.

“Sometimes all it takes is one voice. One voice that becomes a hundred, and then a thousand, and then a million to cry out for change. Project Abolition is all about raising up a chorus of voices that shouts to modern-day slavery, ‘Enough.’ Do not refuse to do the something that you can do. Be a voice. Join the fight. And make the change. Together, we can,” Smith said.