Take Action To End Modern Day Slavery

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.” –Nelson Mandela

In 1841, a 32 year-old free black violinist from New York named Solomon Northup is kidnapped, bound and sold into slavery for $650. In 1853, he escapes. He then writes a book chronicling his enslavement called 12 Years A Slave. In 2013, his book becomes a movie. In 2014, the movie wins the Academy Award for Best Picture of the year.

There is a scene in the movie that has stayed with me several months after first seeing the movie. It takes place shortly after Solomon suffers yet another horror at the hands of a vicious slave-owner. After it is over, Solomon stares out into the Louisiana landscape, baffled as to how he, a man born free, could have ended up a slave. His expression is one of pain, suffering, exhaustion, defeat, but most of all, disbelief. How can this horror exist? And how can we have held on to this horror for so long?

For two-hundred and forty-six years, slavery legally existed in the United States of America. On December 6, 1865, three-fourths of U.S. states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment and 4 million slaves in America were set free.  READ MORE

Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn

Former Diversity & Education Director at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
After spending seventeen years living in the Caribbean, Michelle undertook a number of around-the-world detours before ending up at the doorstep of the Commission, including four years as a general litigator in New York and Chicago. She remembers pretty much everyone she’s met in her travels but she would especially like to meet again the passengers on a January 2001 flight from Miami to JFK. At the pilot’s request, they donated enough money for Michelle, who had her wallet stolen, to get back to college safely. She would very much like to tell them all thanks.
Michelle Silverthorn

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Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn

Former Diversity & Education Director at Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
After spending seventeen years living in the Caribbean, Michelle undertook a number of around-the-world detours before ending up at the doorstep of the Commission, including four years as a general litigator in New York and Chicago. She remembers pretty much everyone she’s met in her travels but she would especially like to meet again the passengers on a January 2001 flight from Miami to JFK. At the pilot’s request, they donated enough money for Michelle, who had her wallet stolen, to get back to college safely. She would very much like to tell them all thanks.
Michelle Silverthorn

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