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posted: 3/31/2014 9:30 AM

Schaumburg library talks on slavery in today's world

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By Susan Miura

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

When Abraham Lincoln said these words in 1865, he was hoping to see the end of slavery in his lifetime. Today, nearly 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, and that includes the United States. Children and teens are kidnapped or sold into the sex trade, many as young as six. Others are forced to become soldiers, or work at hard labor for 15 to 20 hours per day. Adult slaves worldwide work long hours of hard labor without any hope of freedom for themselves or their children. Some are trafficked to the United States, working in domestic service with no pay and no way out.

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If you would like to find out more about this horrific crime, what is being done and what each of us can do, come to "Modern Day Slavery" from 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 10, in the Rasmussen Room of the Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg.

Through speakers and PowerPoint slides, the audience will get an inside view of this global crisis that is considered the fastest growing black market trade, rivaling guns and drugs. You will hear stories from the trenches that will break your heart, and stories of hope that will heal it again. And you will discover a variety of ways in which individuals can work toward eradicating all types of slavery. This will, however, be a purely informative presentation. Attendees can freely listen and ask questions without being asked to donate money or time. What each person chooses to do with their newfound information will be up to him or her. "Modern Day Slavery" is open to teens as well as adults, but is recommended for those ages 16 and older.

The evening will begin with an overview of the issue, followed by an introduction of three people who deal with the victims and/or their oppressors on a regular basis. You will hear an India-based perspective from Danielle Sisk, national director of Student Advocacy for the Dalit Freedom Network; and a global-based view from Christy Davis of Bright Hope (based in Hoffman Estates). Both organizations work to free the oppressed, increase awareness and help people living at poverty levels most U.S. citizens cannot even imagine.

For a local outlook, Chicago-based FBI Public Corruption and Civil Rights agents will discuss the definition and types of human trafficking, along with current trends. Additionally, they will explain how citizens can identify and report on potential signs of human trafficking where they live and work.

In addition to the presentation, the library is showing two related films in April, and featuring a human trafficking title in its nonfiction book club, Second Floor Reads. The two-part documentary "Half the Sky" will be shown in the Audiovisual Theatre at 7 p.m., Monday, April 14 (Part 1); and at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 17 (Part 2). Viewers will take an unforgettable journey with six actress/advocates and New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof to meet courageous individuals who have survived slavery or are working to abolish it. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, co-authored the book, "Half the Sky, Changing Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide," the title to be discussed during the April 23 meeting of the Second Floor Reads group.

Additionally, the movie Trade of Innocents (PG 13) will be shown at 7 p.m., Monday, April 21, in the Audiovisual Theatre. Details can be found in the library's April-May Program Guide or at www.schaumburglibrary.org.

Questions? Contact me at (847) 923-3120 or smiura@stdl.org.

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