We call it a soul-revving, heart-thumping, shout-out-loud celebration. Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson will be master of ceremonies. Jason Mraz will perform with the Agape Choir. Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Forest Whitaker, Camilla Belle, Meredith Artley, Ryan Devlin and Vincent Kartheiser are among the presenters.
It's the third annual Freedom Awards and Freedom Rocks after party, honoring the best and brightest of the global, anti-slavery movement. And you can be a part of it (tickets are still available -- you can get a 30 percent discount if you type in the code word: FTS Friends when prompted).
On Sunday, November 7 in Los Angeles, come to see the modern anti-slavery movement in full force -- see and hear stories from frontline activists who prove, every day, that slavery can be eradicated.
The contemporary anti-slavery movement has been active for well over a decade now. The ground breaking Trafficking Victims Protection Act just recently celebrated its tenth birthday -- and so did Free the Slaves. We officially came into existence back in 2000. Back then, there were only a few organizations in the United States dedicated to ending slavery. Today, we are in the company of hundreds -- if not thousands -- of groups, who raise awareness and money, provide direct services to victims, and help get anti-slavery laws passed.
Through our decade's worth of research, global partnerships and campaigning, Free the Slaves knows that without a doubt, slavery is all around us. Twenty seven million people are enslaved around the world. And this is not just some distant crime -- we, in the United States, are affected by it. Thousands are trafficked into our borders every year. Slave labor can be found in the supply chains of the clothes we wear, the chocolate we eat, the lap tops and cell phones we use, and the cars we drive.
But our decade's worth of work has also shown us that slavery is not an intractable problem -- we know that it can be eradicated. This is why we stage the annual Freedom Awards. We want to celebrate, in a big way, the victories and successes of the anti-slavery movement.
This year, the Freedom Awards are full of "firsts."
For the first time, we are giving the Frederick Douglass award to an American survivor of slavery who now dedicates her life to freeing others. Tina Frundt was just 14 when she was forced into sex slavery. It took her over a decade to recover. Now, she is the founder of Courtney's House, a direct service provider for minor victims of sex trafficking.
For the first time, a past Freedom Award winner -- James Kofi Annan, a former child fishing slave in Ghana -- will return to the stage. Annan won the Harriet Tubman award in 2008. The global recognition this provided helped him raise more funds than ever before, to expand his anti-slavery work.
For the first time, activist-musician Jason Mraz will headline the Freedom Rocks after party. Earlier, Jason went to Ghana with Free the Slaves to visit James Kofi Annan's shelter for child slavery survivors. What he witnessed, Jason said, "touched my heart."
Other 2010 Freedom Award winners are Roger Plant, JEEVIKA and Anne Keehn.
As the head of a task force at the International Labor Organization, Roger researched the number of people in slavery around the world -- his premise: you can't cure it if you can't count it. He is the recipient of the William Wilberforce award, given to a person who has moved an institution to significant action against slavery.
Slavery is outlawed in India, yet, there are more people enslaved there than anywhere else in the world. JEEVIKA empowers victims with knowledge of the law -- and guides them through the long process of emancipation. JEEVIKA's founder, Kiran Kamal Prasad and Shivanna Puttaiah, a former indentured slave will receive the Harriet Tubman award, given to an organization that works to dismantle slavery.
Anne Keehn, a blogger and writer, is the recipient of the Zimmerman Fellowship, given annually to emerging anti-slavery activists. As part of her fellowship work, she started the Free the Slaves blog, and is working to expand our social media and outreach.
To take a phrase from Hillary Clinton -- a great supporter of the anti-slavery movement, and a modern day abolitionist in her own right -- it takes a village to end slavery. We all have a role to play.
The Freedom Awards is the best expression of this community we can think of. We encourage you to attend, if you are in the Los Angeles area -- and if not, to watch it live, online. Come, be a part of the global community of people who are working to eradicate slavery.
The Freedom Awards are taking place 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 7 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center -- just minutes from LAX.
Tickets are available with a 30 percent discount (with the code "FTS FRIENDS") here.
[Disclosure: This event is being live-streamed by Causecast, which also produces Huffington Post Impact]
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