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Robert J. Benz
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Robert Benz has been a close friend of the Frederick Douglass family for more than two decades. Along with two other family members, he is a Co-Founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, an Atlanta-based 501 (c)3 public charity.

In his role as the organization’s Executive Vice President, Robert’s focus is on policy and program development. He leads and continues to expand FDFI’s Abolition Through Education efforts with the “Frederick Douglass Dialogues”, “The Abolition Day Project” and its human trafficking education program for secondary schools, “History, Human Rights and the Power of One.”

“Eliminating slavery has been one of the great challenges of human kind for centuries and we believe that education is the way to make it happen. We have an excellent formula for impacting the issue of human trafficking and all forms of slavery starting with the incredible legacies of Douglass and Booker T. Washington. The unique connection of our founders to these influential Americans provides a powerful platform from which to launch our initiatives for change. We present history in the classroom not as a compilation of detached facts but as essential knowledge necessary for young people looking to play a vital role in the global community. History must be used to contextualize the meaning of human trafficking otherwise this contemporary crime cannot be properly understood. We all need to refresh our understanding of slavery as one person’s unwelcome control over another because it’s all around us and its victims continue to suffer because of our ignorance.”

Robert represents FDFI on the Board of Directors of The Sojourn Foundation, a Nevada-based non-profit. The mission of the Sojourn Foundation is to directly or indirectly provide a safe, secure and therapeutic environment where sexually abused youth will receive the services and care needed to successfully become a productive member of the community.

Robert was born in Minneapolis and grew-up in Los Angeles. He has family in California, Minnesota and Texas. Robert is currently living in Las Vegas.

Entries by Robert J. Benz

An Urgent Letter to Australian Billionaire Andrew Forrest

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 1:52 PM

Dear Mr. Forrest:

I'm writing with great urgency in hopes that my meager voice might help correct a mammoth miscalculation. I saw the March 17th announcement that leaders of the Catholic, Anglican and Muslim faiths had teamed up with you, Mr. Forrest, to form the Global...

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The Bronze and the Spirit: A Sculptor's Vision of Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 4:35 PM

Sculptor Steven Weitzman was confronted with the same, nearly impossible, challenge that artists have faced repeatedly for thousands of years: How does one capture the eternity of a subject in a single image that allows the viewer to better understand and feel the subject?

"It is hard to...

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Education: The First Step to Ending Slavery

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 2:47 PM

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

George Santayana, Philosopher

Wait. The title and the Santayana quote might seem confusing. If we remember the past correctly, we know that slavery already ended, right? Actually, we know that a specific strain of slavery ended --...

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One Reason Why Abraham Lincoln Gets So Depressed

(22) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 3:58 PM

Last night I saw Lincoln. Not the Spielberg movie, I saw a vision of Abe Lincoln sitting at the foot of my bed. (I'm pretty sure this particular past president was made from a combination of seriously spicy salsa and caramel crunch ice cream.) However he may have gotten there,...

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Addressing the Dangers Posed by Child Predators

(2) Comments | Posted June 28, 2012 | 11:54 AM

The monster is cornered. A group of dogs on leashes snap and growl. Men, goaded by pride and fear, hold the monster at bay with guns aimed at the place where its heart should be. There's no escaping this time. Then, from around the corner, an angry crowd of townsfolk...

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David Asks Goliath to Quit or Leave

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2012 | 3:59 PM

"Money is Power.." -- Andrew Jackson

"Character is Power..." -- Booker T. Washington

One man was the wealthy, slaveholding seventh President of the United States. The other was born a penniless slave that founded what is now Tuskegee University and became known as the "Great Educator." It's hard to say...
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A Challenge for Men to Give Up Porn

(63) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 9:38 AM

Albert Einstein did not have an erection when he developed the Theory of Relativity.

That is one outrageous claim I can make with full confidence knowing it's absolutely true. No, I was not in the room at the time. I didn't have to be. I'm a man. I know firsthand...
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Women for Women: Nettie Washington Douglass Summons the Strength of Her Gender

(9) Comments | Posted August 15, 2011 | 1:51 PM

It was August 1941 and the menacing shadow of World War II, which had already eclipsed much of the world, now threatened America. Hitler rolled across the whole of Europe and down into North Africa while Japan was invading China. A sense of fear and uncertainty was mounting steadily on...

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Roots and the Revolution to End Slavery In America

(2) Comments | Posted July 6, 2011 | 12:29 PM

Her heart drops and her stomach turns. It's 2 a.m. and she's awoken again by the sound of barking dogs in the gated California suburb. The squeal of the garage door grinds at her with every turn as she cradles herself in bed and prays for the miracle that will...

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The Fall of America

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 10:09 AM

Ok, I admit it. This piece could have been more accurately called, The American Autumn. But, I figured, the more foreboding the title sounded, the better chance I would have of attracting America's burgeoning Pessimist class. (I also considered using the words SHOCKING or STUNNING, but I didn't want to...

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