Project takes on modern slavery
By Joanna Sugden
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
April 23, 2007
The White House has given its backing to
the latest project to raise awareness
about modern-day slavery.
"The slave trade is sadly still a part
of our society," said Jay Hein, director
of the White House Office of Faith-Based
and Community Initiatives.
Mr. Hein last week endorsed "The Better
Hour" project, which aims to highlight
modern issues of human trafficking 200
years after the abolition of the
trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1807.
William Wilberforce, the British
abolitionist whose life and work to end
the slave trade was the subject of the
recently released movie "Amazing Grace,"
inspired the project.
"This is about the unfinished business
of slavery; there is so much more work
to do," said Chuck Stetson, chairman of
the Wilberforce Project. "There are 27
million people still in slavery around
the world today."
Mr. Hein added, "The proportion of
slaves is greater than it was in
The Wilberforce Project is holding a
competition for high school students
with a first prize of $10,000 for the
best project to improve the world around
Zach Hunter, 15, student spokesman for
"The Better Hour," started campaigning
against modern-day slavery when he was
12. His project, "Loose Change to Loosen
the Chains," encourages high school
students to search their homes for loose
change to donate to projects to end
slavery. Students at more than 30 high
schools across the nation are
participating. "I think 'The Better
Hour' will get a lot more teenagers
excited about making it a better world
by starting their own projects," he
The competition, open to all high school
students in the United States, is
funded by the John Templeton
Foundation with a total of $40,000 in
prize money. Awards will be presented in
Congress in May 2008. To enter, visit
www.thebetterhour.org. The closing date
for entries is March 1.
"The abolition of the slave trade was a
turning point in history," Mr. Stetson
said. "We need to make sure the younger
generation knows about it."
A Wilberforce Project documentary about
the life and work of Wilberforce will be
broadcast on national television in
Copyright 2007 The Washington Times