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  About the Abolition Institute  

About the Abolition Institute

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The Abolition Institute, located in Chicago, Illinois in the United States, was inspired by the groundbreaking CNN expose "Slavery’s Last Stronghold" by John Sutter and the efforts of Mauritanians, both inside and outside their country, to end slavery.  The co-founders of the Abolition Institute are Sean Tenner, a Commissioner of the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission, former leader in the Save Darfur movement and staff for President Obama’s U.S. Senate and Presidential campaigns – and Bakary Tandia, a leader of Mauritanians in the United States who has received multiple awards for his innovative human rights advocacy work and is a frequently lecturer on global human rights issues.

They are joined by a dedicated Board of Directors including lawyers, non-profit and foundation professionals, faith leaders, Islamic scholars, women’s rights advocates and refugees from Mauritania who know the horrors of slavery

We are honored to work with Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest international human rights organization which led the successful fight to abolish slavery in the British Empire in the 19th century.  Anti-Slavery International brings the same tradition of dedication and commitment to fighting modern day slavery – in all its forms - in the 21st century. SOS Slaves, one of our partner organizations in Mauritania, has been fighting against slavery – under constant threat of imprisonment and violence from pro-slavery forces – since 1995.

About the Abolition Institute in Illinoi

SOS Esclaves was founded by Boubacar Messaoud, whose family was enslaved, and Abdel Nasser Ould Othman Yessa, the son of a prominent Mauritanian minister and himself a former slave master who recognized the evils of the system. The heroism of SOS Esclaves and Boubacar Messaoud is featured prominently in Slavery’s Last Stronghold.

In addition, the Abolition Institute worked hard to support the May 2016 prison release of Biram Abeid and Brahim Randhame of the Initiative de Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste en Mauritanie to send a message that those protesting against slavery should be accorded fair treatment under Mauritanian law. Abolition Institute Co-Founder Sean Tenner visited Biram and Brahim in their remote prison in Aleg, Mauritania in 2015 along with representatives from Anti-Slavery International.

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For over a decade, the Abolition Institute has hosted Mauritanian anti-slavery leaders in Chicago to headline a wide array of media and public awareness events. Representatives of the Abolition Institute traveled with Biram Abeid to the United Nations General Assembly in New York as Mr. Abeid won the United Nations prestigious Human Rights Prize, previously won by leaders such as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Reverend Martin Luther King, President Jimmy Carter and South African President Nelson Mandela.  The Abolition Institute strongly supports allowing the Initiative de Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste en Mauritanie to legally register as an NGO. They have been fearless advocates in the fight against slavery in Mauritania.

The Abolition Institute is a 501(C) non-profit organization and donations are fully tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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