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About the Abolition Institute.png

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

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.  Key stakeholders in the Abolition Institute are:

  • Attorney Adam Quader: Executive Director of the Compassionate Care Network

  • Alex Meixner: Former Policy Director and Spokesperson of the Save Dafur Coalition

  • Ambareen Quratulain: Human rights advocate of Muslim Women

  • Judge Anthony Simpkins

  • Antonio Sola: Foundation for Common Sense (Ecuador)

  • Ayman Samman: Filmmaker

  • Bakery Tandia: Mauritanian native and Abolition Institute Co-Founder

  • Brady Chalmers: SEIU Healthcare

  • Carolyn Santos: student leader, the College of Wooster

  • Cary Wolovick: human rights activist

  • Che “Rhymefest” Smith: Grammy and Emmy winning recording artist

  • Dave Kunicki: Executive Director, Hope for the Day

  • Donnie Smith: Executive Director of Donda’s House

  • Reverend Gregory Seal Livingston

  • Halil Demir: Executive Director, Zakat Foundation

  • Harriet Lewis:  Inner-City Muslim Action Network

  • Ignacio Gomez: Foundation for Common Sense (France)

  • Imam Tariq El-Amin: Masjid Al-Taqwa

  • Professor Ismael Montana: Northern Illinois University

  • John Ferrin: U.S. Army (retired)

  • Judd Holzman: Former Co-Chair, Chicagoland Coalition to Save Darfur

  • LaCreshia Birts: Co-Founder, Black Remembrance Project

  • Lew Jones: Online advocacy strategist

  • Lynda Holiday Lawrence: Championing Freedom

  • Judge Megan Goldish

  • Attorney Michael Kurtz

  • Reverend Mitchell Johnson

  • Nancy Bartosz: Tacher

  • Peter Bul: Co-Founder, Chicago Association of Lost Boys of Sudan

  • Attorney Renato Marriotti

  • Reverend Robin Hood

  • Rory Hoskins: Mayor of Forest Park, Illinois

  • Sarah Hasler: Nutritionist

  • Sean Tenner: KNI Communications President and Abolition Institute Co-Founder

  • Soraya Sheppard: Founder of Color Me Africa Fine Arts


They are joined by dedicated stakeholders 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 firsthand.


We are honored to work with SOS Esclaves , one of our partner organizations in Mauritania, which has been fighting against slavery – under constant threat of imprisonment and violence from pro-slavery forces – since 1995.  

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.

In addition, 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)3 not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois.  Contributions to the Abolition Institute are tax deductible to the full extent allowable by law.

Abolition Foundation Co-Founders.jpg

Abolition Institute Co-Founders Bakary Tandia (left) and Sean Tenner (center) profiled by CNN.

Abolition Institute Illinois Land of Lin

The Abolition Institute began as a small but enthusiastic grassroots effort. Chicagoans (pictured here at our first meeting in 2013) were inspired by those fighting for freedom in Mauritania just as abolitionists from the United States – black and white - struggled against slavery since the founding of our own country. In this photo we hold a framed Harper's Weekly newspaper from February 18, 1865 depicting the celebration in the United States House of Representatives upon passage of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

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