New York’s New Abolitionists

New York New Abolitionists
NY Abolitionists Photography Exhibit

New York’s New Abolitionists are a new generation of abolitionists who are committed to ending human trafficking in the 21st Century. The 2014-2015 group was introduced in an exhibition of photographs at the Paley Center for Media in New York City on December 2, 2014.

New York’s New Abolitionists is much more than a collection of photographs. It is a campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking and slavery. Slavery is happening right in our midst, in our city. Many trafficking victims are born and raised in our communities and enslaved by traffickers right in our local communities.

These abolitionists include many men and women with whom we partner at LifeWay Network, but we are especially proud of our close association with two women who were lauded as new abolitionists: our Executive Director Sister Joan Dawber, SC, and Carmen, a survivor who lived at LifeWay House as she transitioned back to a life of independence.

NY Abolitionist Gloria Steinem (center)
With Abolitionist Gloria Steinem (center)

In the book accompanying the exhibition, Carmen states “When I was forced into prostitution, I did not know what ‘trafficking’ was. My trafficker stole my childhood. I want to make sure that no girl ever again suffers what I went through. I hope someday that I can show my face without fear for my safety or my family’s, but until then I will speak out until I have no voice left.

To learn more about the New Abolitionists Project and see  the photographs by Lynn Savarese, visit their website at The  New Abolitionists Project is sponsored by Sanctuary for Families and the NYS Anti-Trafficking Coalition.

Performance of A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life Performance

The evening included a powerful performance of A Day in the Life, inspired by the experiences and stories of trafficked teenagers.

The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company is a youth arts and activism program based in NYC that utilizes theater to ignite conversations around the challenges facing girls globally. This impactful play by Katie Cappiello was developed in collaboration with them. The teen members of this ensemble have traveled across the country advocating for the right of trafficking victims and survivors.