Monday, July 26, 2010

How I Started My Abolitionist Journey

One night my wife came across the website and we started browsing it together. We were awestruck to learn that slavery is still rampant worldwide, even in the United States. I started digging through their website for more information and I came across a video titled, "Imagine." This video didn't just grab me, it shook me. This was my call to action and I knew I had to join the fight.

Imagine from LOVE146 on Vimeo.

Watching "Imagine" was the turning point in my life where I became an abolitionist. I have two beautiful little girls and a baby boy. This video kept me up through the night thinking of my children and the suffering of child slaves around the world. I remember thinking, "If only I could free these children and adopt them as my own. Give them the protection and love all children deserve."

My mind continued to race with thoughts of early abolitionists to the civil rights movement and to tragic events such as the holocaust. How many people stood by while these atrocities occurred throughout history? A better question, how many people stood up to defend the rights of themselves and others?

Will I stand by or stand up?

What will you do?

The first step to ending slavery worldwide is awareness. Until a few weeks ago, I was not aware that there 27 million slaves worldwide. That's more slaves than any time in history, including the transatlantic slave trade. If I, an "educated" college graduate, business professional, youth church leader and father of three was not aware of the magnitude of modern slavery, then there must be thousands of others out there just like me that need to know.

To quote the Obama campaign, "Yes We Can!" And there's a plan to do so in the next 25 years. Professor Kevin Bales, abolitionist and President of Free the Slaves, gave this address at the TED Conference in February 2010. It's a basic synopsis of his book Ending Slavery, which I highly recommend.

So sit back, relax, maybe make some popcorn and take a listen to Kevin Bales explain how we can end slavery. Every Abolitionist should watch this.

Together we CAN end slavery. Together we WILL end slavery. Please visit my "Get Involved" page to learn more about ways YOU can make a difference.

**Be sure to checkout Ending Slavery from your local library, or you can order it online from the link below. By clicking the link below to buy the book, 6% of your order will be donated to support AbolitionistJB.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Thank You,
John Burger


  1. Dear John,
    I would like to say a quick thank you for your post- I am an intern at Free the Slaves, the organization Kevin Bales co-founded. It is so important to do what you are doing, simply getting out awareness about this horrifying problem. People are shocked every day when I tell them where my internship is, and what Free the Slaves does. Thank you so much for joining the fight, and for being a part of the movement. Your support is what keeps it going, and reminds other abolitionists why they get up and do what they do every morning.

    In solidarity,

  2. Thanks for the kind words Laura and good luck with your internship. I'm a BIG fan of Kevin Bales and Free the Slaves. I have enjoyed reading and learning from many of his books. You're lucky to be part of their organization.

    Thanks again,