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D.C. School Raises Awareness Of Modern-Day Slavery

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By Jessica Gould

One-hundred and fifty years ago, abolitionist Frederick Douglass helped lead the fight against slavery. Now his family is calling on D.C. students to continue the battle.

Sixteen year-old Fernando Snellings has a message for his classmates. "Stabbed backs and backsides in back streets and black alleys," says Snellings. It's a poem on modern day slavery. "Put your minds back in the gutter. Your ears to the ground," says Snellings. "You think slavery is dead. Listen close and think again."

Earlier this year, the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation chose the Edmund Burke School in Northwest D.C. to raise awareness about human trafficking. Since then, students have been poring over State Department statistics and boning up on anti-slavery legislation. Snellings says he's learned a lot from the lessons.

"I think it's something that does need to be talked about as much as homelessness, as much as gay rights, because it is something that involves everybody," says Snellings.

Students hope to increase awareness through You Tube videos, Facebook pages, and by handing out fliers to the community.


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