Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Modern day slavery in the U.S. and abroad in the news

Did you know that there are more people held in slavery today than at any other point in history? Two recent news stories share reports of modern day slavery in the United States and Syria, including sex and labor slavery. One story explores the story of two California men arrested for growing marijuana and later discovered to be holding a 15-year-old girl as a sex slave, and the other reports on the arrest of a member of the Saudi royal family accused of holding a Kenyan woman in domestic servitude.

Feds: California teen alleges captivity, sexual abuse on marijuana 'farm'
by Natalia Perez-Segnini

The criminal complaint against the two men -- Ryan Balletto, 30, and Patrick Pearmain, 24 -- outlines the allegations of a 15-year-old girl's ordeal of being held in a coffin-like box for hours on end at a marijuana-growing "farm" where she worked trimming plants.

Newsweek and the Daily Beast
The Princess & the Peon: Saudi Royal’s Slave Labor Charges
by Eliza Shapiro and Christine Pelisek
Saudi Princess-Human Trafficking
It’s the story of the princess and her peon: a member of the Saudi royal family was arrested (PDF) in her Irvine, Calif., condo just after midnight on Tuesday for allegedly forcing a Kenyan woman to work as a domestic servant against her will.

What are your reactions to these stories - one of American "farmers" and the other of Saudi royalty - in reading them side-by-side? What do they say about modern day slavery across the world and action that is being taken? Share your reactions in the "comments" section below. 

To learn more about modern day slavery and what you can do to take action, we encourage you to visit Free the Slaves and explore other posts on this blog about human trafficking.

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