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Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Román and Deputy Counsel Norma Abbene Host Modern-day Abolitionist Leaders in Honor of Black History Month.


From left to right, surrounding the image of Frederick Douglass: Robert Benz (FDFF), Thomas Thurston (Gilder Lehrman Center), Nachel Mathoda (Assistant to Diana Taylor), Deputy Mayor Carol Robles-Román, Luke Blocher (NURFC), Deputy Counsel Norma Abbene and Kenneth Morris (Direct descendant of both Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington).

On February 23, 2012, in recognition of Black History Month, the Mayor’s Office Survivors of Human Trafficking Working Group hosted the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation (FDFF), the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition at Yale University (Gilder Lehrman Center), and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) at City Hall to discuss modern-day abolition.  New York City Schools’ Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Jeanne Mullgrav were also in attendance.

The New York City Mayor’s Office is leading the fight to end human trafficking in a variety of ways including strategic community partnerships, and the first of its kind public awareness initiative entitled: Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking.  The City of New York serves as a nationwide model for engaging stakeholders and the general public to join the cause of eradicating this crime.

Kenneth Morris, Founder & President of FDFF, is a direct descendant of two of the most important names in American history: Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington.  FDFF sets out to engage young people to use modern communications and social networking technologies to educate and empower themselves to become modern-day abolitionists. The NYC Department of Education's Service in Schools website features a link to the FDFF Service Learning curriculum.

The Gilder Lehrman Center collaborates with secondary schools, museums, parks, historical societies, and other related institutions to bridge the divide between scholarship and public knowledge about slavery and its role in the development of the modern world.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio based on the history of the Underground Railroad.  Its Cincinnati location pays tribute to the place where thousands of slaves used the Underground Railroad to cross the Ohio River and escape to freedom.