Contact: Robert J. Benz FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone: (702) 523-4845
Walking To Remember Historical Slavery
Walking To Prevent Modern Slavery
(Arlington, NE – May 2, 2016) Barry Jurgensen is heeding the advice of philosopher, George Santayana. On June 1, 2016, he will begin a walk of some 500 miles to help Americans remember the past in hopes, as Santayana warned, they won’t be condemned to repeat it. Mr. Jurgensen’s 30-day walk from Nebraska City, Nebraska to Chicago, Illinois will recreate and honor the journey of two 19th century freedom seekers. The Walk Forever Free month-long event and the campaign leading up to the walk will also bring awareness to the proliferation of human trafficking in the U.S. and the need for prevention education in schools to help defeat it.
The state of Nebraska is not known for its slaveholding past, but, in 1858, two enslaved women (Eliza Grayson and Celia) escaped their bonds and fled toward the freedom of Chicago along the Underground Railroad. Mr. Jurgensen, a history teacher at Arlington High School in Nebraska, will memorialize the perilous journey by retracing their steps and stopping at Underground Railroad sites. The goal is to raise $50 per mile to support the work of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) and their prevention education programs in schools across the country.
“Slavery is still very common today and it is not going to go away if people don’t start taking a stand against it,” said Arlington student, Hannah Thompson. “We hope this project is going to start a movement to make a difference. If our school sets an example other schools will, hopefully, follow.”
Students, teachers and citizens everywhere, especially those from Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, are encouraged to join Mr. Jurgensen along the way for segments of his walk. Businesses and community groups are also invited to participate in the Walk Forever Free campaign by helping to raise awareness about the walk and the issue of human trafficking leading up to the event.
“Frederick Douglass told us that ‘knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave,’” said Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. who is President of FDFI. “This event will help bring critical knowledge to a problem that is so misunderstood in this country.” Mr. Morris is the great great great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great great grandson of Booker T. Washington.
To participate or make a donation text the keyword HISTORY to 717-77 on your cellphone or visit www.fdfi.org/walk. Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives is a 501(c)3 public charity that prepares communities to address the issue of human trafficking through its secondary school curricula, training and protocol development. The organization’s mission is to advance freedom through knowledge and strategic action. For more information about Walk Forever Free or FDFI, contact Robert J. Benz at (702) 523-4845 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.