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My name is Kelli Okuji and I am the President of Harvard College for Free the Slaves. On behalf of Harvard College for Free the Slaves, I am writing you to request your endorsement to install a Modern-Day Slavery course for the 2010-2011 school year by signing the petition below. 


The purpose of this course is twofold a) to serve as an educational tool to inform individuals about the current issues about modern-day slavery and b) to act as an advocacy tool to further critical discussion and student-driven engagement in the anti-slavery movement. This course hopes to expand upon previous course models by not only engaging in current debate about the existence of modern-day slavery and the contestability of its definitions in the modern context, but more importantly, to illustrate that contemporary slavery is a multidisciplinary issue that extends beyond the traditional human rights and social movements discourse.

Mission Statement

Our mission in creating a curriculum is to achieve the following aims: a) to develop the next generation of cutting edge and intelligent leaders and advocates on the issue of contemporary slavery and b) to promote a new, interactive form of education that combines learning and advocacy. The signature on this letter of endorsement indicates that you support our efforts to implement this curriculum as an accredited course at Harvard College as well as the continuation of student advocacy for social change in our worldwide community and inter-university collaboration on these issues.

About Us

Harvard College for Free the Slaves in an independent student organization that is officially recognized by Harvard College. Our mission is simple: to educate individuals about the existence of modern-day slavery, but more importantly, to empower them to act and embody the change they wish to see in the world. In the past year, we have organized a team of researchers from various areas of the university to research, devise, and implement a curriculum that we project to be an accredited Harvard College course in the 2010-2011 academic year. We envision the course as a necessary tool to the education of individuals that are currently unaware of this worldwide social problem, but have the capability and desire to become vehicles of positive change through this awareness. We hope that this course will eventually serve as the primary model for the education of modern-day slavery and human trafficking discourse and expand into the academic programs of other universities and educational institutions.

The Base Curriculum: Student Advocacy of the Future

Our curriculum is unique in design. Our team of researchers hails from various areas of Harvard University and provides very broad, but multifaceted knowledge, expertise, and experience to our research. Our research design is unique when compared to existing curriculums:

1) Cross-disciplinary approach:the curriculum transverses a variety of disciplines to illustrate that contemporary slavery is an issue that affects all disciplines, not just human rights advocacy;

2) Multi-media approach:the curriculum uses a variety of media sources;

3) Student activism: the curriculum student learning in the classroom and student involvement in creative, on-the-ground volunteer opportunities and experiences in the area of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. These experiences provide an avenue for students to apply main concepts and motifs in the course to real-world situations. The purpose of this approach is to not only allow students to apply concepts that they have learned and discussed in the classroom setting, but to also encourage the understanding, creativity, and experience necessary for future leaders of student activism and leadership in this social movement.

The benefits of this course are manifold. The curriculum is not only well-researched and unique in its design, but also promises to be the wave of the future for student learning. Its innovative approach seeks  not only to cultivate students' understanding of the subject matter in the classroom, but also to extend this new-found knowledge to a real-world setting that interests them. Additionally, the course is comprehensive in nature in order to show students that the issue of modern-day slavery is a growing concern in an increasingly globalized world, and thus, intersects with not only human rights issues, but other seemingly unrelated fields of study, such as public health, history, the arts, and the environment. The course incorporates a wide breadth of materials, from textbooks to journal articles to Youtube videos and documentaries to writing journal entries and op-eds in order to foster each student's particular interest in the subject matter and illustrate the varied coverage of this issue via different modes of communication and engagement.

Your signature below indicates your continued support in developing a greater awareness about the issue of modern-day slavery and creating educational tools that help develop the next generation of strong leaders that can combat the social problem of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. This signature represents your desire for an accredited course at Harvard College in 2010-2011 school year dedicated to the issues of modern-day slavery and human trafficking and your support for this student-led initiative headed by Harvard College for Free the Slaves.

Your name will not be used in any other way other than to indicate you support the curriculum and the efforts of our group to combat modern-day slavery through innovative education methods and to develop the next generation of leaders in human rights advocacy.





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