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Top African anti-slavery leaders, Biram Abeid and Bakary Tandia of Mauritania, to speak in Chicago and DuPage County

Newly announced winner of 2013 United Nations Human Rights Prize, anti-slavery leader Biram Abeid of Mauritania in West Africa, to speak to faith and community organizations in Chicago and DuPage County December 7 – 9th.


For more information contact:         The Abolition Institute (

Sean Tenner (312) 576-8822

Reverend Mitchell Johnson (312) 498-0130

The newly announced winner of the prestigious 2013 United Nations Human Rights Prize - Biram Abeid of the West African nation of Mauritania - will speak to a variety of community and faith organizations during a trip to the Chicagoland area December 7th – December 9th.  Following his Chicagoland tour, Abeid will travel to the United Nations in New York City to receive the Prize, given only once every five years to outstanding global human rights leaders.  Past recipients have included former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., former President Jimmy Carter and former South African President Nelson Mandela.  The trip is being organized by the Abolition Institute (, a non-profit organization in Chicago’s Uptown Neighborhood recently profiled for its innovative work fighting slavery in Mauritania:


The West African nation of Mauritania was the subject of a chilling 2012 CNN expose entitled “Slavery’s Last Stronghold” which noted that an estimated 10-20% of its population is still enslaved:


Biram Abeid, and Mauritanian native Bakary Tandia, will be travelling throughout Chicagoland to highlight the work that needs to be done to end slavery in Mauritania, where – on a per capita basis – as many people are enslaved today as were enslaved in the United States on the eve of the civil war in 1860.


Below is the itinerary for Biram Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania, Mauritanian diaspora leader Bakary Tandia and Sean Tenner and Reverend Mitchell Johnson of the Abolition Institute – a leader in Chicago’s faith community.  Media interviews are encouraged as a means to focus public attention on the crisis of modern day slavery in Mauritania.


Saturday, December 7, 2013


4:00 PM:         Biram Abeid and Bakary Tandia arrive at O’Hare International Airport in



7:00 PM:         Abolition Institute delegation attends Chicago Bulls game at United Center

(1901 W. Madison Street in Chicago) where they will be recognized by the Chicago Bulls for their human rights work.  South Sudanese native Luol Deng and the entire Chicago Bulls organization have been supporters of the cause of African organizations in the Chicagoland area.


Sunday, December 8, 2013


7:30 AM:           Delegation attends Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) (400 W. 95th Place in Chicago), after the worship service, TUCC’s African Ministry will host an informational session with delegation.

Trinity United Church of Christ contact:         Rev. Joan R. Harrell, M.Div., M.S.

(773) 962-1565


 10:30 AM:          Delegation attends St. Sabina Church (1210 W. 78th Place in Chicago), world

                  renowned for its civil rights and human rights work.

                        Contact:         Chinta Strausberg

                        (312) 371-7730



12:00 PM:         Delegation visits Masjid Taqwa Mosque (8211 S. Exchange in Chicago) and meets with Muslim community leaders and representatives of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.  Delegation conducts interview with Radio Islam.

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Contact:

Deputy Director Imam Matthew L. Ramadan

(708) 955-0799


3:15 PM:         Delegation meets with students from Wheaton College at Graham’s (119 W. Front Street in downtown Wheaton).  Wheaton College and the City of Wheaton were originally founded by Illinois abolitionists as a center of activity for those fighting the evils of slavery:  Wheaton College students, including activist David Robinson, are currently leading efforts on human rights issues in Africa.


4:00 PM:          Meeting with community leaders in Naperville, hometown of Abolition Institute members Sean Tenner, John Ferrin and Abdul Suleiman. Event organized by community leader Anna Banks Simeon (location TBD).


7:00 PM:         Meeting of the Abolition Institute (4802 N. Broadway #200 in Chicago)


Monday, December 9, 2013


9:00 AM:         Breakfast with African-American faith leaders, elected officials, and community leaders at Salaam Restaurant, (706 W. 79th Street in Chicago).  The Abolition Institute is grateful for the breakfast sponsorship of the law firm of Romanucci and Blandin.         Contact:         Brother Leonard Muhammad

(312) 371-0046


12:15 PM:         PCC Network interviews with African-American leaders (7644 South Kingston in Chicago) Contact:         Chinta Strausberg

                                       (312) 371-7730



2:00 PM:          Delegation speaks to Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School (325 S. Kenilworth in Oak Park).  The group will address approximately 300 students, teachers and faculty about the power they have to fight modern day slavery.  The event was inspired by the work of local educators Lisa Hendrix and Joel Ostrow.  Following the approximately one hour presentation, members of the delegation will be available for media interviews and meetings with members of the community.


 6:25 PM:         Abolition Institute delegation depart O’Hare Airport for New York City.  They will attend the presentation of the Prize at the United Nations Headquarters at 3 PM on Tuesday, December 10th (International Human Rights Day).

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Chinta, I wish I had known earlier, maybe next time.

Manus A. Edwards, President "IOWC" (773) 978-9334

International Organization of Working Churches


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