My political hero is William Wilberforce, who fought for the end of the British slave trade along with abolition of slavery and emancipation of slaves. This past Sunday was recognized as Amazing Grace Sunday marking the 200th anniversary of one of Wilberforces accomplishments.
His faith drove Wilberforce and John Newton, a former slave trader himself, to wake up to the autrocities that were being committed through slavery. Newton, one of Wilberforces friends and advisors, would later pen the classic hymn Amazing Grace.
This Friday, which will mark the 200th anniversary of the House of Commons passage of the abolition of the slave trade in England, the film Amazing Grace will open in theaters.
The mark that Wilberforce made on this world can be felt even today. His legacy is not only carried on indirectly though the decendents of freed slaves, but through a university with bears his name. Wilberforce University was America’s first private historically black college. It carries on the tradition of the Englishman by reading from the “Wilberforce Bible” at every commencement.
In an attempt to not only showcase the story of Wilberforce but continue his work, Bristol Bay has established The Amazing Change. The social justice campaign is aimed at:
• Increasing literacy about the historical issue of slavery and the abolitionist movement;
• Raising awareness about modern day slavery and other forms of oppression;
• Motivating people to get involved to abolish slavery;
• Raising a new generation of youth who care about suffering in the world and become abolitionists;
• Engaging new activists in a life-long journey to invest their time, influence and resources back in the world;
• Providing much-needed funding to organizations that are working to abolish slavery.
The issue of slavery, which has thankfully been declared illegal and eradicated in places like the US and UK, is still a problem through out the world. According to the UN and a host of other sources,
as many as 27 million people are in slavery today.
If you have the chance, go check out the trailer for the movie and a promo for The Amazing Change fund over at my blog, Wardrobe Door.