The Abolition Project is a not-for-profit that develops projects that combat modern-day slavery. More people are living under modern-day slavery than there were at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. By partnering with community organizers, artists/activists, and transformational educators, the Abolition Project advances liberation movements.

Mapping Modern-day Slavery

Mapping Modern-day slavery will produce a free, online platform for an interactive system map of human trafficking, punitive incarceration, and immigrant detention for BIPOC women and girls in the U.S.

Mapping Modern-day Slavery addresses the societal problem of modern-day slavery in the United States in the form of human trafficking, punitive incarceration, and immigrant detention. The project will reach women and girls who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color by producing an interactive system map of modern-day slavery. By employing system mapping to visually represent modern-day slavery and participatory action research to populate a free online resource, organizers will have a new tool to connect systemic racism to modern-day slavery and individual forms of slavery to the others.

Systems mapping is a visual mapping tool that looks at how components interact and form patterns across the system, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement. Systems maps are beneficial to social movement work, where collective actions from multiple stakeholders are required to change an unjust system. The web platform will be a valuable resource on how modern-day slavery operates, better equipping organizers to advance strategic liberation movements. More importantly, it will serve as a tool for organizers to identify connections and collaborations across sectors directly on the website. In addition to the system map, there will be methods for communicating with other users to carry out joint campaigns, strategic initiatives, and other movement-building work.

Currently, there are no systems maps that connect the three main forms of modern-day slavery in the U.S. In fact, there are very few systems maps of incarceration, domestic sex trafficking, or immigrant detention. However, community organizers have been using systems thinking and power mapping to inform their strategies, making my project innovative and practical.

Case Study: Mapping Modern-day Slavery

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