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Freedom Center to Open World’s First Museum-quality Installation on Modern-day Slavery and Human Trafficking

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is set to open the world’s first permanent, museum-quality exhibition on modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

The exhibition, entitled Invisible: Slavery Today opens on October 9, and will be a permanent installation on the Freedom Center’s third floor east pavilion.

“This is a groundbreaking exhibition, but one entirely in keeping with our Mission of making the historic struggle for freedom relevant and meaningful for today’s audiences,” said Freedom Center CEO Don Murphy. “It would be nice if slavery had been completely abolished at the end of the Civil War in 1865,” Murphy added. “But slavery exists today on a global scale, in many forms, and more people than ever are being exploited. Invisible tells this story in a way that will shock visitors but ultimately inspire them to become modern abolitionists.”

Invisible: Slavery Today was produced with several antislavery organizations, which provided content and guidance. The partners are Free the Slaves, Goodweave, International Justice Mission and Polaris Project. Underwriting of the exhibition came from The Skirball Foundation and Lois and Richard Rosenthal.

The exhibition consists of three main exhibition areas: one (the first) exploring the many forms of modern-day slavery; the second, which details the scope and causes of modern-day slavery, and a final section that provides information on global efforts to combat trafficking and slavery abuses. The five most common forms of slavery – bonded labor, sex trafficking, child labor, domestic servitude, and forced labor – are explained through the life experiences of real individuals from across the globe.

“Visitors to the Freedom Center since our opening in 2004 always comment about how much they learned about historical slavery and our nation’s early struggle for freedom,” said Dina Bailey, the Freedom Center’s exhibition curator. “With Invisible, we are comparing and contrasting historical slavery with the ongoing struggle to abolish modern forms of slavery in this country and elsewhere.”

The new exhibition was designed by Seattle-based Touch Worldwide, and curated by Freedom Center’s Associate Curator, Dina Bailey.

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