Our History

Our History

1994

AASG is formed in the home of president and founder Dr. Charles Jacobs.

The New York Times publishes an Op-Ed written by Dr. Jacobs about modern day slavery in Sudan and North Africa, breaking the silence surrounding modern day slavery. (Click here to read the article - 550 KB PDF.)

1996

Dateline NBC airs a story on slavery in Sudan featuring AASG board member John Eibner and AASG advisor Samuel Cotton.

1998

The S.T.O.P. (Slavery that Oppresses People) Campaign is initiated by AASG Associate Barbara Vogel. The innovative, award-winning curriculum educates young students about modern day slavery and gets them active in the fight to end it. At the latest count, it has been adopted by over 100 schools across the country.

1999

The New Yorker dedicates a cover story to slavery in Mauritania, featuring AASG and Moctar Teyeb, then a member of our Speakers Bureau.

After signing on to AASG’s National Emancipation Petition, Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) launches the Petition Drive demanding the freedom of 103 women and children victimized by chattel slavery in Sudan.

2000

Slavery survivor and AASG associate Francis Bok becomes the first escaped slave to testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in hearings that were broadcast live on C-Span.

Barbara Vogel, founder of the S.T.O.P. Campaign, and her class of fifth grade students testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Ms. Vogel's class and Mr. Bok meet with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The Sudan Campaign—an umbrella organization dedicated to stopping genocide, slavery, starvation and religious persecution in Sudan—is co-founded by Dr. Charles Jacobs and AASG board member John Eibner.

AASG moves to its current office in downtown Boston.

2001

Francis Bok carries the Olympic torchFormer slave Francis Bok carries the Winter Olympic torch.

AASG launches its award-winning, interactive website iAbolish.org with a concert by Perry Farrell, the socially concerned front-man for rock band Jane’s Addiction.

AASG establishes a collaborative partnership with SOS Slaves, an underground anti-slavery group in Mauritania run by former slaves and slave owners.

Francis Bok is invited to run with the Winter Olympic torch on a relay leg past Plymouth Rock.

2002

Francis Bok meets with President Bush for the signing of the Sudan Peace ActFrancis Bok meets with President George W. Bush during the signing of the 2002 Sudan Peace Act.

President Bush signs the Sudan Peace Act, which formally condemns the Sudanese government for its on-going genocide, including its use of slavery. Francis Bok is invited to attend the signing ceremony at the White House.

AASG staff and board members assist in a redemption mission to liberate 6,706 slaves in Sudan. Board member Reverend Gloria White-Hammond later shares her experience at a press conference in the Capitol Building on the Sudan Peace Act.

2003

The May Company—the $13.5 billion corporation that owns Lord & Taylor—announces they will no longer retail products made in Burma, in response to a campaign and boycott mounted by AASG. This action succeeded in keeping American dollars out of the pockets of the enslaving regime.

Francis Bok publishes his critically acclaimed autobiography Escape from Slavery.

AASG's Tommy Calvert joins activists from the Free Burma Coalition in Southeast Asia for a fact-finding mission on slave labor in Burma.

2004

AASG associate director Jesse Sage testifies before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in reaction to the latest State Department report on human trafficking.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) sponsors a bill at AASG’s urging condemning slavery in Sudan. It passes Congress unanimously.

AASG’s network of activists bombards Congress with emails urging the passage of the “Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act” to ban all Burma imports. It passes Congress overwhelmingly.

2005

Slavery survivor with Congressman Christopher Smith after her testimony before the House of RepresentativesFormer slave Beatrice Fernando with Congressman Christopher Smith after her testimony to U.S. House of Representatives.

Slavery survivor and AASG Associate Beatrice Fernando testifies before the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

SudanActivism.com—a website devoted to empowering college students with the tools to launch their own divestment campaigns—is launched. Campaigns at Harvard, Stanford, and Dartmouth succeed in pressuring the schools to divest holdings in companies operating in Sudan. Their successes spawn similar campaigns at schools across the country.

AASG program director Liora Kasten testifies at the Massachusetts State House in support of Massachusetts Divestment legislation.

Francis Bok opens and heads the Kansas branch of AASG.

AASG organizes a Sudan Mobilization Conference at Columbia University.

2006

altFormer AASG directors Liora Kasten and Jesse Sage edit a collection of modern day slave narratives entitled, Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Slavery, published by Palgrave Macmillian. Among the book's contributing writers are AASG associates Abuk Bak, Micheline Slattery, Abdel Yessa and Beatrice Fernando.

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