A new chair has been elected to lead the Free the Slaves board of directors. Professor Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Ph.D., is an award-winning scholar, educator, activist and public servant. He holds a joint faculty appointment at Harvard University, where he is Core Faculty at the Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. McCarthy is an expert on the history of the abolition movement.
“It is a great honor for me to become the next chair,” McCarthy said. “As we work to build a future free from the scourge of slavery, I think about three areas for creating change: collaboration, coalition, and connection. We need to mobilize and integrate our existing resources, we need to strengthen and sustain existing movement partnerships and enlist new stakeholders, and we need to think about antislavery work not as a “niche” issue, but as part of a larger landscape of social justice and human rights efforts.” (Look for McCarthy’s full “Freedom Forward” essay on the future of Free the Slaves in the FTS blog here.)
The board and staff of Free the Slaves would like to express their deepest thanks to Daniel Elkes, who has retired from the board after serving for the past six years, most recently as chair. During Elkes’ tenure, he helped launch the Freedom from Slavery Forum, an annual convening of global anti-slavery leaders, to share knowledge and chart strategy for the movement.
“It has been a privilege to work with my exceptional colleagues on the board, and with the dedicated staffers who have helped Free the Slaves mature during challenging times for the organization and the anti-slavery movement. I am grateful for the opportunity to help build momentum for the future. As Free the Slaves marks its 20th year, it is poised to become an institution with bigger impact,” Elkes said. (Look for Elkes’ full “Steps on the Journey” reflections in the FTS blog here).
The leadership transition comes at a historic moment. Not only is Free the Slaves observing its 20th year as an organization, the modern abolition movement is marking its 20th anniversary. The U.N. Palermo Protocol and the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act were both approved in 2000.
“Free the Slaves has been remarkably fortunate to have a visionary board chair such as Dan Elkes,” said FTS Executive Director Bukeni Waruzi. “He has brought a forward-looking, values-based approach to the way the organization has evolved.”
“We are just as fortunate to have one of the world’s preeminent scholars on activism to end slavery, Tim McCarthy, as our new chair,” Waruzi continued. “His deep expertise on social movements and broad connections within the human rights community will help Free the Slaves flourish in the years ahead.”
See the full Free the Slaves board of directors here.