'Free The Slaves' Author Kevin Bales to Speak at MCLA


 NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Kevin Bales, the author of "Free the Slaves" will speak about ending modern slavery on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6-7 p.m., at Massachusetts of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in Murdock Hall room 218.

The event is free and open to the public.

Bales was named by Utne Reader as a "visionary who is changing our world" and the originator of one of "100 World-Changing Discoveries" by the Association of British Universities. He is a leading abolitionist in the anti-slavery movement.

Going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Bales exposed how modern slavery penetrates the global economy and flows into the things we buy in his book, "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy," which Desmond Tutu called "a well researched, scholarly and deeply disturbing expose of modern slavery."

In 2001, Bales co-founded Free the Slaves, the American sister-organization of the UK's Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights group. In 10 years, Free the Slaves has helped liberate thousands of slaves in India, Nepal, Ghana, Brazil, Ivory Coast and Bangladesh, and has worked with them to build new lives of dignity.

After reading "Ending Slavery," President Clinton told the plenary of the CGI: "It tells you that it is a problem we can solve and here's how to do it." In 2009, with Ron Soodalter, Bales published "The Slave Next Door: Modern Slavery in the United States," an expose and plan to make America slave-free for the first time in its history.

Bales is co-founder of Free the Slaves, Washington, D.C. He is a professor of contemporary slavery at Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, UK, and earned his Ph.D. from London School of Economics. He is a professor emeritus in sociology at London's Roehampton University.

Bales is writing on the relationship between slavery and environmental destruction; building a global slavery index with Monti Datta and, with Jody Sarich, a book exploring forced marriage worldwide.

For more information, contact event sponsor Professor Jennifer Zoltanski, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, at

This event is co-sponsored by MCLA's Department of Environmental Studies; Department of History, Political Science and Public Policy; and Department of Business and Economics, as well as its Honors Program.