New Film Series Spotlights Seven Inspiring Abolitionists


By Anna Bengel

Free the Slaves filmmakers have traveled the globe to document inspiring stories of slavery and freedom. Now, they're turning the camera on our committed contributors. Today we're launching a unique film series: "Why I Free Slaves." It spotlights the deeply personal stories of people who support our crucial work.

It's unlike anything we've ever done, and the first video is now live: Psychologist Sheila Siegel from Los Angeles.

"I free slaves because I can't not," Sheila says. "It touched a place in my heart where I have an ache to do this."

Thousands of people support our central tenet--that freedom is a basic human right--by donating to our cause and mission. Your contributions make freedom possible for those in slavery worldwide.

That's why we want to highlight some of our most inspiring donors from around the country: a psychologist, a teacher, an author, an investor, an actress, a musician and a rabbi. Something deep inside motivated them to take a personal stand for freedom.

Meet Our Donors

The Psychologist: In my life, I have always been an activist. I know it touched a place in my heart where I have an ache to do this. I will do this until I can't walk anymore," says Sheila Siegel, of Los Angeles. "Her profile debuts today.

The Teacher: "I free slaves because freedom is so important," says Robert Birk, of Potomac, Maryland. "I don't have to give much; I don't have to do much. But there are people who, through that support, can really change lives and change the world." His profile premieres the week of November 7.

The Author: "Fighting slavery is important to me because I would like to live a life knowing that I am not contributing to the abuse or torture of other people," says James Hannaham, of Brooklyn. His profile premieres the week of November 14.

The Investor: "I free slaves because it is a moral imperative. Once you understand that slavery exists, once you understand that you can help, how can you not become part of the solution?" asks Margaret Graff of Atlanta. Her profile premieres the week of November 21.

The Actress: "I free slaves because I believe we are all created equal," says Virginia Williams, of Los Angeles. "People ask why I have gotten involved with Free the Slaves. I just can't think of anything that has a higher purpose than putting value on human life." Her profile premieres the week of November 28.

The Musician: Derek Mount, of Atlanta, contributes to Free the Slaves as part of his religious tithing. Confronting slavery is something all faiths agree on. His profile premieres the week of December 5.

The Rabbi: "Slavery is not historical. It is happening now. The truth is: we might be free, but as long as other human beings are enslaved, no one is free," says Debra Orenstein, of New Jersey. Her profile premieres the week of December 12.

Here is where you can see their moving stories. Be on the lookout for reminders in your social media and email. Please share the profiles with everyone you know.