LIVING HISTORY BEHIND GLOBALIZE 13
Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) was co-founded in June 2007 by Nettie Washington Douglass, her son, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. and Robert J. Benz. FDFI exists to honor and preserve the legacy of Frederick Douglass and to create knowledge about the issue of modern-day slavery in an effort to expedite its demise.
The founders represent a remarkable living history. Ms. Douglass and Mr. Morris are direct descendants of Frederick Douglass, the man called "the father of the civil rights movement" and Booker T. Washington, the famed educator and founder of Tuskegee Institute.
Through the union of Ms. Douglass's mother, Nettie Hancock Washington (granddaughter of Booker T. Washington), and her father, Dr. Frederick Douglass III (great grandson of Frederick Douglass), the founders unite the bloodlines of two of the most important names in American history.
A few years back, the founders were confronted for the ﬁrst time with solid facts about modern-day slavery: millions are still enslaved in every country of the world, including the United States, in conditions as horrific as the slavery suffered by their ancestors. They decided that this was not something from which they could walk away especially considering the platform granted to them by their lineage.
Since its inception, FDFI has believed that education and awareness is the ﬁrst step to ending Human Trafﬁcking in our lifetimes. The organization has, therefore, made it their business to educate the public about this veiled crime with the starting point being young people.
“When we work with students," says Ms. Douglass, "we can accomplish several things at once: provide an interesting narrative about a critical period in our history that is often overlooked; inspire modern Abolitionists; provide timely information that may prevent young people themselves from becoming victims and help create better global citizens."