Cincinnati, OH – On May 11, 2019, at 10:30am, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will host “Community Conversations: US Deportations and Modern-Day Slavery in Mauritania.” We encourage the widest attendance possible at this event, to spread awareness about a tragedy currently befalling Ohio families and the human rights abuses taking place in Mauritania today.
WHO: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in U.S., Cincinnati Compass, Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, and Ohio Immigrant Alliance
WHAT: Community conversation on deportations and modern-day slavery in Mauritania
WHEN: Saturday, May 11, 10:30am
WHERE: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Harriet Tubman Theater, 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati
The audience will hear from Houleye Thiam, President, Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in US; Abdoulaye Sow, Communications Director, Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in US; Amadou Dia, community leader from Cincinnati; and Abdoul Mbow, community leader from Cincinnati. Julie LeMaster, Executive Director of the Immigrant & Refugee Law Center will moderate the discussion.
A brief film clip will also be shown. Entrance to the program is included with general admission.
For months, the Cincinnati Enquirer has been chronicling how a change in U.S. policy is leading to the deportation of long-term Ohio residents to Mauritania, where they are at risk of arrest, trafficking, extortion, and slavery.
While Mohamed Diaby and two others were able to obtain release from immigration detention recently, Cincinnati father Amadou Sow and several other Ohioans remain locked up and battling deportation today. A team of lawyers, including Advocates for Basic Legal Equality and the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, is working hard to defend these cases.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a leading voice in the effort to combat slavery and worldwide. Board chair Reverend Damon Lynch, Jr., and President Dion Brown wrote an op-ed about the need to keep Black Mauritanians at home in Ohio in an op-ed published by the Cincinnati Enquirer: “No person deserves enslavement. Citizen or not,” they wrote.
The mission of the Freedom Center is to “reveal stories about freedom’s heroes, from the era of the Underground Railroad to contemporary times, challenging and inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom today,” and this is exactly what the program on May 11 will accomplish.