Our statement of values - FreedomUnited.org

Our Values


ActionWe must bring together global voices as one to create power for sustainable change

EmpowermentWe believe that the anti-slavery movement should be survivor-led

CommunityCollaborating in strong partnerships and coalitions is central to our impact

Respect We prioritize accuracy over sensationalism, rather we embrace complexity and nuance

Transparency We value integrity, share what we know and collaborate wherever we can


Our values are headlines that reflect a shared understanding of the following beliefs to which all staff members subscribe:

– Ending slavery requires systems change that demands mass action from the bottom up for a society that successfully secures a sustainable end to modern slavery.

– Efforts to end modern slavery and human trafficking have been undermined by a victim-oriented approach that fails to draw on the power of survivors or create space for their leadership. We seek to change through our My Story, My Dignity campaign and hold ourselves to account through our Content Guidelines.

Systemic racism and discrimination contribute to the existence of modern slavery through governmental systems, in particular immigration policies and in criminal justice, in society’s tolerance of the exploitation of discriminated people and within the movement to end modern slavery. We recognize that racism and prejudice exist within our community and we will not tolerate it.

– Our role in the fight to end modern slavery is to mobilise action and direct it to power the movement. We do not deliver services or work directly with affected communities. Therefore we consult widely bringing local knowledge and expertise through partnerships with activists and organisations to inform our work.

– Our staff lacks lived experience of modern slavery, we recognise our privilege and the limits of our understanding. That’s why we consult and encourage advocates with lived experience to use Freedom United’s platform to spread their message.

– Our small team is relatively identity-diverse and currently consists of 5 women and 4 men. It is led by a woman and excluding her, has a gender pay gap in favour of women. Our Board of Directors is very loosely reflective of US demographics, we’re actively considering diversity and lived experience in its development. We recognise that we are not immune to the benefits of unjust privilege, particularly western privilege and white privilege. We seek to be interrogating, open and progressive in our thinking to act in a way that supports our vision of equality.


In the words of our current Executive Director:

“I should not be leading this organisation. We believe in the support of allies for a successful movement but it is hard to think of another community led by someone without the lived experience they are advocating to redress. I see myself as holding the seat temporarily and hope that by creating change in the meantime, the space will be expanded so a survivor-advocate takes their rightful place to lead the fight to succeess in creating a world in which slavery no longer thrives.”

We invite our community to hold us accountable to these values and welcome opportunities to improve how we work as an organization. Get in touch at [email protected]


Signed by:

Joanna Ewart-James          Miriam Karmali          Carmel Drake

Milea Heath       Herrana Addisu          Carlo Ladd        Allan Gray     Hoey Crain      Jamison Liang


This page was last updated July 23, 2020 and is constantly under review.