Last year, Ely and Lincoln Cathedral marked Anti-Slavery Day in spectacular fashion. We sent a film maker to the cities to document what they were doing and why.
The footage has been packaged into two films – a five minute film and a 10 minute film – to showcase the activity that took place and inspire others to take action. Our hope is that cathedrals, churches, businesses, communities, schools, and individuals will watch the films and share them widely and that it will result in a flurry of activity across the country in the lead up to Anti-Slavery Day 2021.
The films include interviews with modern slavery campaigner Shayne Tyler, Chief Superintendent Diane Coulson (Lincolnshire Police) Canon Jessica Martin (Ely Cathedral), The Revd Dr Jenny Gage (Ely Cathedral), Bishop Alastair Redfern (The Clewer Initiative) and members of the public. Each interview reflects on why marking Anti-Slavery Day can be a particularly powerful way to engage new audiences.
There are so many different things – big and small - that can be done to mark Anti-Slavery Day. Ely and Lincoln provide two examples but only you will know what is best in your context. Here are some ideas we’ve had:
- Organise a special church service on Sunday 17th October. This could be an ‘Anti-Slavery Day’ service or a ‘service of light’. Encourage different groups within your church and community (e.g., Guides, Brownies, Scouts, Mothers’ Union, WI) to come and present a light/candle and create a pool of light. This would be a sign of the hope and greater effect we can have when we learn to work together in seeking to notice the unnoticed and to set free the oppressed. It is also a powerful way to collectively embody The Clewer Initiative strapline “we see you.”
- Illuminate your building on the evening of Monday 18th October – we suggest lighting the building red as it stands out and communicates “STOP.” Consider lighting your building over a number of weekday evenings and encourage other organisations, landmarks, and businesses in your community to follow suit.
- Organise a poetry reading or art competition – encourage local artists to represent the horrors of modern slavery in word, song, image and sculpture.
- Women in the Shadows film night – use The Clewer Initiative’s new films, Women in the Shadows, and show them back-to-back on a big screen or via zoom to raise awareness of the plight of marginalised women in the UK.
- Craftivism – use craft to tell people about the horrors of modern slavery. Encourage local knitting groups or crafters to knit or crochet chains that can be hung around the local area. See an example of what Sue Rees, an activist in Bristol is planning to do.
- Host a school’s conference on Monday 18th October and invite keynote speakers from your area to discuss the causes and signs of modern slavery and what can be done to fight back.
- Host a debate – invite speakers from key anti-slavery organisations and businesses to discuss the challenge of eradicating modern slavery. Consider livestreaming the event.
- Create a coalition of local businesses, committed to fighting modern slavery. Gather key figures for a lunch and seminar on modern slavery in the supply chain.
- Contact your local radio station and ask them to do a phone in or programme on modern slavery on Monday 18th October.
There are only five months to go until Anti-Slavery Day so now is a good time to get planning. Who could you bring together to brainstorm some ideas?
Over the coming weeks, The Clewer Initiative will be creating resources to support Anti-Slavery Day activities, including:
- Liturgy for an Anti-Slavery Day church service
- A short guide on how to livestream an event
- A short guide on how to run a Women in the Shadows film night
- A short guide on how to set up a school event
We would love to feature what you are doing to mark Anti-Slavery Day on our website and social channels and in our monthly newsletter. Please let us know your plans so we can include them in our communications.
To watch the films, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz0CPwrwQ5q4EABbpVuwjJw
For more information on Anti-Slavery Day 2021, visit https://www.theclewerinitiative.org/campaigns/anti-slavery-day-2021.