Human Rights Advocate to Speak at Gardner-Webb

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Historian Dr. Ben Wright to Discuss “Evangelicals and Slavery” on Feb. 5

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. — A human rights advocate and slavery abolition historian will speak at Gardner-Webb University on Thursday, Feb. 5, in a program sponsored by a GWU student club that works to raise awareness of human trafficking.

Dr. Ben Wright will present “Evangelicals and Slavery, then and now” at 7 p.m. in Faith Hall of the Tucker Student Center on Gardner-Webb’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Wright currently serves as assistant professor of American history at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga. He is the author of “Apocalypse and the Millennium in the American Civil War Era,” as well as other works. He also serves as an activist with Project Freedom, an organization of Historians Against Slavery, a group of scholars who seek to build cohorts of abolitionists on modern-day college campuses. The group is working to bridge the gap between slavery abolition in the 1800s and current efforts to end human trafficking in the 2000s, said GWU Assistant Professor of History Dr. Joseph Moore.

“Dr. Wright has helped us understand that great movements are often led by the young — generally college age — people who have the energy, passion and time to commit their lives to world-changing movements,” Moore offered. “Nineteenth century abolitionists were often young, Christian and committed to making a better world. Today’s advocates can learn much from their example.”

Wright’s visit is sponsored by the GWU Release student organization and the GWU Office of Student Activities. Gardner-Webb regularly hosts programs to spotlight human trafficking issues, including an awareness week each year to educate the campus and community about the issue of human trade and slavery. In November 2014, the University hosted a concert by “American Idol” finalist and North Carolina native Majesty Rose to benefit trafficking victims.

“In my years at Gardner-Webb, I have constantly been struck by the passion of our students for reform,” Moore shared. “They are a generation of believers who have focused their attention on big, structural problems that earlier generations were content to ignore. This reminds me very much of the young abolitionists who were told time and time again to be more practical and stop trying to change the world in the days before the American Civil War.”

For more information about Wright’s program, contact Moore at jmoore26@gardner-webb.edu.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).