Criminal Justice Update
Media > Newsletters > On the Job: Criminal Justice Update > Fall 2018 > Speaker draws from history to fight human trafficking

On the Job RSS feeds

Criminal Justice Update

Speaker draws from history to fight human trafficking


Kenneth B. Morris Jr., a descendant of both abolitionist Frederick Douglass and civil rights leader Booker T. Washington, will be the keynote speaker at the Ohio Attorney General’s 2018 Law Enforcement Conference. 

The event, with the theme “Protecting Ohio Together,” will offer 30 workshops on topics ranging from law enforcement property room best practices to a guide to the darknet and feature a speech by trauma and resiliency expert Kenneth R. Yeager, Ph.D. 

“Investigations are stronger with collaboration,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine about the theme. “When agencies work together, each one can bring unique talents and tools to bear on a problem and find a solution.”

The conference, set for Oct. 25-26 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, is designed to provide an abundance of information on the lifesaving power of teamwork and offer encouragement to attendees, too.

Morris, who will address the crowd on Oct. 25, is the president of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, which was co-founded in 2007 by Morris, his mother, Nettie Washington Douglass, and Robert J. Benz.

The foundation fights modern slavery, such as human trafficking, through knowledge and strategic action. 

“My ancestors were born into slavery, but slavery continues,” Morris said. “I felt that I could use my background to talk about human trafficking. At first, the movement was reacting to victimization, rehabilitation, and restoration. There was little being done to prevent victimization. Then, we decided that we needed to provide prevention education in the classroom.”

Today, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, in a partnership with two other nonprofit organizations, is providing grade-level-appropriate human trafficking prevention education to California schoolchildren. 

During the conference, Morris said he will talk about the history of human rights and the power of one. 

“All of us carry heroes and heroines in our veins, and we should fight for freedom,” he said.

Among other projects, the foundation is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Douglass’ birth with the One Million Abolitionists project. 

With a collection of partners, the foundation is printing and distributing 1 million hardback copies of a bicentennial edition of the autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. So far, 55,000 have been printed and distributed, and Morris is hoping to have distributed 100,000 by the start of 2019. 

For more information on Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, or to get involved with the book project, visit