International Day for the Abolition of SlaveryTeacher Lesson Plan

Share the importance of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery with your students. Bring classrooms to life with MY HERO's Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Teachers. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

Credit: UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran


Watch these two short films that remind us racial inequality still exists and that there are people working to fight against it. Then consider the discussion questions and activities. 


Remembering History: EJI's Legacy Museum & National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Produced by:Trey Carlisle
MY HERO Reporter Trey Carlisle reports on the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative's National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

The Equal Justice Initiative

Gabriel Diamond

Bryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative litigate cases for the unjustly imprisoned and work to reform the justice system.

Discussion Questions and Activities

1. The Legacy Museum explores America's history of racial inequality and its connection to contemporary issues. Identify issues of racial inequality in today's world. 

2. Bryan Stevenson works with the Equal Justice Initiative to help those who have been unjustly prisoned due to racial inequality. After watching the film, discuss why his work is important.

3. Do you know someone working to end racial inequality? Share his or her story with MY HERO. 

4. What social justice issue is important to you? What can you do? Create an action plan, get others involoved and share your story with MY HERO.  



Students read all or some of the following stories about heroes working to end slavery, before considering the discussion questions and activities.

Two stories are available in text with audio so students can listen and read along. Great for ESL and EFL students.


Nadia Murad

By: Shannon Luders-Manuel LinkTV

Nadia Murad is a Nobel Prize-winning activist and sex slave survivor from Kojo, Iraq.

Kailash Satyarthi

By: James H

Kailash Satyarthi was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work as a children's rights activist in India.

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

By: Jane Wallace

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe works to end violence and sexual exploitaton in Uganda.

Great for ESL/EFL Students: The following two stories are available in text and audio so students can listen and read along.

Mohamed Sidibay

By: Annie Merkley

Mohamed Sidibay speaks out to give a name and a face behind the stories of forced child soldiers.

Kailash Satyarthi

By: Themis from Beirut, Lebanon

Kailash Satyarthi is determined to end child labor practices around the world.


Students read the story about Iqbal Masih, a child from Pakistan who was sold into slavery by his father at age four and escaped at the age of 10. He began speaking internationally and was awarded the Reebok Human Rights Youth Award when he was 12 years old.

Then students analyze the portrait of Iqbal.


Iqbal Masih

By: Arushi Dogra from San Diego

Iqbal Masih's parents sold him into slavery as a carpet weaver at age four.

Iqbal Masih

By: Sydney from Laguna Beach

Iqbal Masih was a Pakistani Christian boy who became a symbol of abusive child labor in the developing world.

Discussion Questions and Activities

1. Despite being illegal in every country, slavery still exists today. Research this issue.  

2. Why is the work of people like Kallash Satyarthi and Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe so important? Who else is working to end slavery and to help those whose childhood was stolen from them due to human trafficking and war? Share his or her story with MY HERO. 

3. Where do these heroes find their unique strengths? 

4. Nadia Murad and Mohamed Sidibay are human rights activists. Do research into human trafficking and/or children who are forced to become soldiers. Who else is working as an activist to stop this type of activity? Share his or her story with MY HERO.  


Tom Block is the founder of the Human Rights Painting Project, in conjunction with Amnesty International and the Institute for Prophetic Activist Art in New York. His highly expressionist portraits of human rights activists include Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Sojourner Truth and lesser-known heroes who are incarcerated around the world for their acts in the name of social justice.

Students analyze the portrait of Sojourner Truth and Meena Keshwar Kamal by Tom Block.

Consider creating a portrait of your human rights hero to submit to the MY HERO Gallery.


Sojourner Truth

By: Tom Block

Sojourner Truth was an African American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826.

Meena Keshwar Kamal

By: Tom Block

Afghan revolutionary political activist, feminist, women's rights activist and founder of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), who was assassinated in 1987

View additional portraits by Tom Block Here

Tom Block Portraits
Credit: MY HERO


Analyze the following piece of art, Doorway to Freedom, which represents the House of Slaves on the Island of Goree in Africa. Make sure to read the artist's description of his art, what he is representing and the symbolism used. 

Create a piece of art to submit to the MY HERO Gallery that uses symbolism to tell a story and honors a time in history. Include a paragraph explaining your art and the symbolism used. 


Doorway to Freedom

By: Cheikh Seck from Senegal

The door through which slaves had to pass in order to leave West Africa (Senegal) is the subject of this digital artwork by Cheikh Seck.


Laura Nietzer

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Teacher Lesson Plan lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

External Related Links

UN Website: International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Website
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - The Trafficking in Persons Protocol provided, for the first time, a universally agreed upon definition of trafficking in persons.
This org works at local, national and international levels to eliminate slavery around the world.
Food Empowerment Project: How our food choices may contribute to slavery.
Walk Free is a global collaboration to end one of the world's greatest evils: modern slavery.

MY HERO Calendars for use in the Classroom

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Create Program
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Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.


Organizer created on 10/24/2019 10:04:43 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 6/28/2023 11:11:19 AM by Laura Nietzer