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Aichana Abeid Boilil Awards

Sean Tenner of the Abolition Institute delivers a Chicago City Council resolution in her honor to Aichana Abeid Boilil, the first woman rescued from slavery by partner organization SOS Esclaves, at her home in Nouakchott. The Abolition Institute's annual award, presented on President Lincoln's birthday, is named after Aichana who is bravely continuing to advocate against modern day slavery.

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President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois: anti-slavery advocates from his state honor his legacy by promoting freedom throughout the world.

Every year on President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday – February 12th – the Abolition Institute honors those who are carrying on his legacy by fighting modern day slavery.  Our Aichana Abeid Boilil Awards are named after the first woman rescued from slavery by our partner organization in Mauritania, SOS Esclaves.  To this day, Aichana is still working hard to advocate against slavery in her country.  Recipients of the award have included:

Former Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, who worked diligently to officially clear the names of Illinois abolitionists who were convicted of the ‘crime’ of helping slaves to freedom (2014)

Julia Harrington-Reddy, Senior Legal Officer for the Open Society Foundations and a longtime expert and advocate on Mauritanian human rights issues. (2014)
 
Thomas Campbell, Senior Counsel at Baker and McKenzie and author of “Fighting Slavery in Chicago” – the most comprehensive book on Chicago’s abolition movement. (2014) 
 
Jerry Herman, former Southern Illinois University Professor and Director of Africa Peace for American Friends Service Committee.  Herman was the first American to bring former Mauritanian slaves to the United States and has been active in civil rights issues for over 50 years. (2014)
 
Carolyn Santos, an Oak Park-River Forest High School freshman who, inspired by an educational presentation on Mauritania from Biram Abeid and the Abolition Institute’s Bakary Tandia and Sean Tenner, raised significant money and awareness for anti-slavery programs through her school, church and community. (2015) (Read an article on Carolyn and the award here)
 
Majid Mustafa, a Muslim community leader in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood who put his own safety at risk to help law enforcement agencies bring to justice members of a powerful international human trafficking ring. (2016)

Minister Lynda Holiday Lawrence of the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP; Minister of International Social Justice and Human Rights with the TUCC Justice Watch Team.  Lynda and the Abolition Institute were profiled in the cover story of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin when she received the award. (2017)

Forest Park, IL Mayor Rory Hoskins who has taken a leadership role in helping communities recognize the Juneteenth Holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States and the importance of education about slavery. (2020)
 
Antonio Sola of Guayaquil, Ecaudor, an international human rights leader and philanthropist; founder of the Common Sense Foundation and activist against slavery in Mauritania. (2020)
 
Chicago Alderman Maria Hadden who introduced legislation to officially recognize the Juneteenth Holiday – commemorating the end of slavery in the United States – as a Chicago holiday and to promote education about slavery. (2020)
 
LaCreshia Birts of the Chicago-based Black Remembrance Project, focused on racial justice issues and commemorating the history of slavery, abolition and emancipation in the United States. (2020)
 
Read Press coverage of the 2017 Aichana Abeid Boilil Award, presented at an Abolition Institute event co-sponsored by every bar association in Illinois in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.