St. Olaf College

St. Olaf 2St. Olaf Leaders Abolishing Slavery (SOLAS), located at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, began in the fall of 2012 when three students saw an area not addressed by any current student organizations: human trafficking. With the help of a large amount of passion, these three female students began to generate interest and founded SOLAS. Since then, the organization has grown to have a steady team of around 15-30 students who attend weekly meetings, and over 100 on their email alias. Some of the greatest successes SOLAS has had in the past three years have included being selected by their school, St. Olaf College, to collect donations through a “caf fast” in which students donate one of their cafeteria meals and the money goes to a worthy organization. SOLAS has partnered with an organization in the twin cities called Breaking Free. This is the organization to which the almost $2000 from the “caf fast” was donated to! Breaking Free offers incredible services such as housing, education, job training, and therapy programs for women and girls who have survived sex trafficking. Another amazing eSt. Olaf 1vent SOLAS put on in the fall of 2013 was having a survivor from Breaking Free visit campus and speak about her experience and how Breaking Free has helped her. SOLAS has organized several movie screenings including the films: The Dark Side of Chocolate, and Nefarious, and they hope to screen the new Breaking Free Documentary this year. This past fall,  SOLAS also hosted Congressman Erik Paulsen and Police Chief Grant Snyder to talk about their experience with working together to pass a new safe harbor bill and continue to protect women and girls on the street. This visit jump started a deeper look into the legislation surrounding human trafficking which will be the main focus of 2015 for SOLAS. They are currently working on having St. Olaf become a fair trade certified campus and have been raising awareness about labor trafficking and fair trade options around the school. SOLAS is always looking to find other passionate activists and abolitionists to fight modern day slavery and is looking forward to the possible collaboration with other Free Project chapters.