Michigan Lawyers in the Fight Against Slavery by E. Christopher Johnson Jr.
2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, as noted by President Obama when he declared January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, “[T]he Emancipation Proclamation…and the 13th Amendment . . . stand as testaments to the gains we have made in pursuit of freedom and justice for all, and they remind us of the work that remains to be done.”(1) Last year, God gave my wife, Rhonda, and me a life-changing wake-up call in the words of Isaiah 1:17 to “. . . seek justice [and] defend the oppressed. ..” when we came face to face with slavery in the red-light district of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India on a mission trip. Back home, I discovered that slavery is also alive and well in Michigan.
E. Christopher Johnson Jr. is a professor and director
of the LL.M. Program in Corporate Law and
Finance at Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Before
joining Cooley, he served as GM North America
vice president and general counsel. Chris welcomes
direct feedback on this article as well as an expression
of interest in becoming involved in the fight
against human trafficking. He can be reached by
e-mail at email@example.com.