The Liberator Awards highlight and acknowledge leading abolitionists from Ohio and Michigan. During the past few years, each state has stepped up to the plate and worked hard to improve their grade card from Shared Hope International.
The Liberator Awards were created by S.O.A.P. to unite people from around the state who are working for the same cause: fighting human trafficking. They were also created with the hopes of highlighting the work of amazing individuals and groups. Everyone will tell you: this is hard stuff to do. We should diligently celebrate those who do it not because it is easy, but because it is right. The inspiration and namesake for this event is William Lloyd Garrison.
William Lloyd Garrison (December 12, 1805 - May 24, 1879) was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the first abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. He promoted immediate emancipation of slaves in the United States. In the 1870s, Garrison also became a prominent voice for the women's suffrage movement.
Garrison became famous as one of the most articulate, as well as most radical, opponents of slavery. His approach to emancipation stressed “moral suasion”, non-violence, and passive resistance. While some other abolitionists of the time favored gradual emancipation, Garrison argued for “immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves”.
2018 - Ohio: Lennie Alcorn-Mason 2017 - Ohio: Lynn Stevens 2016 - Ohio: Katie Bush 2016 - Michigan: Vivian Walczesky 2015 - Ohio: Dr. Celia Williamson (University of Toledo) 2015 - Michigan: Lindsay Fischer (All Worthy of Love) 2014 - Ohio: Kim Hogan (Trinity Catholic High School, Garfield Heights) 2013 - Ohio: Mindy Kuebler
2015 - Ohio: TARTA - Toledo Area Transit Authority 2015 - Michigan: WAR - Women at Risk International 2014 - Ohio: Freedom a la Cart 2013 - Ohio: LexisNexis
Organization / Church / Civic Club
2018 - Ohio: Gracehaven 2017 - Ohio: She Has a Name 2016 - Ohio: Survivor's Ink 2016 - Michigan: Michigan Abolitionist Project 2015 - Ohio: Rahab's Heart Toledo 2015 - Michigan: Hope Project 2014 - Ohio: Doma International 2013 - Ohio: Soroptimist International
Student / Student Group
2018 - Ohio: Bowling Green High School Theatre Group 2017 - Ohio: Dawn Heideman (Be the One) 2016 - Ohio: Nora Riggs 2016 - Michigan: Woodhaven High School Theatre Company 2015 - Ohio: Reynoldsburg High School Human Trafficking Youth Coalition 2015 - Michigan: Grand Valley State University (International Justice Mission) 2014 - Ohio: Megan Gallagher (Ohio University End Slavery Movement) 2013 - Ohio: Columbus City Schools (Stories Behind their Eyes)
2015 - Ohio: Ian Kallay 2015 - Michigan: Senator Judy Emmons (Michigan State Senate) 2014 - Ohio: Judge Paul Herbert (Franklin County Municipal Court - CATCH Court) 2013 - Ohio: Governor John Kasich
Nominate & Vote
Nominations are submitted for the entire months of October and November. Nominees must reside or work in the state for which they are nominated. Who do you know that has worked to raise awareness, change laws, educate others, or help to stop this crime from happening in your state? Visit this page in October to submit a nomination.
Voting is open for the entire month of December. Finalists are determined by the leading number of votes in each category. The top three finalists will then be voted on by previous winners and finalists to determine the winner. Visit this page in December to vote.
Sorry, you just missed the vote! Check back next October to submit a nomination or vote in the 2020 Liberator Awards.
Tickets to the Liberator Awards
An evening worthy of the Emmys or Grammys (we call it the Libbys)! Put on your fanciest clothes, mingle with finalists, celebrate with winners, and find out who will be revealed as this year's Liberator of the Year!
All tickets include a free dinner and admission to the ceremony (same location) unless otherwise noted.
There will be an additional $10 processing fee for tickets purchased at the door (not applicable to online purchases).
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This ticket requires a finalist's secret code. The finalist in your party can provide you with his/her code.
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List the members of your party, NOT including yourself:
Each year, one individual is selected from among the nominees to win the Liberator of the Year Award. With such a great honor also comes a bit of irreverance, traditionally in the form of a short satirical clip based very loosely on the life of the winner. Here are a few of those videos meant to celebrate (and occasionally tease) our venerable heroes.