The Liberator Awards highlight and acknowledge Ohio's leading abolitionists. 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.

Award Categories

About the Liberator Awards

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”.

Previous Winners


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

Organization / Church / Civic Club

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

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)


2016 - Ohio: Mona AL-Hayani
2016 - Michigan: Rhonda Hines
2015 - Ohio: Ruth Downing
2015 - Michigan: Aleksa Andjelkovic
2014 - Ohio: Sister Nadine Buchanan (Dominican Sister of Peace, Columbus)
2013 - Ohio: Caitlin Miller


2015 - Ohio: TARTA - Toledo Area Transit Authority
2015 - Michigan: WAR - Women at Risk International
2014 - Ohio: Freedom a la Cart
2013 - Ohio: LexisNexis

Elected Official / Law Enforcement

2016 - Ohio: Senator Rob Portman
2016 - Michigan: Trooper Tressa Duffin
2015 - Ohio: Aaron Dennis (Columbus Police Department)
2015 - Michigan: Ed Price (Southeast Michigan Crimes Against Children Task Force)
2014 - Ohio: Peter Swartz (Innocence Lost Task Force, Toledo)
2014 - Ohio: Representative Teresa Fedor (Toledo)


2016 - Ohio: Jeanette Bradley
2016 - Michigan: Devaun Chandler
2015 - Ohio: Michelle Moore
2015 - Michigan: Chrissy Hemphill
2014 - Ohio: Toshia Kimbler


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 month of October. 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 November. 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 November to vote.

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 proceeds benefit S.O.A.P.

All tickets include a free dinner and admission to the ceremony (same location) unless otherwise noted.


Our Heroes

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.

The Liberator Awards in the Press

Woman Draws on Experience to Fight Sex Trafficking in Ohio (The Blade)
Liberation: Doma International (The Women's Fund of Central Ohio)
Caitlin Miller wins 2013 Ohio Liberator Award (County News Online)
Toledoans, Groups Honored with Liberator Awards (The Blade)
"When you've been trafficked, you've been beaten down so much" (Norwalk Reflector)
Ohio Liberator Awards Recognize Many From Northwest Ohio (Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition)
2014 Liberator Award Winner State of Ohio (That Neighborhood Foundation)
Rep. Fedor Presented With S.O.A.P. "Liberator" Award (The Ohio House of Representatives)
Graduate Receives Ohio Liberator Award (Hawken School)
Ohio Liberator Awards to Honor Those Working to End Human Trafficking (The University of Toledo)
Wright State Student Honored for his Liberation Efforts on Human Trafficking (Wright State University News Room)
Ms. Hogan Honored for Efforts to End Human Trafficking (Trinity High School)
RHS group honored at Ohio Liberator Awards (ThisWeek Community News)