Major Richard Wright Sr. was born into slavery in 1855. When the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery in 1865, his mother sent him to school and–after serving in the Spanish-American War–he went on to become a university president, successful business man, and community leader in Philadelphia. As he neared the end of his life, he starting organizing a movement to declare a day commemorating freedom for all Americans. The group chose February 1st, the day Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment. Then, in 1948, Harry Truman signed the National Freedom Day holiday proclamation into law.
Want a career promoting and protecting freedom around the world? Explore the job list we’ve put together in celebration of National Freedom Day:
- Through research, advocacy, training, and support of activists worldwide, Freedom House holds governments accountable in the global policy debates surrounding the progress and decline of freedom. They’re hiring interns and full-time employees to work in their DC office as well as in Tunisia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Jordan.
- Since 1920, the ACLU has worked tirelessly to ensure liberties for all Americans, especially groups who have historically been denied their rights. There’s never a shortage of ways to get involved with the ACLU: they’re seeking a bunch of spring interns at the graduate and undergraduate levels as well as a paralegal in San Francisco and development associate in New York.
- Through over 1,000 grants every year, the National Endowment for Democracy supports projects in ninety countries that work to strengthen democratic institutions, ranging from advancing the free market to promoting an independent media to fighting for human rights. They’re seeking a senior systems engineer and a junior systems administrator, so if you’d like to put your IT skills toward a good cause, drop them a line.
- Modern forms of slavery still exist today, and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking connects survivors to health, social, and legal services and participating in advocacy and outreach. They’re looking for a senior case manager in L.A. to advocate for their clients, manage interns, and further develop their programs.
If you don’t see anything here that strikes your fancy, take a look at Idealist.org for other great ways to work towards freedom for all.