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Thu, 07.06.2006

The Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation opens

The Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation

*The Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation opened on this date in 2006. The institute is a leading center specializing in researching the history of slavery and serving as a research hub concerning contemporary slavery and human rights abuses in the present age.

It is at the University of Hull, in Kingston upon Hull, England. Housed in Oriel Chambers in Hull City Centre since 2005, it aims to research slavery in the past and the present. The institute's opening coincided with the bicentenary of the Slave Trade Act 1807 through former Member of Parliament and abolitionist William Wilberforce.

The institute is housed in the historic Oriel Chambers building, next to the home of William Wilberforce. The Institute patron was Desmond Tutu, and the institute was opened by former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor. The European Regional Development Fund, Yorkshire Forward, and the Heritage Lottery Fund funded funding.

It aims to foster links with other universities worldwide, including American institutions such as Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. Its exhibitions profile the city's links with Africa, especially Freetown, Sierra Leone. As part of the University of Hull, the institute often holds public lectures on the subjects of both historical and contemporary slavery, including the annual Alderman Sydney Smith lecture, so named after the former Labor MP for Kingston upon Hull Southwest, Sydney Smith. In 2014, the institute was a part of 'the Long Walk to Freedom,' a series of artworks within the historic Old Town area of Hull, as part of the annual Freedom Festival. In 2015, the institute was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education for its "research applied in combating modern forms of slavery."


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