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Paths to Freedom - Hackney and the global journey from slavery

  • Newington Green 39A Newington Green London, England, N16 9PR United Kingdom (map)

On the eve of Black History Month we invite you to join us for a series of lively talks and discussions focusing on slavery within a historical and global context.

Paths to Freedom offers the opportunity to delve into Hackney’s rich historical past to uncover it’s global connections and links to slavery and its significance within the anti slavery movement as well as the chance to reflect on the role women and black people played in the abolition.


With talks from leading academics and representatives from Antislavery International we will also explore slavery in our modern world with a panel discussion on ‘Combating Contemporary Slavery, as well as proudly hosting The Benjamin Franklin House Annual Lecture on ‘Franklin the Abolitionist’.

The Day:

10:30 Coffee and arrival

11:00 Welcome (Rev. Andy Pakula and rep. of Franklin House?)

11:15 ‘Slavery and Abolition: linking local and global history’ 

‘Hackney, Slavery and Abolition’ – Katie Donington (Nottingham University)

‘Women Against Slavery’ - Clare Midgley (Sheffield Hallam University)

‘Anti-racist culture in Britain and its adversaries: Black Lives Matter, 200 years ago' - Norris Saakwa-Mante (Kings College London)

‘Missing Chapters’ from Autographs Missing Chapters project – Ali Eisa (Autograph Gallery)

13:00 Lunch and networking opportunity

14:00 'Combating Contemporary Slavery': panel discussion with:

Professor Zoe Trodd (Nottingham University and Anti-Slavery Useable Past’ project),

Nicky Black - Chair of the United Nations Global Compact UK

Doctor Aidan McQuade - Head of Anti-Slavery International

Victor Riega Garcia - Aviva

15:00 Comfort break and networking opportunity

15:30 'Franklin the Abolitionist’ – Marcia Balisciano (Benjamin Franklin House)


In the heart of London Benjamin Franklin House is the world's only remaining Franklin home. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Dr Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, Founding Father of the United States and more – lived behind its doors. Built circa 1730, it is today a dynamic museum and educational facility.

Newington Green Unitarian Church has received initial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a project to restore the building and run a programme of events and activities exploring the fascinating stories of people connected with the church. These include Mary Wollstonecraft the ‘Mother’ of contemporary British feminism, the minister Richard Price who advocated for civil rights and his friend Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the USA. 

Join us for all or part of the day for the opportunity to gain insight into our local heritage, make links to contemporary issues, and have the opportunity to network with other local institutions and educators.

We’ll be working with various partners to deliver a range of exciting events. To find out more follow @NGDissenters on Facebook and #NGDissenters on Twitter. 

For more information on disabled access please contact us.

Earlier Event: September 26