Katie Ford is no stranger to those in the fashion world, and is no stranger to Free the Slaves. Made famous by her family’s modeling agency, Ford Models, Katie made the transition from CEO to abolitionist after attending a U.N. human trafficking conference in 2008.
She’s featured this month in Vogue’s annual age issue, explaining her decision and how fighting slavery has changed her life.
“I could think of so many things to do to stop trafficking because of the parallels to how we brought models into the U.S.,” Katie says in the story. “I had this weird set of knowledge about immigration law, a very distinct skill set that not many people have. I thought, I’ve go to do this. It became all-consuming.”
Katie has helped Free the Slaves as a Global Ambassador. She has accompanied our staff on a trip to Ghana. It was there that she met a young slavery survivor, Abeiku, and was faced with the harsh reality of child labor in the Ghanaian fishing industry. Katie went on to help us create a PSA with Ford Models and later founded the Katie Ford Foundation, which has been instrumental in creating targeted change to bring an end to slavery in our world.
Vogue’s article on Katie, “Doing Good at 56: The Ford Factor,” features Free the Slaves partners Reporter Brasil and JEEVIKA, and the work that they’re doing on the ground. Katie’s dedication to ending modern slavery is inspiring, as it demonstrates the ways that activism can manifest itself in our lives.
As Free the Slaves Co-founder Kevin Bales describes: “Many activists are long on passion but short on strategy and organization. Katie’s got the skills of the business world combined with a sense of style.”