On Saturday, Feb. 25, Operation 21st Century (OPT2I), a Connecticut College organization that works to raise awareness of present-day slavery, will host a conference about "Slavery in Our Backyards: A Call to Action." The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Cummings Arts Center. Through a variety of speakers, spoken word performances and informative discussions, conference attendees will gain a first-hand perspective into the modern world of slavery and the fight against it as well as learn how to help. The conference's keynote speaker is Kevin Bales, professor of sociology at Roehampton University president and a renowned expert on slavery who co-founded the nonprofit Free the Slaves. He'll deliver his speech at 11:25 a.m. "Our goal is to inspire and educate youth to join the abolitionist movement, which seeks to put an end to present-day slavery, in all its forms," said Janet Tso '12, founder and executive director of OPT21. "As many activists today would argue, slavery is hardly a thing of the past. In fact, globalization, over-population and technological advances have all led to new struggles for abolitionists." Among these hurdles, said Tso, is consumer complacency about purchasing goods produced in inhumane manners. Local activist Nadesha Mijoba will address ethnical spending at the conference. "Slavery in Our Backyards: A Call to Action" is co-sponsored by Connecticut College's Department of Gender and Women's Studies and Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, as well as The Hartford, Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame and Connecticut Humanities Council. The conference is free to Connecticut College students, staff and faculty; the cost is $10 for the general public. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.opt21.org. To view other events on campus this month, visit the Connecticut College calendar of events.