SlaveFree Madison (affiliated with Zonta Club of Madison) is a Madison area coalition that raises awareness about local and global human trafficking and motivates the community towards actions to eliminate it.

SlaveFree Madison Mission

SlaveFree Madison is the community action group that promotes awareness about modern-day slavery and advocates cooperative community responses to reduce the incidence of human trafficking in Dane County. We bridge knowledge with action. Our focus is local. Our awareness is global.


SlaveFree Madison Organizational Values

SlaveFree Madison:

  • Respects the needs, ideas, time and talents of SlaveFree Madison members, community members and leaders and modern-day slavery victims.
  • Builds capacity that supports individuals taking initiative and accepting responsibility for their commitments and actions – within SlaveFree Madison and within groups and individuals with whom we collaborate.


SlaveFree Madison History

SlaveFree Madison (SFM) grew out of a priority setting luncheon convened by the Zonta Club of Madison in spring, 2008 and attended by other Madison-area agencies who share a common concern for human trafficking in Dane County. The group reached the clear consensus that it was not anyone’s job number-one to focus on building community awareness of the human trafficking issue and that a community-based service organization like Zonta was well-suited to address this goal.

Zonta Club of Madison spent six months honing their focus which resulted in an informational survey being sent to Madison-area faith-based organizations and selected individuals. The survey indicated an average awareness of human trafficking as an issue but limited awareness of human trafficking in the Madison-area. Respondents were also invited to the initial meeting of a community coalition to build public awareness of human trafficking.

The group that became SlaveFree Madison convened for the first time on April 27, 2009 comprised of approximaly 20 individuals from across the Madison area. It has broadened its mission to include advocating for cooperative community responses to reduce local human trafficking.

To achieve its mission, SlaveFree Madison offers educational presentations to Dane County organizations wishing to better understand the issue of human trafficking and, if desired, to explore appropriate ways to address the issue. SlaveFree Madison is also seeking further collaboration with City of Madison and Dane County agencies that can contribute to a comprehensive and cooperative response to human trafficking in Dane County.

While SlaveFree Madison has an identity, membership and plan-of-work of its own, it retains its affiliation with Zonta Club of Madison.


SFM Timeline

Fall 2006

Zonta Club of Madison members alerted to issue of human trafficking a lack of a WI anti-human trafficking law.

Spring 2008

Zonta Club of Madison met with representatives of Dane County agencies related to the human trafficking issue.

Winter 2008-09

Informational survey sent to Madison-area faith-based organizations and selected individuals.

April 27, 2009

First meeting of the Madison-Area Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (as we initially called ourselves).  The group formed around the purpose of building public awareness of the human trafficking issue in the Madison/Dane County area.

October 2009

The name SlaveFree Madison is adopted.

January 2010

Sixty-minute public presentations on human trafficking began being offered to community groups throughout Dane County.

Six committees established to transact the business of SlaveFree Madison – Community Relationships, Finance, Marketing, Public Awareness, Website/Digital Media and Executive.

March 2010

SlaveFree Madison adopts a mission statement and organizational values.

January 2011  

SlaveFree Madison sponsored its First Human Trafficking Film Festival showing five films that focused on different aspects of human trafficking. Group discussions followed each film. 

June 2011

SlaveFree Madison held a public educational forum on Child Sex Trafficking in Madison.


Other SlaveFree Madison Accomplishments

Public Presentations

  • SlaveFree Madison has one-hour educational programs at the beginning of every other SFM meeting. Watch our website for those that are open to the Madison-area community.
  • As of August, 2011 SlaveFree Madison has given 20 public presentations to a variety of interested community groups.
  • SlaveFree Madison has had an informational presence at Dane County Farmers’ Market since 2010. 
  • SlaveFree Madison was a vendor at the 2010 Fair Trade Holiday Festival which served as a fund raiser and a forum for public education on human trafficking. 

Panel Presentations

  • SlaveFree Madison presented at the La Follette School of Public Affairs Spring Symposium on Modern-Day Slavery on April 30, 2010.
  • SlaveFree Madison was a co-presenter on a panel addressing human trafficking protocols at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault Annual Conference on June 11, 2010.
  • Two SlaveFree Madison members served on a panel discussing the movie Playground at the 2011 Together for Children conference.
  • Two SlaveFree Madison members were on a panel discussing human trafficking at the June, 2011 United Nations Association-Dane County meeting.

Media Presence

  • SlaveFree Madison responded to community issues on human trafficking with editorials in the newspapers. 
  • SlaveFree Madison has been featured on two radio talk shows addressing the issue of human trafficking, one on WTDY and one on WORT. 

Committee Representative

  • A SlaveFree Madison members serves on the Dane County Coordinated Community Response-Sexual Assault (CCR-SA) committee.
  • SlaveFree Madison members serve on the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children subcommittee of CCR-SA. 
  • SlaveFree Madison is represented on the State of Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance Human Trafficking Committee.

These accomplishments just scratch the surface of the important issue of human trafficking. Diverse roles are available for others interested in joining SlaveFree Madison’s efforts to make Madison a traffic-free community. To get involved see our contact information at the top of this page.