rebelling against low expectations

Zach Hunter: Fighting Modern Day Slavery


Zach Hunter: Fighting Modern Day SlaveryThree years ago, Zach Hunter was confronted with the painful truth about modern day slavery: 27 million people are in slavery around the world today, half of them children. He’s been on a campaign to change that ever since.

“It was Black History Month,” 15-year-old Zach explains. “I had been learning about Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman, and I had thought, ‘Man, if I had lived back then, I would have done something to help them. I would have tried to end slavery and fight for equality.’ And then when I found out there was still something to do, I felt like I couldn’t just stand by like I agreed with it.” (Source: CNN)

When he was 12 years old, Zach launched Loose Change to Loosen Chains, raising more than $8,500 in his school and youth group to rescue victims of slavery and oppression. Today he is the youth spokesman for The Amazing Change, a social justice campaign inspired by the story of Christian abolitionist William Wilberforce and the motion picture Amazing Grace, arriving in theaters today.

He has also written a book, titled Be The Change, scheduled for release next month. In it he encourages his generation that they can make a difference in the world, even as teenagers. Zach doesn’t know it yet, but he’s a rebelutionary. And he makes it very clear why he’s doing what he’s doing.

“In Isaiah 1:17, God says to learn to do right, seek justice, rescue your oppressed, defend orphans, and plead for the widow,” Zach explains. “It’s a biblical mandate to go out there and help those who are in need and help those who are oppressed.”

“If you have a friend who enjoys golfing or snowboarding… even if you’re not good at golfing or snowboarding, you still go and have that shared experience with them because it’s what they like to do,” he continues. “God loves justice. So, if you go out and seek justice with Him you’re getting shared experience with Him and will get closer to Him as a result.” (Source: Florida Baptist Witness)

As Zach writes in his book, compassion is not a distortion of or a distraction from the gospel. Instead, we read in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, and the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Zach, Brett and I applaud you for your example and testimony. Your demonstration of the principles of the Rebelution—character, competence, and collaboration—is an inspiration to our generation. May God bless and strengthen you as you continue to “do hard things” in the fight against injustice. Our prayers are with you.

Take Action – Get Involved

  • Sign the Petition: Add your name to the thousands upon thousands who have signed The Petition to End Modern Slavery.
  • Watch Amazing Grace: A deeply impacting introduction to the life and work of William Wilberforce, a devout Christian and British abolitionist.
  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the realities of modern slavery and trafficking and what you can do about it.
  • Raise Funds: Follow Zach’s example by working with your family, friends, church, and community to raise money to fight slavery.
  • Order Be The Change: Read Zach’s book and learn from his message and example. Scheduled to release March 28, 2007.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Thank you guys so much for posting that!
    I read all the articles in the latest World Magazine, and I was thinking the whole night about how I wanted to do something, now I’ve signed the petition, but I still want to do more! 🙁 😀

  • Yes, human trafficking is simply horrific. I did some research about a year ago. The very idea is simply astounding – more so because it exists in limited form in the US. It is incredibly encouraging to see a young person literally taking part in the cause of freedom. =)

  • How encouraging! I am glad there are people in the world like Zach. Modern day slavery is something most people don’t realize is going on.

  • I belong to a dance group and we have been working on choreographing songs that are related to injustice and slavery. It’s really sad how we think that there is no more slavery but in reality there are still many many slaves around the world.

    If any of you get a chance you should check out this site.

  • I was just listening to something about this on the radio today. It’s so sad to see so many people getting hurt, and I’m glad that more people are helping to fight it.

  • I’ve always hated the idea of slavery, too. All people should have the freedom to govern themselves, under God!

  • Thanks for posting about him, Alex and Brett. As usual, you did an excellent job! =)

    We saw the movie Amazing Grace last night, and it was phenomenal. Not only was the movie well-done, the story was so powerful. Wilberforce fought so hard for the abolition of slavery – he presented his bill time and time again just to have it voted done. Yet, he persisted, and finally it passed with overwhelming support. May God raise more up like Wilberforce and Zach, persevering to work for Him!

  • That’s so awesome. I was just reading about modern day slavery in the recent WORLD magazine, and was shocked with the numbers. It’s a horrific thing, and it’s so encouraging to know that there are even kids out there who speak against it.

  • Oh, yes, slavery is a very real thing in this world – children forced to prostitution, to drug dealing, manual labor of the most degrading kind. It’s great to see that SOME people in the Church are seeking to LIVE the Gospel, not just preach it. Let’s get out there, Church!

  • Zach’s quote about seeking and pursing the values God holds dear is interesting. As he mentioned, it’s easy to apply that concept to personal friends, but… I haven’t ever thought about it concerning my relationship with God. =) Good quote!

    Present day slavery seems to be much worse than the slavery one reads about during the Civil War. Instead of working in the fields, picking caterpillars and bugs of tobacco and cotton plants, and housework, the slaves of today are often forced to be sex slaves or involuntary organ donors. It’s sadly surprising to see all the seemingly ‘upright’ countries that are struggling with trafficking problems. =(

  • You all need to go and see the “Amazing Grace” movie that is in theaters now (and take friends with you). That is probably the easiest thing (other than signing the petition) that you can do to support Zach’s efforts.

  • Hi everyone,
    Wow! I was amazed at the thought that there is still slavery. I always thought that slavery ended when the war was ended, but I guess I was wrong.

    I got a quick question.
    Do the younger kids count?
    It had the box that you check if you are 13 or older.
    I signed it and so did my mom and dad but my younger siblings, 12 and younger, didn’t because we didn’t know whether or not they would count it.

    Please answer this question so they can also sign it and we can put a STOP TO SLAVERY!!!

  • Bravo, Zach!

    All too many people are ignorant of the existence of slavery even in the modern world. It’s good to see somebody doing something about it, especially a young person.

    Keep up the good work! I’ll be watching for Be The Change. Thanks for putting up this post, Alex and Brett.

  • I have been studying the Civil War in my homeschool work recently, so slavery has been on my mind lately. I cannot imagine being someone’s property. I plan to be a missionary when I get a little older, and I am going to start looking into ways that I can be a part of the worldwide anti-slavery movement. This is such an overlooked issue since most Americans (including myself) are ignorant about how slavery is still an issue around the world. Do you guys know of any way (other than signing the petition and praying, of course) that I can get involved in raising awareness of this issue? Keep up the good work, guys. You have my prayers!!!

  • I just went to see the movie “Amazing Grace” a couple of nights ago and it is powerful. I am one of those who until recently has not had a clue that so much slavery still exists! When I thought of slavery I thought of the early black slaves in America, working on plantations. The new realization that slavery exists today in such numbers is astonishing to me. I am glad that there is attention being given to this. It has opened my eyes and no doubt the eyes of many others who did not know about modern slavery

  • On the preview “Amazing Grace” had bad language in it. Is it like that through out the movie?
    I think it is a really neat thing that Zach is doing! way to go!

  • What a wonderful thing it is he’s doing. It’s amazing that he started such a project when he was only 12. It’s also horrifying to realize just how horrible our fellow humans can treat each other. Humans are basically good? I think not.

    Imagine what we could do if we were ALL to fight against horrible injustice of any kind! Imagine the impact we’d make for God. (and I say this as encouragement, not condemnation! :))

  • What can I say but thank you to God for such a brave soldier of the faith! This is a wonderful example of doing hard things!

    Praise God! We all must pray for this.

  • Thanks, brothers, for the encouragement and for helping raise the standard for our generation. I really do believe God wants to use us to change the world. Are we up for it?

    I saw that you, too, are Wilberforce fans. Check this out

    “We are too young to know that some things are impossible so we will do them anyway.” William Pitt in Amazing Grace

  • My family saw “Amazing Grace” back when it first came out in theaters, and it was so, well, amazing… the persistance and passion that William (and now Zach) had for that cause is truly inspiring. I definitely would have been a big abolitionist in that day.

    Brett: Could you please post another link to the petition? I would like to sign it, but when I clicked on the red “Sign the Petition” thing, a new page opened up and it was totally blank (and it said “done” in the corner of the page)…

    Zach Hunter: God bless you and your ministry! I’ll be praying the Lord will prosper your ministry and cause it grow larger and stronger than you ever thought possible… (because with God ALL things are possible)

    ~ Elisabeth J. Gruber

  • I am not religious in the least but i think that if faith can inspire someone to do something as incredible as this then it is wonderful. I am a teenager and it is great to see someone my age doing such powerful stuff because often i feel that i can’t make a difference. Keep up the good work i’m sure a lot of people are very thankful for it……

  • Hey. I got through almost twenty-five pages of Zach’s new book and got hooked. I am 13 now but I have always wanted to go down in history books as the girl who helped change the world. The only problem was that I never knew what exactly I wanted to change. Slavery never enterd my mind because I thought that it was all over. This book Be the Change, totally got into my head. I can relate to Zach more than I thought I would. I would LOVE to do some hands on work so if He is reading this, know that you have another friend to look to for help on this.

  • Zach hunter is my hero!!! Honestly lately I feel GOD has been calling me to follow zach’s lead. I’m starting LC2LC in my church and with GOD’s help hopefully my school. I present it to my principal this week. I liove this site, this si the first time i ever heard of it and I like it. I beleive the youth can do something. I mean just look at Zach he was 13, whan he started this and now it’s nation wide. GOD bless you guys for this web site it gives me hope.

  • Hey Zach,
    I to am a abolishionist.It is so encoureging to here about your pashion to end slavery,and better yet doing it with God.For years I’ve always had my nose stuck in books about slavery and have tried to learn more about it.And last year the question came up “What do you want to do with your life when you grow up?” And I prayed that God would open doors.And then I found out about modern day slavery and started doing research about it .I prayed and a desire in my heart to do something.And I read some reviews about Amazing Grace and I looked up your name and I believe God has used you to help show me ways I can use my knowledge to glorify Him.Thank you and Im praying for you.-your sister in Christ, Hannah

  • I have seen Amazing Grace and it was amazing! Also, I really want to get Zach’s book, Be the Change- I plan on getting it next time I go to Mardels. 😀 I can’t wait to see what God will teach me through that book!

  • Zach, what you are doing is so amazing!! keep up the good work!! I’ve always had a heart for the hurting and slaves.. and you won’t believe this but i just finished reading Uncle Toms Cabin and was so mad at the slave owners that i had told God that if i had lived back then i would’ve done something… then i found out about you in DO HARD THINGS and i have to do something!! i was wondering if you had a blog or somewhere i can give money too and also how can i help get the word out about the slavery that is still going on today??? thank you so much!! God Bless!!

  • Zach,
    My youth group is starting to do what we are calling “Do Hard Things” Projects and you have been an inspiration to me. My youth pastor, Steve, was actually helping me get ideas for my project because I had no idea what to do. He told me about the child slavery in Haiti and I looked it up online and it is absolutely horrible what they are doing to the children there. I feel called to help them. Do you have any ideas on how to get started?
    I read about you in “Do Hard Things” and you had a lot of courage to get up there in front of all those people and talk about your organization, LC2LC. That would be way out of my comfort zone, but it’s not courage that it takes, it’s about obedience and it’s amazing to see someone my age doing something that big. Keep doing what you are doing.
    I join those as modern day abolitionists. FREEDOM!
    FBC Fayetteville, AR

  • Zach,
    I also plan on getting your book as soon as possible. I’m sure it’s great!
    God bless,

  • Hey Zach I have had a passion of abolishing slavery since I heard an awsome story about slavery happening now. I would really appreciate your e-mail. Getting up in front of thousands of people is hard and you should be proud of yourself and the gifts that God has given you. Never stop believeing in yourself and God.

  • W-O-W! Thank you very much and: GO ZACH!!! I advise ANYONE to watch the movie Amazing Grace. It is really awesome!


  • […] Zach Hunter was featured on the Rebelution back in February. To sum up what he’s doing, Zach is basically working to end modern slavery. Yes, modern slavery. To quote from The Amazing Change, “Whether it’s bonded slavery with men, women and children toiling on plantations, in rice mills, brick kilns and many other industries; or, the deplorable and prevalent trade in humans to serve as sex slaves, slavery is flourishing in many parts of the world. It is still every bit as ugly as it was 200 years ago and it must end.” […]

  • Freedom is something that’s so close to my heart, and I’ve wanted to do something about it for a while. Good on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I heard about your book two years ago. Then I heard of Do Hard Things this year. I was thinking- wow, i should find out if he read it or what? So I came on today and saw that you are assosciated with them. This has given people like you so many ideas, except- you actually stuck to yours and are keeping it alive. I am so siked to know some of us teenagers are actually now listening to what God is saying to them, and they bring out His plan and blesses you too. Kepp it alive! God Bless with your journey, Mariah

  • To Hunter & Harris’:
    I am in a Middle-School-Homeschool Discipleship group, and we have been reading “Do Hard Things” for the past 5 months (2 chapters a month). We meet every 2nd & 4th Thursday of every month. This coming visit that we will be doing- were going to watch “Amazing Grace”. We had no idea that you guys had recommended this movie. I live in South Florida, then we are going to do some games based upon these 2 books (hunter’s and harris’). I appreciate all of what you have put into your book(s), and this website, you have changed so many lives with what you had to say.
    Respectfully Submitted, Mariah

  • I saw the movie just over a year ago, and I had no idea at the time that slavery was still at large. I found out, actually, through Do Hard Things (go figure.) Is this petition still live, or has it closed at this point?

  • just saw the Amazing Grace movie and it was absolutely amazing! For all those who haven’t seen it yet, you must see it! It is an awesome movie!!

  • Zach,
    You’ve been a really outstanding example to me since I first heard of you several months ago. Keep up the good work, trust God and stand strong against evil.
    Praying for you.
    A fellow abolitionist

  • Slavery has always been one of the things i HATE most about this world, it’s abominable! It alone almost makes me ashamed to be human! for the past two years I have thank God every day for Zach and his fight against modern-day slavery!
    all hail Christ!!

  • Zack,

    your a really good role model, its nice to know that your trying to stop slavery. In fact, I didn’t even know there where slaves in modern days intill today. I God will be with you

    God bless!!

  • I tried the link to the petition but it came up with a blank page.
    Is there a problem on my end?
    -JD Surrett (MK to Peru)

  • I thought this was the best 🙂
    I’ve always had a passion for people. I saw the movie Amazing Grace about a year ago.
    I never thought about how people all around us are slaves….slaves to sin and the devil. I’ve been working as a leader/conseler in our churchs day camp this week and it just amazes me to see how many kids have no clue that what they do is wrong or how many kids come from a really bad homelife and they don’t even know the devil is real or active. I just thought this was an eye opener for me.
    thanks alot for all you guys do:)
    Eph. 5:8-9
    Shine your light and let the whole world see….

  • Hi,
    I’m trying to click on the link that says “Raise Funds”, but it’s not working…as a matter of fact, none of them are. I really want to raise money to try and stop human trafficking, but I’m not sure where to start. Does anybody have any ideas, or a current link to that site? Thanks. 🙂

  • Hey,
    I want to learn more about sex trafficking and see if that is what God is calling me to do. But the links are not working. It might just be this computer, because I am not using my laptop so I will check this page again. I just wanted to let you know that I want support you! Thank you – Kara

  • Great blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Kudos!

  • writing on the article topic ‘good article…

    ideas’ makes sense for this target market. i can use this one piece of content in, oh, say… nine ways:1. submit it to high page ranking article directories, like ezinearticles. 2. submit to blogs targeting the writing market, or ones targeting…

  • Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  • I tried viewing your web site in my mobile phone and the layout does not seem to be right. Might wanna check it out on WAP as well as it seems most cellular phone layouts are not really working with your site.

  • My Youth Pro opens a door of opportunities for our young teenagers in order to spare them from ruining their lives and be consumed by their vices. Getting a youth intervention certification is just a start, but along the way, they will find a deeper meaning on how rewarding it is live their lives in the best way possible. Don’t lose hope. Not right now. Give yourself a chance to be at your best and to other people’s lives. Act now!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →