Article 1 Section 33 of the Tennessee Constitution reads: “That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are forever prohibited in this state.”  We the undersigned individuals and organizations believe that the time is long overdue for the State of Tennessee, and indeed the United States of America, to permanently abolish all forms of slavery with no exceptions.  To that end we call on the Tennessee Legislature, the Governor, and the citizens of Tennessee to amend Article I Section 33 to henceforth read “That slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this state.” The only moral response to slavery is abolition, and we refuse to continue to participate in this immoral order which is nothing short of a crime against humanity. In April of 2018 the Tennessee General Assembly passed HJR 226 to remove the criminality exception tothe abolition of slavery in the Tennessee Constitution. The joint resolution must pass a second time during the 2021/2022 legislative session. The final step will require a public vote on the 2022 gubernatorial election ballot. There will be updates on how you can get involved with organizing in your community to guarantee the passage of this amendment.


Children’s Defense Fund

Gideon’s Army

Human Rights Defense Center


H & S Farm

Just City

Open Table Nashville

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)  

Unheard Voices outreach 


Choosing Justice Initiative



Human Rights Defense Center

NAACP – Nashville

Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation