Meet Zach Hunter - The Teenage Abolitionist
Fifteen-year-old Zach Hunter is just like any ordinary American kid. He likes listening to music, reading, and running after what he is passionate about. But already at the age of 12, he had a specific passion. It was to 'be the change' and abolish slavery, just as William Wilberforce did 200 years ago.
Published 22 February 2007 | Courtney Lee
|PIC1|Fifteen-year-old Zach Hunter is just like any ordinary American kid. He likes listening to music, reading, and running after what he is passionate about. By the age of 12, he had a specific passion. It was to 'be the change' and abolish slavery, just as William Wilberforce did 200 years ago. Having launched the 'Loose Change to Loosen Chains' programme in the seventh grade, Zach raised thousands of dollars with the intention of rescuing victims of slavery.
As the global student spokesperson for The Amazing Change, a social justice campaign launched in conjunction with motion picture Amazing Grace, Zach continues to encourage people to become modern day abolitionists, and to take after the steps of Wilberforce.
Who inspired you to be a modern day slave abolitionist?
I have a lot of heroes that inspired me. One of many is William Wilberforce who abolished the slave trade in the UK, and he was also a devout Christian.
What's your involvement with the Amazing Change campaign?
I am the global youth spokesperson for the Amazing Change, which is inspired by William Wilberforce, and it aims to basically abolish slavery. What I do is go around and speak about modern day slavery to anyone who would listen.
Tell me about your new book Be the Change.
It's geared towards teens and twenty-somethings, and it's basically telling them - my generation - that we can still make a difference in the world. And I give examples of great people, even though most of them are dead, I give examples of great people who really changed things. And many of them were really young when they made an impact, like William Wilberforce.
And how was Amazing Grace Sunday? (18 February)
It was a pretty amazing experience. Probably millions of people around the world were singing the song "Amazing Grace".
You must have had the opportunity to work with various people through the Amazing Change campaign.
There are a lot of great people I got to work with through the Amazing Change campaign. A lot of people whom I have admired. I also got to meet Randy Alcorn - the author. He's really excited about this [issue] well.
What motivates you to keep going?
I just really ask myself if I would want to be treated like [the slaves]. If I were a slave, I would want someone to free me. That's what this is all based upon.
So what lies ahead of you? Will you be touring?
I already went on a speaking tour with the Amazing Change... but I love to write, and it would be great if I can use that in some way to further benefit the cause of justice.
Are there any other topics regarding justice you're interested in?
There are so many great things out there, but I usually encourage people to just get involved with one specific thing. It can be very overwhelming to take on a lot of causes at once. I encourage people to find one cause they are passionate about and dedicate their lives to that.
And yours is slavery.
How would you encourage young people to become modern day abolitionists?
First of all, I would say set a good example.1 Tim 4:12, it says: Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
When I speak to people of my generation, I talk about that. I also talk about the whole issue of passion.
What's your main goal in this movement?
My main goal is that slavery will be abolished in my lifetime.
And you're certain that it will happen?
Definitely. I know that it is a big ambition but I really do think it could happen.
So what do you like to do when you're not working on the slavery issue?
I like to listen to music - mostly Christian music - and I love to read. I almost listen to every different style of music.
Do you have a favourite artist or band?
There's this great band called Leeland. They were just nominated for a Grammy Award. They're actually great friends of mine and they've been very supportive.
We met at the Spirit West Coast last year. He saw me and heard me leading a seminar, and he came up and introduced himself to me. Since then, they just became advocates for slaves and we became really good friends.
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