About

The Stono Institute for Freedom, Justice and Security (SIFJS) is named in honor of the enslaved African freedom fighters that orchestrated and participated in the Stono River Rebellion of 1739 against British authorities and slavocrats in colonial South Carolina. The Stono Rebellion was arguably America’s first human rights rebellion and was led by an enslaved Angolan warrior named “Jemmy.” It was the largest and most successful “slave revolt” against British slavery and domination in the United States. It resulted in a ten year moratorium on the international slave trade into South Carolina and helped set the stage for the American Revolution (1775-1783). The site where the Stono Rebellion began was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

The SIFJS is a non-partisan racial justice and human rights organization and think tank founded by African-Americans aimed at combating historical and ongoing existential threats—domestic and international—to Black life and liberty including but not limited to institutional, systemic and structural racial discrimination; violent white extremist vigilantism; deadly police violence; black-on-black violence; and Black poverty. The SIFJS’s programmatic agenda is organized around three themes: Freedom, Justice and Security, and our programs mainstream four core elements: education, youth, accountability and empowerment.

The SIFJS’ core belief is that every living being is divinely made and invaluable. We believe in the UN Charter’s reaffirmation of “faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women” and in the promotion of “social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” The SIFJS represents Black America and the legitimate calls for racial justice by Americans across the racial spectrum.

The SIFJS embraces Black America’s civil rights and human rights traditions of fighting racial tyranny and in leading robust non-violent protest. We partner with a diverse array of stakeholders to support a paradigm shift in human rights activism and community advocacy aimed at empowering change leaders, agents and agendas from main street to wall street. African-American human rights movements have served as the moral compass of the United States since its inception. The SIFJS embraces this rich tradition and heritage and employs its resources and global network to combat social evil in the form of anti-Black hate, violence, and institutional racism. In the imitable words for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we seek to “defeat injustice, not people.”