Global Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) Action Summit Agenda
(November 5-7, 2021)
During the three-day summit, representatives from persecuted communities and advocacy experts will guide emerging leader participants through interactive sessions on opposing oppression and creating campaigns to stand for religious prisoners of conscience (POCs). Using background resources provided ahead of time and interacting with experts, participants will work in teams that will build separate advocacy campaign for selected prisoners of conscience.
Discussion-based sessions will provide a dynamic learning environment where trainers will collaborate with participants to craft their POC advocacy campaigns. Participants will attend breakout sessions throughout the weekend to meet with their respective teams and put their training into a POC campaign plan.
The participants will emerge from the summit with a working plan and team to launch their advocacy campaign for a religious prisoner of conscience. Each team will present their campaign plan to all the summit teams and a panel of experts for feedback.
Session 1: Opening Remarks – Standing Against Oppression and Defending the Persecuted (Friday morning)
The Summit will launch with an overview of the global trends of religious freedom challenges for prisoners of conscience and how emerging leaders have already made a difference. Current emerging leaders on the front lines of advocacy will share how the participants can effectively stand against oppression.
Sessions 2: Hearing from Persecuted Communities (Friday morning)
The first discussion will be led by a panel of representatives from a community of the prisoners of conscience. Panelists will discuss with the participants historical and contemporary government, culture, and other factors related to their respective communities that participant teams will need to account for in their campaigns.
Session 3: Communications and Campaign Training (Friday afternoon)
Participants will be provided with practical knowledge and training on how to strategically communicate campaign messages in order to successfully influence the actions of policymakers and other key decision makers. These campaign tools will be used by participants during the Summit to craft their team advocacy/action campaigns.
Session 4: Set Them Free: POC Advocacy Models (Saturday morning)
In the second section, advocacy and government experts will share case studies with participants followed by interactive discussion on what models work and what models have failed in various prisoner of conscience advocacy efforts and in broader societal change scenarios.
Session 5: Challenging Oppressors: Advocacy/Direct Action Case Studies (Saturday afternoon)
Discussion of how people can effectively stand up to oppressive regimes and effect real social change. The session will include discussion of case studies and tools that have worked in popular grassroots movements that could also be applied to defending FoRB and religious POCs. Best practices can be used to inform team campaigns and spark ideas for advocacy engagement.
Session 6: Advocates Assemble: Interactive feedback and input on campaigns (Saturday afternoon)
In this section, teams will interact with case facilitators and POC representatives to explore and fine-tune potential campaign strategies and tactics related to the targeted POC campaigns.
Session 7: Campaign presentations to review panel (Sunday afternoon)
Participant teams will convene to finalize their POC campaign plans and then present them to facilitators who will provide feedback.
Closing Session: Congressman Frank Wolf and Participant Presentations (Sunday afternoon)
During the final session, Summit participants will make brief presentations to launch their advocacy campaigns.
The Summit will culminate with remarks for emerging leaders from former Congressman Frank Wolf, a leader of international religious freedom in Congress for over 30 years and for whom the International Religious Freedom Act (U.S. Law) was named in 2016.