Participants in this year's Emerging International Leaders programme are convening for their final residential retreat on Friday 3 April, to explore 'Freedom of Religion or Belief in Action', focusing on non-religious beliefs, blasphemy and apostasy.

In light of the current restrictions relating to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), this retreat will now take place online, as a virtual event, with participants taking part in the key discussions from their homes and universities.

The retreat will end with a graduation to mark the completion of this year's programme.

Guest speakers

Our guest speakers for this retreat have pre-recorded their presentations to spark discussions, but most will also be joining us live online.

Session 1: FoRB and the spectrum of Unbelief

  • Andrew Copson - President, Humanists International
  • Dr Lois Lee - Senior Research Fellow, University of Kent
  • Maryam Namazie - writer, campaigner and political activist
  • Aliyah Saleem - Founder, Faith to Faithless

Session 2: Interfaith dialogue approaches

  • Sharon Booth - Founder & Director, Solutions Not Sides
  • Syed Shah - Co-founder & CEO, Ravvish
  • Jasvir Singh OBE - Chair, City Sikhs
  • Hannah Timpson - Chair, Exeter Humanists

Equipping future leaders

Now in its fourth year, our prestigious Emerging International Leaders Programme is designed to equip future leaders and opinion formers with the skills and insight necessary to drive debate, influence policy and build a powerful global network in support of the right to freedom of religion or belief.

The 2019-20 programme, as a whole, will be addressing:

  • Why is freedom of religion or belief important?
  • How does freedom of religion or belief intersect with other freedoms?
  • What are the successes/failings of existing national and international policies on freedom of religion or belief?
  • How can existing human rights frameworks be supplemented, supported and implemented?

It will involve multi-disciplinary discussions with academics, advocates, policy-makers and activists, and an analysis of practical responses to violations of freedom of religion or belief around the world.

Together with your fellow participants from universities across the UK, you will be exploring topics such as:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The role and position of religion in the public square
  • Religious literacy and inter-faith dialogue
  • The importance of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the contemporary, global context.
Programme Event Resource: 

Dates and times

From: 3 Apr 2020 - 1:30pm
To: 3 Apr 2020 - 5:30pm