Impact & results-based actions
21Wilberforce knows advancement of religious freedom depends on engaging, empowering, and facilitating grassroots initiatives and collaboration among individuals and organizations and in consultation with the intended beneficiaries. We seek to be servant leaders in enabling and empowering others, facilitating results-based solutions, partnership programs, and coordinated coalition-based actions.
This vision translates into three strategic goals:
- Defend and assist the persecuted and vulnerable.
- Mobilize and equip individuals and groups to effectively lead change for dignity-affirming freedom and justice for all people.
- Inform critical understanding and decision making.
- Collaborative Advocacy and Action: Engage in and facilitate global religious freedom advocacy and effective action through collaborative partnerships, coalitions, and local initiatives.
- Mobilization, Equipping, and Training: Help organizations build capacity for effective action and educate and train individuals to be effective advocates and leaders of transformative change.
- Strategic Communications: Use strategic platforms and products to communicate with multiple external audiences for critical awareness and informed decision making.
Working Globally to Advance Freedom of Religion, Belief, and Conscience
Defend & Assist the
Persecuted and Vulnerable
Advocacy, Action & Impact
Defending Prisoners of Conscience
We focus on combining international and host-country advocacy with practical assistance to individuals unjustly imprisoned in various countries because of their faith or beliefs.
Recently, in Nepal 21Wilberforce worked with a Christian denomination to advocate for the release of a Christian pastor from another denomination, whose supporters asked for help when the pastor was arrested on trumped-up charges. 21W took the lead in connecting Nepali pastors and advocates with the U.S. State Department, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and the U.N. Human Rights Council to help bring international attention to his unjust imprisonment. 21W drafted and coordinated a recommendation to the UN Council on its religious freedom report on Nepal, and then tapped its network to help find and apply for monetary support for the pastor’s many legal expenses.
21Wilberforce Advocacy Campaigns
International FoRB Roundtables & Forums
21Wilberforce works with network partners to represent and help coordinate efforts and communication with the global network at the United Nations. Its team now has U.N. credentials to work alongside other delegates in representing a global network on issues of international religious freedom and human rights.
Empower change agents
Mobilize, Train & Equip
Help organizations build capacity for effective action and educate and train individuals to be effective advocates and emergent leaders of transformative change.
Developing Collaborative Partnerships, Coalitions, and Local Initiatives
Capacity Building for Collaborative Global Religious Freedom Forums
Accelerated by challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, 21Wilberforce works with IRF Roundtable leadership to expand the operational digital capacity of the IRFR and provide a web-based online platform for coordinated collaborative advocacy actions by IRFR members and the religious freedom community.
Ministerials To Advance FoRB
Roundtable Network Development
21Wilberforce works to recruit faith communities, schools, and other organizations as Impact Partners to engage their memberships in FoRB advocacy and the defense and active support of those around the world who suffer for their faith. Programs, training, and resources are tailored according to partners’ needs and desired level of engagement.
- Online digital knowledge, lessons-learned and best practices, online training and facilitated web-based mentoring, and advocacy and direct-action tools and resources. Includes gallery and spotlighted examples of Global Impact Partner initiatives.
- Regular Alerts and information on important global IRF news/events.
- Training of a young leader/representative of the Partner organization in developing and coordinating global religious freedom engagement at the partner organization/faith community.
- Church and other partner toolkits with resources for member engagement. Includes information and materials for the Speak Freedom/International Day of Prayer.
- Identify opportunities and facilitate dynamic partnerships between churches and other Impact Partners in the West and their counterparts in countries that have religious restrictions and persecution.
21W Ambassadors & Global Network
Connecting Needs With Resources/Assistance—In 2020, 21Wilberforce began recruiting and engaging Ambassadors for six global regions. These 21Wilberforce Ambassadors will work with regional faith communities, organizations, and local advocates in helping identify and meet the needs of faith communities and members facing religious restrictions or persecution.
Working with churches and people of faith in regions around the world to match local needs with network resources & solutions.
Training & Equipping Emergent Leaders
21Wilberforce provides practical, hands-on education and training in IRF advocacy and leadership for young “emerging leaders”, activists, and organizational leadership of local faith communities in religiously restricted countries. We also develop and deploy IRF leadership education, advocacy training materials (such as the IRF Congressional Scorecard), and campaign toolkits for activists, policy decision-makers, and faith communities.
Emerging Leaders Program
The Emerging Leaders Initiative builds on four years of successful conferences that 21Wilberforce has held for university-level students. It is a transformative leadership experience that gives students in-depth engagement with top international human rights leaders and opportunities to actively make a difference for religious freedom.
Educating, training, and equipping existing and emerging activists and leaders to advance international religious freedom is one of 21Wilberforce’s principal activity areas. Toward that end, we convene communications strategy sessions, train partners on how best to collaborate with legislators, shape policy-changing narratives with persecuted people, collaborate on launching new solutions-based initiatives, and provide useful tools and resources. 21Wilberforce provides practical, hands-on education and training in IRF advocacy and leadership for activists and decision makers. It also brings this combined experience and hands-on approach to training and equipping emerging leaders
Impact Leadership Training
21Wilberforce provides impact leadership training, education, and resources to prepare faith leaders to serve their communities as champions and change agents for religious freedom and justice.
This leadership program has two primary tracks… Since its inception, 21Wilberforce has internationally trained over 4,500 pastors and leaders suffering in areas of conflict (including 1,175 Ethiopian leaders and 1,800 Chinese house church leaders). In addition, Dr. Everett’s thirteen 30-minute leadership training series has been programmed and aired on Iran Alive, a Christian Iranian satellite ministry station watched by over 6 million Iranians.
Since its inception, 21Wilberforce has internationally trained over 4,500 pastors and leaders suffering in areas of conflict (including 1,175 Ethiopian leaders and 1,800 Chinese house church leaders). In addition, Dr. Everett’s thirteen 30-minute leadership training series has been programmed and aired on Iran Alive, a Christian Iranian satellite ministry station watched by over 6 million Iranians.
IRF Summit 2021 Young Leaders Track
Global Emerging Leaders Summit 2021
2020 Ministerial Young Leaders Event
In November, 2020, 21Wilberforce launched a Young Leaders Program during the global Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion and Belief hosted by the Government of Poland. Co-hosting the event with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the event brought key religious freedom leaders from civil society and the U.S. Government together with accomplished young leaders from around the world to share the importance of engaging youth leaders and the need to establish best practices to mobilize students to serve as ambassadors for religious freedom in their communities.
The four young leaders were women who are advocacy trailblazers in their communities around the world. Following the panel discussion, students who attended the event joined an interactive breakout track that provided the opportunity to engage directly with the panelist and each other on how they can make a difference in their communities.
21Wilberforce Global Leaders Fellowship
21Wilberforce Associate Program
Throughout the year 21Wilberforce engages college and graduate students as mentored Associates, usually either full-time for an academic semester during the school year or summer, or, in some cases, part-time throughout the school year. These Associate positions are immersive intern apprenticeships that provide “in-the-field” education and training on tasks, structures, processes, and collaboration essential to advancing global religious freedom.
Depending on the individual’s interests, skill sets and the needs of the team, the Associate position provides not only exposure to the various aspects of religious freedom advocacy, but allows “learning by doing” experiential leadership education and participation in coalition working groups, developing advocacy campaigns, and coordinating partner events.
Accomplishments of past associates include serving as team leads in helping organize and coordinate civil society side events for two global Ministerials at the U.S. State Department, helping build an online center of excellence and resource program for a global network of multifaith religious freedom and human rights forums, providing research and analysis for Congressional and State Department decision makers, and participating in civil society working groups.
While in the past these positions tended to be in-person in Washington, D.C., 21Wilberforce now also provides volunteer Associate positions that can be performed remotely and internationally.
Training, Equipping and Empowering
Let us help you empower your network and organizational membership: Advocacy Training, Network Activation, Strategic Communications, and Leadership Coaching.
Knowledge for Action
Use strategic platforms and products to communicate with multiple external audiences for critical awareness and informed decision making.