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Deep Dive

  • On July 17, we are hosting three separate, concurrent discussions for the attendees of Day One to unpack ideas generated during Day One. These sessions are hosted in three different venues within and in the immediate vicinity of the Harry S. Truman Building to allow for more focused discussions and a greater number of breakout sessions.

  • We invite topical experts, civil society actors, religious leaders, academics, and working-level government officials to discuss topics such as: best practices for religious freedom advocacy; limitations in forming, registering and recognizing religious communities; challenges facing religious minorities; combatting the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic behavior; and countering violent extremism; religious freedom and national security; religious freedom and economic development; cultural heritage protection for religious sites; religious minorities and humanitarian crises; international development aid and religious freedom; and mobilizing faith leaders around peace and development goals.

Watch footage from each of Day 2’s three tracks: Building Blocks for Advancing Religious Freedom (Track I); Emerging Trends in Religious Freedom (Track II); and Religious Freedom in Development and Humanitarian Assistance (Track III – below).

Religious Freedom in Development and Humanitarian Assistance (Track III)

First Session

USIP President Nancy Lindborg and Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick opened the first session of the “Religious Freedom in Development and Humanitarian Assistance” track. A presentation by survivors of religious persecution and the “First Year of the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program: Partner Perspectives from the Field” general session then concluded the morning’s events.

9:00 – 9:10 am Welcome Remarks by USIP President Nancy Lindborg
9:10 – 9:30 am Opening Remarks by Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick 

9:30 – 9:45 am Presentation by Survivors of Religious Persecution
9:45 – 11:00 am General Session: First Year of the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program: Partner Perspective from the Field 
Moderator: Samah Norquist, USAID Special Advisor on Religious Pluralism in  the Middle East

Speakers: Max Primorac, USAID Special Assistant in Iraq; Andrew Peek, NEA; Joey Hood, Embassy Baghdad; Carl Anderson, Knights of Columbus; Kristina Arriaga, USCIRF
11:00 – 11:15 am Instructions for the Day and Transition to Breakout Rooms / Coffee Break

The off-camera breakout sessions in this track split into one of two themes. Participants who selected Theme 1: Religious Freedom in Conflict and Crisis Zones: Protecting Vulnerable Minorities attended sessions on Fragmentation of Religious Minority Communities Across Regions or Religious Freedom in Conflict Prevention, Stabilization, and Peace-Building before lunch. Theme 1’s second round included the topics Protecting Vulnerable Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Conflict and Crisis Settings and The Role of the Private Sector in Post-ISIS Iraq: Opportunities and Challenges.

Breakout sessions in Theme 2: Global Development and Religious Freedom: Building Resilient, Free, and Sustainable Societies explored Promoting Religious Pluralism by Supporting Faith-Based Organizations and Schools in International Education; Democracy, Human Rights & Governance, and the Promotion of Religious Freedom in Development; or Religious Freedom Conditions for Effective Public, Faith-Based Partnerships in Development: Part 1. The afternoon breakout sessions included: Religious Freedom in Action: Mobilizing Local Faith Leaders for Global Development Goals; Religious Freedom Conditions for Effective Public- Faith-Based Partnerships in Development; and Innovation and Technology in Global Development: Protecting Religious Freedom.

Second Session

After a series of off-camera breakout sessions, participants in the third track came back for the general session “Faith-Based Communities Working Together for Religious Freedom and Development Goals,” moderated by the Director of the USAID Center for Faith and Opportunity and with Bishop Gregory Mansour, Imam Talib Shareef, and Rabbi Noam Marans speaking. USAID Chief of Staff Bill Steiger gave conclusions of the day.

3:50 – 4:45 pm General Session: Faith-Based Communities Working Together for Religious Freedom and Development Goals
Moderator: Kirsten Evans, Director of the USAID Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives

Speakers: Bishop Gregory Mansour, Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn/Board Chairman of Catholic Relief Services; Imam Talib Shareef, President/Imam, Nation’s Mosque (Masjid Muhammad); Rabbi Noam Marans, Director, American Jewish Committee’s Interreligious and Intergroup Relations
4:45 – 5:00 pm Conclusions of the Day by Bill Steiger, USAID Chief of Staff


U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future