2023 Chicago

August 14-18, 2023 | McCormick Place Lakeside Center

In August of 2023, the Parliament of the World’s Religions returns to the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement after 30 years away to celebrate 130 years of history in the city of Chicago. Parliament Convenings attract participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations.

Registrants enjoy access to all the plenary sessions, hundreds of breakout sessions, art & cultural exhibits, performances, a film festival, and countless opportunities to connect with individuals and organizations committed to justice, peace, and sustainability.

The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions will be hosted in McCormick Place Lakeside Center from August 14-18, 2023

  • Theme

    In August of 2023, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is addressing the most urgent and critical global issue of our time. Freedom, human rights, and democracy are under attack all over the world. The 2023 Parliament will convene on the theme of A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights, calling people of faith and conscience to stand up together in all their diversity and defend freedom and human rights.

    Parliament Executive Director, Rev. Stephen Avino, affirms that the 2023 Parliament Convening will serve as, “…a place of open minds and open hearts where we can all express the wonder and dignity of our religious and spiritual traditions against the backdrop of the majestic beauty of Lake Michigan. But we could not do all this without addressing the foundational issue of our time; the threat to freedom and human rights. We must defend freedom and human rights together and find solutions to the rise of autocracy in our world.”

  • Program

    Every attendee of the Parliament Convenings brings unique wisdom and world views from their religious traditions and lives, their scholarship, their artistic talents, and their activism. At the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions, attendees from around the world are answering a call to conscience.

    Programming for the 2023 Parliament will focus largely, but not exclusively on:

    • The theme of “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom and Human Rights”
    • The special tracks of the 2023 Convening: Faith and Democracy and the City of Chicago
    • Faith and interfaith understanding
    • The broad critical issues of our mission statement: justice, peace, and sustainability
    • Our critical constituencies: Indigenous Peoples, The Next Generations, and Women & Girls
    • Our signature document, Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration (also known as The Global Ethic)

    The Call for Programs closed on November 3rd, the schedule for the week is available here.

Venue Info

McCormick Place Lakeside Center

As the largest and most flexible convention center in North America, McCormick Place is the perfect venue for meetings and events of all sizes. The entire campus is accessible via sky bridge, making the campus the most connected venue available in the city of Chicago. 

The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions will be hosted at the Lakeside Center overlooking Lake Michigan from Monday, August 14 through Friday, August 18.

The Lakeside Center is ideally suited to serve meetings and exhibitions. Highlights include:

  • Hall D and E provide a total of 580,000 square feet of exhibit space
  • Forty meeting rooms that provide a total of 141,000 square feet of meeting space
  • Lakeside Ballroom – a 44,754 square foot ballroom divisible into two equally sized rooms
  • An outdoor, landscaped deck with cascading waterfall overlooking Lake Michigan
  • The 4,192 seat Arie Crown Theater, Chicago’s largest, first class legitimate theater

McCormick Place strives to create the best possible experience for every guest, every time. Should you or someone from your organization require assistance while attending an event at McCormick Place, the following amenities may assist your team during their visit.

  • For scooter and wheelchair rentals, please visit the in-house provider Scootaround.
  • For questions, please visit the McCormick support page.
Service Animals

Trained service animals are welcome at McCormick Place.

Assisted Hearing Devices

TTY Phone access is available at the Security Command Center located in the North Building on Level 1. For more information, call our TTY number at 312-791-6505. Assisted listening transmitters and receivers are available free of charge on a first come, first serve basis.


Elevators are located near the main entrances in all McCormick Place buildings, and near the main exhibit halls on all levels.

Entrances and Exits

McCormick Place has 4 designated drop-off points for taxis and cars that provide ramped curbs and automatic entry doors:

  • Lakeside Center (Site of 2023 Parliament) – Drop off at Gate 37 (car drop off at Gate 31); pick up at Gate 30
  • North Building – Drop off or pick up at Gate 22
  • South Building – Drop off or pick up at Gate 4
  • West Building – Drop off or pick up at Gate 40
Meeting Rooms and Theaters

All meeting rooms and theaters are wheelchair accessible, except rooms E268 and E269 of the Lakeside Center.

Accessible Parking

Accessible parking is available in Lot A (located on Martin Luther King Drive), Lot C (located underground in Lakeside Center) and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place parking garage.


The Arie Crown Theater provides wheelchair seating throughout the theater; wheelchair companion seating can be arranged with advance notice. 

Service Areas

First aid stations, restaurants, retail outlets and drinking fountains are wheelchair accessible. Restrooms provide either accessible or ambulatory stalls.


All McCormick Place public signs incorporate raised lettering and Braille.

Wheelchairs, Mobility Services and Oxygen Equipment

For wheelchairs, mobility scooters, power chairs and oxygen equipment rentals, contact our preferred service partner, Scootaround Mobility Solutions at 888-441-7575 or visit https://locations.scootaround.com/McCormickPlace

Public Transportation

Public transportation is the most affordable and convenient way to get to McCormick Place.

Public Transit Resources:
Ridesharing Programs:

Via Train

Chicago’s iconic Union Station serves both Amtrak and Metra, the city’s commuter rail service. Originally designed by Daniel Burnham and completed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, Union Station is a glowing expression of Chicago’s status as a national railroad hub, and remains a treasured part of the city’s history.

Additionally, the Richard B. Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago serves the three commuter rail lines of Metra’s Union Pacific District, which approach the terminal elevated above street level. There are also two Metra stations in the Loop: Millennium Station on the Metra Electric District line and Lasalle Street Station on the Rock Island District Line.


With 21,000 miles of routes across the United States and Canada, Amtrak offers more than 300 high-speed trains to more than 500 destinations daily. Find Amtrak routes and fares.

Metra Rail

The high-speed Metra commuter rail train connects outlying suburbs to downtown Chicago and is a fast and easy way to travel to the heart of the city. Find fares and route maps.

South Shore Line

South Shore Line serves Chicago through Northern Indiana to the South Bend Airport. Call (219) 874-4221 ext. 245 for group rates. Find South Shore Line routes and fares.

Travel Information

For International Travelers

Chicago welcomes hundreds of thousands of international visitors each year. Two documents are needed to enter the United States:

  • A valid passport
  • If your country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you will need to obtain a visitor visa from the U.S. Department of State. The VWP allows citizens of over 30 participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Find out if you qualify.

If your country is not part of the VWP, there are three visitor visa categories you may apply for:

B-1: For those entering the U.S. temporarily for business

B-2: For those visiting for pleasure

B-1/B-2: For a combination of both

Note: Citizens of Canada and Bermuda visiting the United States for temporary travel generally do not require a nonimmigrant visa.

Currency exchanges

In addition to major banks, you can find currency exchanges at:

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Terminal 1 – Gates B9 and C18; Terminal 2 – Main; Terminal 3 – Gate K11; Terminal 5 (International) – Upper Level and Lower Level.
  • Chicago Midway International Airport: Concourse A.
  • Currency Exchange International: The Shops at North Bridge, located downtown in The Magnificent Mile shopping district at 520 N. Michigan Ave. (ask for the Customer Service desk).
Translators and Interpreters

Chicago translation and interpretation services include:

A-Class International Simultaneous Interpreters
130 Booth Lane
Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 649-8181

LTC Language Solutions
Global Headquarters
5750 Castle Creek Parkway, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(317) 578.1661
Toll Free: (888) 456-1626

Accurate Translation
9525 S. 79th Ave., Suite 5
Hickory Hills, IL 60457
(312) 226-3372
Suburbs: (630) 455-0474;
Toll free: (888) 871-5311

150 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 7
(312) 578-0887

Atlas Translation Services, Inc.
500 W. Superior St., Suite 2802
(312) 644-1444

Travel Via Air

Chicago is home to two international airports conveniently located in the center of the country, with thousands of daily inbound and outbound flights to more than 240 destinations.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Multi-award-winning, environmentally conscious O’Hare (ORD) is one of the largest airports in the world. It lies just 16 miles from downtown Chicago and boasts four terminals — three domestic (Terminals 1, 2 and 3) and one international (Terminal 5).

Chicago Midway International Airport

Midway (MDW) is the nation’s premier point-to-point airport, offering value-oriented leisure and business travel to over 60 destinations. It’s located only 11 miles from downtown Chicago.

Transportation to/from O’Hare and Midway

Both O’Hare and Midway are within easy reach of downtown Chicago.

Travel by Vehicles

Via Car

Chicago’s central location and its position as a hub for the nation’s major interstates make it a convenient drive from anywhere in the country. Chicago is accessible via several major interstates and highways: I-90 (Kennedy Expressway), I-94 (Dan Ryan Expressway), I-55 (Stevenson Expressway), I-290 (Eisenhower Expressway), and I-294 (Tri-State Tollway).

View an interactive parking map of downtown Chicago to search for public parking lots and garages by address and points of interest.


There are three main parking lots on the McCormick Place campus. All are in close proximity and walking distance to the convention complex and are ADA accessible.

  • Events in the North, South and West Buildings designate Lot A as the primary parking location.
  • Events in Lakeside Center and Arie Crown Theater designate Lot C (Fort Dearborn Drive, Chicago, IL 60616) as the primary parking location.
    • (6’4″ height clearance) is an underground garage with 1,900 parking spaces and is located on Ft. Dearborn Drive, adjacent to the Lakeside Center. The parking rate is a flat fee of $25 per day with no in-and-out privileges.* This parking lot is open throughout event hours. Overnight parking is not available.

Via Bus

Total Charter Bus Chicago

If you’re headed to Chicago from a Midwestern metropolis like Detroit, Indianapolis, or St. Louis, catch a leisurely ride on a private charter bus. Charter buses include free WiFi, reclining seats, panoramic windows, and plenty of legroom. Find a private charter bus.

Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Greyhound has five Chicagoland locations, including two 24-hour stations and 20 express routes to major U.S. cities. Find Greyhound stations.


Megabus is a budget-friendly, city-to-city service. Find Megabus stations and rates.

Related Blog Posts & Articles

Get Involved!

Become an Exhibitor or Sponsor

Are there vendors or organizations in your community who would benefit from connecting with the interfaith movement? Help us spread the word about the exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities at the Parliament.

Join the Parade of Faiths

The Parade of Faiths is a pre-Parliament event on Sunday, August 13th featuring music, dance, and celebration of Chicago’s rich diversity. Connect with Chicago representatives from your tradition and encourage them to sign-up today!

Host a Pre-Parliament Event

Join us in answering the call to conscience at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA. From now until August 2023, join us in hosting a local pre-parliament event to offer “a taste” of the Parliament experience.

Volunteer at the 2023 Parliament

Each Parliament of the World’s Religions is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Join volunteers from around the world in making this Convening unforgettable.

Land Acknowledgment

The Parliament of the World's Religions acknowledges it is situated on the traditional homelands of the Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Winnebago/Ho’Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankihšiaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), and Odawak (Odawa).

PoWR recognizes the region we now call Chicago remains home to a diversity of Indigenous peoples today and this land upon which we walk, live, and play continues to be Indigenous land.

© Parliament of the World’s Religions 

® Parliament of the World's Religions name and logo are trademarks of the Parliament of the World's Religions.