2023 Chicago


August 14-18, 2023 | McCormick Place Lakeside Center

The Call for Programs

Thank you for your interest in proposing a session for the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions!

At this time the PoWR is no longer accepting proposals for the Call for Programs which closed on November 3rd.

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 Parliament of the World’s Religions is compelled to address the most pressing issue of our time. Freedom, human rights, and democracy are under attack all over the world.

The Parliament calls on the world to join hands in defending human rights and freedom at this critical juncture for communities around the globe. This track offers programs that raise hope and empower people of faith and goodwill in addressing the foundational issue of our time; the threat to freedom and human rights and the rise of autocracy in our world.

Faith and Democracy:

With steadily growing disaffection and marginalization in democracies worldwide coinciding with a proliferation of political campaigns funded by religiously partisan or antidemocratic political action and corporate interests, the Parliament of the World’s Religions highlights the voices of officials and organizers working at the intersection of faith and democracy in a track that examines and offers practical insights for people of faith and goodwill to defend freedom, human rights, and enhance equity in the political process.

The City of Chicago:

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is returning home to the City of Chicago and featuring organizers, artists, and leaders from religious, municipal, educational, and intersectional social movements committed to showcasing how Chicagoans leverage interfaith cooperation, defend freedom and human rights, celebrate diverse interreligious achievements in peace and justice and stand with our planet.

Faith & Interfaith Understanding:

The faith and interfaith understanding track of the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions features a spiritual spectrum of program formats that give diverse traditions a space to shine, convene, reflect, and engage others.

Faith and interfaith programming provides nourishing personal space for meditation, reflection, and conversation on an issue or contributes dialogue to the greater mission of pursuing peace, justice, and sustainability through the lens of multifaith relationships and cooperation.

Peace & Justice:

The Parliament of the World’s Religions recognizes the necessity for being rigorously engaged in overcoming differences that obstruct the achievement of peace and justice. The track features thinkers and doers working constructively beyond talk of injustice, through concrete action, working in projects that offer insights and training on peace and justice.

Climate Action:

“Protect the only earth we have,” “Faith for Earth” and more banners, titles, and calls to action characterize the mission of environmental justice undertaken by scholars, leaders, and presenters of all faiths throughout the past 30 years of Parliament of the World’s Religions convenings. The track features programming highlighting critical actions to be advanced in communities worldwide, led by the voices of faith that contribute crucial ethical leadership in the global mission of saving our planet.

Indigenous Peoples:

Indigenous Peoples’ touch the Parliament of the World’s Religions through profound and sacred engagements that encompass far-reaching advocacy on urgent issues including the protection of sacred Indigenous sites, and all of life itself. From cross-cultural dialogue among youth to activism led by Indigenous Elders and Wisdom Keepers, the Parliament of the World’s Religions features ritual, workshops, artistic expression, sacred observances, and panels led by Indigenous Peoples from around the world on self-identified topics as well on the major themes of the 2023 convening: democracy, freedom and human rights.

The Next Generations:

Since its beginnings, many of the breakthrough moments on Parliament stages have come through the young representatives of spiritual and social groups, next generation speakers, performers, and artists that keep interfaith dialogue and action focused on inclusion, impact, and inspiration. The track features programming with spiritually and geographically diverse youth and young adult changemakers that are working towards interfaith cooperation in their communities and are tackling critical issues on defending democracy, freedom and human rights, climate action, peace & justice, the dignity of women & girls, and Indigenous Peoples.

Women and Girls:

Programs that embody the women’s dignity track of a Parliament of the World’s Religions stand for the inclusion, equality, dignity, and respect for the status of women and girls, prioritizing the human rights, talents, bodily integrity, and opportunities across the global community of faiths and throughout public life.  The track features voices from across the global spectrum of religious and spiritual communities, civic institutions, and intersectional social movements enabling collective and individual action to promote the dignity and human rights of women and girls, to stop religiously justified violence against women and girls and to promote women’s leadership and equal participation in religious and spiritual communities.

Our signature document, Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration:

The ethical directives outlined by the Parliament’s foundational document, Towards a Global Ethic, are as timely today as they were in 1993 when religious and spiritual leaders endorsed the critical commitments to a culture of non-violence and respect for life, solidarity and a just economic order, tolerance and a life of truthfulness, equal rights and partnership between men and women, and sustainability and care for the Earth. The track features scholars, organizers, and community leaders working to advance the Global Ethic as a foundational document.

Call for Programs Timeline

May 2

Proposal Form Opens

Nov 3

Proposal Deadline

Late December

Decisions Sent

Feb 15

Confirmations Due

The Parliament of the World’s Religions reserves the right to proof and edit your submission as necessary for appropriate spelling, grammar, clarity, and brevity.

In order to ensure that your proposal is given full consideration, the Parliament of the World’s Religions may need to contact you or any co-presenter listed in your proposal. Please ensure that all proposed co-presenters are accessible in a reasonable timeframe through the contact information provided. All proposed presenters will be included in the Parliament of the World’s Religions contact database and may receive email or postal mail as appropriate.

A high volume of programming proposals are anticipated. To achieve a desired balance of breadth of topics and demographic identities, the number of selected programs will be determined by the number of available program slots.

Once your program is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Programming staff will contact session applicants with any additional questions. All proposals will be reviewed and considered as long as they are submitted by November 3, 2022. 

Please refrain from contacting the Parliament of the World’s Religions office for inquiries about the status of review. Decisions on program proposals will be sent on December 9, 2022

In order for you to present a program, you and all of your co-presenters must register for the Parliament at this link. At the time of proposal, to be considered, the primary contact person submitting the proposal must be registered. Co-presenters may register after the proposal response, and will be offered the Early Bird registration rate.

Why do speakers need to register?

Speakers of Parliament programming are expected to attend and fully engage in the Parliament of the World’s Religions because the speakers ARE attendees. Throughout the Parliament’s history, the content of the breakout programming at Parliament Convenings has been curated by and for attendees through a call for proposals from attendees.

The participants were given a chance to speak and to be heard as equals with those around

– Küng and Kuschel on the 1993 Parliament

Panel Info

A panel discussion involves a group of people gathered to discuss a topic, offering a diversity of perspectives and expertise.

Panels should have 3-5 speakers and include a moderator to guide the discussion.

Panel sessions are 90 minutes.

Workshop Info

A workshop is a more intensive, hands-on seminar, discussion group, or activity, that emphasizes exchange of ideas and the demonstration and application of techniques, skills, etc

Workshop sessions are 60 minutes.

Art Exhibit Info

Art can be displayed in an art exhibits section of the Exhibit Hall of the Parliament.

Religious Obs. Info

Religious observances are offered in faith rooms for attendees to experience enriching and unique expressions of faith and have a space for their daily religious practices.

Performance Info

Performances of music, dance, theater, and more are invited to perform in the Arts & Performances track.

Film Info

The Film Festival at the Parliament invites screenings of films. Film screenings can be followed by a Q&A session of 30 minutes.

Lecture-style presentations with only one presenter will not be accepted. Individuals had the option to apply to be placed on a panel with other presenters.

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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.


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