BWA & the 21Wilberforce Global Freedom Center
The 21Wilberforce Global Freedom Center (21Wilberforce) is a Christian human rights nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the growing global need to protect and advance the fundamental and universal right to freedom of religion, belief, and conscience (FoRB). In March 2020, 21Wilberforce joined with the Baptist World Alliance to facilitate the global BWA church network and its member churches to stand with, advocate for, and tangibly support people and communities that are threatened or are being persecuted because of their religious faith, practice, or conscience.
21Wilberforce works with the BWA to recruit BWA network churches and other member organizations as Global 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.
Let us help you empower your network and organizational membership: Advocacy Training, Network Activation, Strategic Communications, and Leadership Coaching.
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.
Religious Freedom Leadership Education and Advocacy Training
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.
Development of Collaborative Partnerships, Coalitions, and Local Initiatives
21Wilberforce works collaboratively to 1) increase the capacity of partner organizations and coalitions, and 2) help launch and develop sustainable, high-impact, and scalable programs and initiatives that support, advocate for, and seek justice on behalf of threatened and persecuted believers and faith communities. Toward that end, we have convened communications strategy sessions, trained partners on how best to collaborate with legislators, shaped policy-changing narratives with persecuted people, and provided useful tools and resources.
Working with churches and people of faith in regions around the world to match local needs with network resources & solutions.
21Wilberforce represents the BWA and its member interests at the International Religious Freedom Roundtable (IRFR), a NGO-led civil society assembly that collaborates with the IRF Office at the State Department and meets weekly on Capitol Hill.
The IRFR functions as a convening forum for groups from multiple faiths, sectors, and ideologies to work together to address IRF challenges combining practical policy discussions, coordinated action, and solutions development between civil society, government, and multilateral organizations. It has attracted representatives of 250 organizations, has launched more than 100 multi-faith initiatives, and is currently helping launch a growing number of affiliated roundtables in key locations worldwide.
In the last several years 21Wilberforce has played a growing leadership and facilitation role in related IRFR activities:
21Wilberforce is currently developing a number of integrated online digital websites and resource platforms that equip global faith-based networks, advocacy organizations, and the FoRB community with resources, training, and tools to support persecuted communities, challenge repression, and expand freedom of religion and belief.