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Freedom Rising

FREEDOM RISING – equipping frontline leaders to accelerate the movement to end slavery

Women and girls comprise over 70% of those in slavery today, and gender discrimination is a key factor that drives exploitation. Yet across many different countries, very few women or survivors are supported to become leaders in the anti-slavery movement. This needs to change.

The power of Freedom Rising

Freedom Rising’s goal is to build a powerful and representative anti-slavery movement in many locations and internationally, led by women and survivors.

The program builds on the Freedom Fund’s existing work and enables us to scale our impact by equipping individuals with the necessary skills and support to lead more effective organisations and build collective power. It is unique for its:

  • Explicit focus on elevating emerging leaders, especially those who have traditionally been excluded from positions of leadership such as women and survivors
  • Grounding in local context, with local training in leaders’ own languages
  • Emphasis on building stronger and more strategic organisations
  • Ultimate goal of building a more effective and inclusive movement.

Program structure

To create the conditions for a more inclusive and vibrant anti-slavery movement, transformative change is required at three levels – the leader, the organisation and the movement.

The Leader – Each cohort of leaders will receive 12 months of leadership and technical skills training, focused on personal growth and leadership development, organisational management and movement-building. Due to the risks posed by covid-19, the program will start with online learning before moving to in-person when safe to do so.

The Organisation – The training will be complemented by work to strengthen leaders’ organisation, networks and support them to play more active roles in the global anti-slavery movement.

The Movement – After completing the year-long leadership training, participants will be formally introduced to the program’s alumni network, enabling them to continue to build and strengthen connections at the local, regional and international levels.

Supporting and promoting the leadership of women and survivors

Freedom Rising directly addresses the lack of support for and representation of women and survivors in the anti-slavery movement. The recruitment process prioritises women and survivor candidates. Course content highlights the value of lived experience and covers issues such as bias, discrimination and challenging social norms. Both male and female participants are equipped to become advocates for gender justice and survivor leadership both within and beyond their organisations.

Launching a global program

The Freedom Fund has launched the Freedom Rising program in Brazil and Nepal and plans to expand to additional countries in order to build a truly representative and global movement.

The Freedom Fund is grateful to the following donors for their foundational support for the Freedom Rising program: Laudes Foundation, the Millby Foundation, Stardust Fund, The Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, and UBS Optimus Foundation.