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Freedom Rising

Freedom Rising is the Freedom Fund’s new effort to support frontline leaders and strengthen the global anti-slavery movement.

The brave individuals at the heart of the anti-slavery movement devote their lives to fighting exploitation on the frontlines, often at significant personal risk. Yet there is very little funding for, or investment in, their leadership and networks.

As a leader in the global movement to end modern slavery, the Freedom Fund recognises the need to incorporate marginalised voices and challenge unequal power structures. Through Freedom Rising, we aim to address historic power imbalances and expand and strengthen the movement of frontline anti-slavery leaders at local, national and international levels.

The lack of female representation in leadership across anti-slavery organisations is glaring, given that women and girls comprise over 70% of those enslaved today. In order to ensure that the movement reflects the communities it serves, women, survivors and other underrepresented groups must have greater access to resources, support and leadership opportunities.

The power of Freedom Rising

We believe that a powerful frontline movement is key to advancing the fight against slavery.

Freedom Rising builds on the Freedom Fund’s existing programs and enables us to scale our impact by equipping individuals with the necessary skills, networks and support to lead more effective organisations and build collective power.

Freedom Rising stands out from other leadership training initiatives 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 not only on developing well-rounded frontline leaders but on strengthening organisations
  • Ultimate goal of building a more effective and inclusive movement, through an emphasis on collaboration and the development of an alumni network.

Program structure

Freedom Rising is designed to invest in a new generation of frontline leaders, especially women, in countries with a heavy burden of slavery. Each cohort of leaders will receive 12 months of coaching, leadership and technical skills training, after which they will join a growing network of Freedom Rising alumni. The training will be complemented by ongoing efforts to strengthen leaders’ networks and support them to play more active roles in the global anti-slavery movement. After an initial pilot in India, the Freedom Fund envisions scaling the program to Nepal, Thailand, Ethiopia and beyond.

Moving beyond gender inclusion

The program aims to directly address the lack of support for and representation of women in the anti-slavery movement. Therefore, women’s leadership and experiences will play a central role in program design, facilitation and implementation. The recruitment process will highlight female candidates and focus on reducing barriers to their participation. Course content will incorporate input from women leaders and tackle the gender biases that hinder effective leadership.

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