On April 8-10, 2021, the Human Flourishing Program co-hosted a virtual “Symposium on Faith and Flourishing: Preventing and Healing Child Abuse,” which opened a dialogue between religious leaders and public health experts on the role of religious communities in preventing and healing child sexual abuse. This event was co-sponsored by 45 NGOs and interfaith organizations on national and international levels, including the Vatican, the United Nations, and the World Council of Churches. It gathered more than 1600 participants to listen to 73 speakers from around the world, including the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Rev. Dr. Denis Mukwege. After her visit with the Pope Francis in 2018, Symposium co-organizer and HFH Research Associate Jennifer Wortham has dedicated her life to the creation of the Global Collaborative to establish November 18th as a U.N.-recognized Annual Day of Observance for Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Prevention, Healing, and Justice.
The Symposium received a written blessing from Pope Francis, while the White House Gender Policy Council marked its opening with a tweet calling “everyone to stand against every form of child abuse and to protect all children from child sexual abuse.”
This landmark symposium is a marquee event for the April 8 World Day for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Healing and Justice. This event provides participants with a unique opportunity to engage with scholars, public health and mental health care professionals, child abuse prevention experts, and religious leaders of diverse faith traditions to share experiences, discover new resources and identify strategies they can implement to prevent child sexual abuse and foster healing for survivors of abuse in their communities.
- Religious Leaders
- Pastors, Clergy, Persons Religious
- Lay Leaders in the Faith Community
- Care Providers (Pediatricians & Pediatric Nurses)
- Mental Health Providers
- Public Health Professionals
- Policy Makers
- Child Welfare Advocates
- Criminal Justice Professionals
Participants who viewed the program, completed an evaluation and participated in one or more live discussion sessions have received a certificate of attendance (16 hours of professional development) from the Human Flourishing Program, at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science.