Submitting a concept for the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium

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Update: The Call for Concept Submissions is now closed. If you have an idea for the Symposium program, please email

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This is the page for submitting your ideas for the opening event and subsequent sessions of the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium. The opening event will be three days of activities and events – mainly taking place online/virtually – from 10-12 November 2020. The proceeding sessions will run in the months following the opening event and leading to the closing event in 2021.

The Ubuntu Symposium is your opportunity to shape, lead, and take part in global discussions on the topics that matter to you around transforming masculinities and engaging men and boys for gender justice.

To do this, the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium aims to explore new ways to connect – locally and globally – towards renewed approaches and visions for the future. This means we hope to hear from you about innovative formats and styles in your concept and idea submissions.

This includes creative expression pieces, participatory workshops, and virtual networking sessions. We also invite familiar formats such as panel discussions and lecture style presentations, as you find them relevant in the work you do.

All submissions will be considered by the Symposium Review Committee. The organizers will then work with groups whose concept submissions have been accepted to support you in getting the most out of each session – including  providing technical support.

Update on Symposium format in light of COVID-19

The opening event of the 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium will take place from 10-12 November 2020. Given the current situation and the increased relevance of the issues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers have opted for a virtual kick-off event, with a smaller in-person hub in Kigali, Rwanda. This opening event in November will be followed by a series of events and ongoing mobilization worldwide throughout 2020-2021, which will be mostly virtual, as well as in-personal locally at the national and regional levels, as circumstances allow. The Symposium will culminate into a closing event in the second half of 2021, at a date yet to be determined. 

About the 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium

The Symposium is co-organized by MenEngage Alliance and Rwanda Men’s Resources Center (RWAMREC), the Rwanda MenEngage Network (RWAMNET) and MenEngage Africa, bringing together members and partners from women’s rights and social justice organizations. MenEngage Alliance is a global civil society network working to transform masculinities and engage men and boys in women’s rights and gender justice for all, within the broader context of advancing human rights and social justice.
The theme of the 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium is: Ubuntu: Transforming Power to Benefit all Humanity.

The 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium – also referred to as the “Ubuntu Symposium” – seeks to advance the political agenda of men and masculinities towards greater alignment and building common cause with social justice movements globally and nationally who are seeking to achieve a full human rights and social justice agenda. 

By bringing together voices from various experiences, expertise and perspectives, the symposium seeks to critically assess the current state of the world, taking into account the challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 has exacerbated, and how to disrupt systems of inequality/suppression and rebuild better.

There is a wide range of topics that we know you will want to address at the symposium. To help shape how we approach these discussions, the organizing committees have chosen a political framework around the following core-concepts:

Power with, Transformation, Accountability, Intersectionality*, Feminisms

Before submitting a proposal, it is recommended you consider how your topic relates to one or more of these core-concepts.

You can read more about the core-concepts in the Symposium Concept Note and Summary Concept Note.

*We recognize that the work to transform masculinities and engage boys and men for gender equality needs to be intersectional, recognizing  that the complex interconnections of various powerful, and often oppressive, institutions impact people differently depending on their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age and ability identities, among other circumstances. As a result, different people and communities experience multiple forms of oppression while some people may experience only one. Intersectionality therefore acts as a cross cutting issue that needs to be explored in each submission.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find more information about the political framework and themes of the symposium? 

The concept note provides the most comprehensive information on these areas. You can access it here.

How can I submit a proposal to organize a session at the symposium?

Please complete the submission form above.  The call for submissions is open from 1 July – 31 August, 2020.

Must my submission be presented through a masculinities lens?

Not necessarily. If the submission addresses intersectionality and at least one of the other core themes, it will be considered.

What will happen after I submit my concept note?

Once submissions close on 31 August, reviewers will begin the review process. Each submission will be reviewed by 3 reviewers.

When will I be notified whether my submission is accepted? 

If your submission is selected you can expect to hear from the organizers by 30 September, 2020.

What kind of support can I receive to prepare for the virtual aspects of the symposium?

Organizers will connect with all presenters to discuss the technical aspects of using the virtual platform and other tools like polls, surveys, etc. as well as any other guidance and support that is required to prepare for the event. 

If my submission is selected, how will it fit into the overall symposium program and ongoing events?

Since the symposium is a series of events starting in November, this round of submissions will be considered for the 3 day kick-off event as well as the subsequent series of sessions leading up to the closing event in 2021. 

How do the webinars that MenEngage Alliance has been hosting link with the symposium? 

As we prepare to launch the 3rd MenEngage Symposium in November, we have begun to discuss some important issues to build the momentum toward the kick-off event in November. These are all part of the momentum building towards the symposium, as well as tests for how to use virtual platforms.

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