Join us for the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium, beginning November 2020

We invite you to join the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium

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November 2020 will be the start of our third global symposium – the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium

What is ubuntu? Ubuntu is often translated as “humanity towards others” or “I am because we are”. It is a Nguni Bantu term from Southern Africa. ‘Ubuntu’ speaks to the universal connection between every person. A shared sense of compassion, responsibility, and humanity for all.

Instead of a single event, the Ubuntu Symposium will be a series of activities, discussions, and opportunities to connect – online and face-to-face. These activities will take place over a number of months. They will bring together members from across global MenEngage networks, along with partners, researchers, and activists from around the world.

A key moment will be the online opening event, taking place from 10-12 November 2020. The November event is only the beginning of this Symposium, which will see further events and opportunities organized into 2021.

Exploring the past, present and future of feminist-informed work with men and boys.

The symposium will be a moment of both reflection and commitment. A timely opportunity to reflect on how work to transform masculinities and engage with men and boys can support transformation, social justice and human rights for all during this moment of global change. We will be talking both ‘local’ and ‘global’ – and everything in between. Together, we aspire to help shape the political agenda for the future of our shared work and vision.

The Global Board of MenEngage Alliance and local partner and host Rwanda Men’s Resource Center (RWAMREC), together with Rwanda MenEngage Network and MenEngage Africa, invite you to bring your knowledge, experience, and curiosity to the ubuntu conversations.

Rethinking and reimagining the 3rd MenEngage Global Symposium

The organizing partners for the 3rd Global Symposium shared a vision for a vibrant, inclusive, global in-person event in Kigali, Rwanda, in November 2020. The ongoing uncertainty, risks, and reality of COVID-19 means this is no longer possible in 2020. Still, a smaller regional gathering will take place in Kigali, Rwanda over the course of the opening event in November.  

This situation has led to rethinking the format and expanding the vision for this event. We are exploring new and innovative ways for us to come together across contexts, regions, and timezones. We will continue with an event in November – which will now be online. This November event will be the opening of a series of Ubuntu Symposium events, running through into 2021.

We aspire to continue to build on this vision of a global event based in Africa. That is why the organizing partners chose ubuntu as the name

How can I get involved or submit a proposal?

There are a number of opportunities for you to get involved with the Symposium:

  1. Propose a session for the virtual event in November. Submissions are open from 1 July 2020 until 15 August 2020.
  2. You will soon be able to register your interest to attend the virtual event. Updates will be published here and on other MenEngage Alliance communications channels.
  3. More opportunities to connect online and join the ubuntu conversations will be shared soon.

Where can I find out more?

Detailed information about the Symposium is available in the following documents. (Please note, they are not yet updated with the changes of focus and formats because of COVID-19):

How can I confirm my membership of MenEngage Alliance?

As part of the Symposium and broader mobilization efforts, all existing members (plus those interested in becoming a member), will be invited to reaffirm their commitment to our updated Core Principles, Code of Conduct, and Accountability Standards. As part of a consultative and participatory process, these foundational documents are currently being updated. Together, they are the ‘glue’ that binds the diverse membership of the Alliance together, as well as our collective agreements to which we all hold each other accountable. 

The updated texts – and invitation to reaffirm your support and accountable commitment to them – will be shared in advance of the Ubuntu Symposium opening event in November.

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