2024 will mark one of the most pivotal times in American democracy and each one of us has an important role to play. Please join us for our dynamic forum bringing together a diverse range of leaders, advocates, scholars, artists, innovators, and community changemakers to chart a path forward.

This invitation-only conference, hosted by Democracy Forward, will begin at 4pm on Monday the 26th and will conclude on Wednesday the 28th. Programming will focus on strategies for addressing pressing threats to democracy as well as building for a bold, inclusive, and democratic future. There will be many opportunities for connection and collective strategy.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, February 20th. The link to the registration module is in your invitation email.  If you need it to be re-sent to you, please email the events team.

Need more information? Please contact our event team – events@democracyforward.org or check out our FAQ.

Schedule

Monday, February 26th

Arrival and registration
12pm – 4pm
We Are Together for Democracy
4pm – 6:45pm
Opening remarks, welcome, and rededication
General Session #1 – Democracy is at An Inflection Point
This session will discuss the state of democracy in the United States, rising threats, as well as strategies for defending and advancing democracy at this pivotal moment.

General Session #2 – Democracy Remains Unfulfilled
From the founding of our nation, the project of American democracy has been unfulfilled. The struggle to recognize the essential humanity of all people – the struggle for civil rights – is the struggle for true democracy. Hear experts discuss how efforts to address contemporary threats to democracy must be grounded in these realities. We must keep our eye on the prize.

Welcome Reception
6:45pm – 8:45pm
 

Tuesday February 27th

Breakfast
8am – 8:45am

Morning General Sessions
9am – 12:45pm

General Session #3 – Democracy Requires a Reality Check
The only way democracy will win is if those of us fighting for it are clear-eyed about the problem – and therefore the opportunities for solutions. This session will provide us with the most up-to-date numbers and evidence about the current landscape of people’s views towards democracy. By learning about the concerns and issues that are at the top of the American people’s minds, we can strategically tailor our efforts to strengthen democracy to be more likely to succeed.

General Session #4 – Democracy Has No Flyover Country
We know the state of American democracy is a national problem. But we also know that people on the ground have been fighting back – and winning. By outlining local efforts to safeguard democracy – like individual librarians stopping book bans to small groups of courageous neighbors challenging unconstitutional takeovers of their school board in court – this session will enable us to leverage our collective power to implement similar tactics across the country.

General Session #5 – Democracy, the Courts, and Our Future
The far-right legal movement knows how to use the courts to pursue its extremist aims. It’s time those of us who want to protect democracy and government’s ability to serve all people catch up. Democracy, the Courts, and Our Future will overview how the far-right has leveraged the courts to propel extremism, and how we can flip the script to build a more vibrant, inclusive democracy.

Lunch
12:45 pm – 2pm

Breakout Session 1 – Democracy: Issues and Challenges
2pm – 3pm

Breakout #1 – Democracy and the Christian Nationalism Playbook
Christian Nationalists have staked ground in making America work for some, not all. In this panel we’ll discuss both the threats Christian Nationalists pose to democracy and strategies for driving their movement back.

Breakout #2 – Democracy is Of, By, and For All People
We know what terms like“DEI” and “ESG” really mean: striving to make our democracy represent and serve all people. We’ll discuss why these efforts are essential to creating an inclusive, multi-racial democracy – which is also why they’re under attack – and how we move from defense to offense.

Breakout #3 – Democracy is a Kitchen Table Issue
Kitchen table issues matter. This panel explores the intersection between democracy and economic issues, focuses on harnessing the power of small business, workers, and those seeking a better future in the fight for democracy

Networking Break
3pm – 3:30pm

Breakout Session 2 – Democracy: Strategies and Tactics
3:30pm – 4:30pm
Breakout #1 – Democracy at our Fingertips
The internet is a force-multiplier for democracy: it can be used to seriously harm it, or to supercharge it. During this session, we’ll learn from social media activists using online tools to strengthen democracy and how to bring those lessons home with us.

Breakout #2 – Democracy Depends on Storytelling
Stories change people’s hearts and minds. With authors and artists leading us, we’ll learn how to translate lived experiences into irresistible calls for change.

Breakout #3 – Democracy is Community-Built
Democracy is built from the ground up. This panel will outline a few major pillars of ways we can each fortify democracy in our hometowns, like strategies for requesting public records, the best platforms for organizing, and how to successfully engage local government leaders.

Dinner Reception
6:30pm
Come ready to make a toast and to experience each other’s company.
 

Wednesday, February 28th

Breakfast
8am – 8:45am
Closing
9am – 11am
Fireside Chat – Democracy and the Challenges Ahead
America is not the only society to face a democratic crisis. This session will dive into history to unravel the lessons learned from other societies that have reached inflection points in their commitment to democratic principles. This discussion will focus on practices and tools that have stabilized teetering democracies in the past and consider how we can use those teachings to inform our work in our own communities and country.

Closing Session – Together for Democracy
In this closing session, we’ll prepare our movement to continue working together even as we return to our respective communities. By sharing our intentions for the road ahead, we can begin conversations today that will help us when we’re no longer sharing (physical) space tomorrow. Come prepared to think about how to keep our community close-knit and coordinated after closing out this time together.


Special Accommodations

We are committed to creating an inclusive and accessible event for all of our attendees. To request an accommodation (including dietary restrictions) or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact us at events@democracyforward.org. All requests must be made by email and received by February 2, 2024. We will do our very best to implement late requests but cannot guarantee they can be met.

Please take note that Democracy Forward (DF) expects participants and attendees at this event to abide by all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies, including, but not limited to, DF’s Event Notice and its strong anti-harassment policy. DF is committed to ensuring that this event is educational for all participants and attendees. Unprofessional, disruptive, or harassing behavior will not be tolerated. DF reserves the right to take action against anyone who acts in contravention to these requirements, including, but not limited to, the removal of such participants and attendees from the event. Your attendance at this event indicates that you have read and agree to abide by these terms and conditions.


Event Notice: The Democracy Forward Foundation (DFF), is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization that is subject to federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations regarding political activities, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to campaign activities and lobbying (“Applicable Regulations”). In strict compliance with these Applicable Regulations, please be advised that the event is being held strictly for educational purposes only. Any opinions or activities of participants are being made or conducted solely in their individual capacities and in no way reflect the views, opinions or activities of DFF. Any such views, opinions and activities of program participants that are in violation of Applicable Regulations are not authorized by DFF nor may they be attributed to DFF.

Anti-Harassment Policy: DF is committed to ensuring an inclusive and welcoming experience for all attendees, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, family responsibilities, personal appearance, veteran status, or any other status or trait protected by applicable law, or that is otherwise against our philosophy of an event space that promotes respect for each other. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal or written comments or physical or visual conduct related to any protected categories; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; or inappropriate physical contact. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact an event organizer.