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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square



United Kingdom

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Defending Progressivism

Organised by Conatus News and Culture Project (and sponsored by the NSS and BHA) Defending Progressivism is an unprecedented day-long conference focussing on defending social-progressivism (LGBT Rights, Feminism, Environmentalism, Secularism, Irreligiosity, etc.) held in the famed Conway Hall. Not only showcasing some of the most significant challenges to social progressivism through distinguished panel-discussions, individual talks, stalls and book sales, but some of the greatest minds in activism today will exchange views concerning such crucibles and how we, as social-progressives, can begin to get a foothold in opposition to redress them.

10:00: Introduction by Benjamin David (Editor in chief of Conatus News) and Houzan Mahmoud (Co-Founder of Culture Project)

10:30: PANEL 1: Progressivism Today chaired by Benjamin David (with Q&A).


  • A C Grayling (Philosopher, Author)

  • Peter Tatchell (LGBT and Human-Rights Activist)

  • Heather Brunskell Evans (Academic and Writer)

  • Claire Fox (Writer)

  • Terry Sanderson (President of National Secular Society

12:00: SPEAKER: The Madness of Happiness: Mental Health and Happiness

  • Phil Pearl (Existentialist Coach)

12:30 Break for Lunch

13:00: 10 Minutes Harp played by Kurdish musician Tara Jaff

13:15 PANEL 2:Feminist mobilisation' chaired by Houzan Mahmoud (with Q&A).

  • Gita Sahgal (writer and journalist on issues of feminism, fundamentalism, and racism)

  • Rahila Gupta (Writer and Journalist)

  • Maryam Namazie (Leader of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britian, and Writer)

  • Sara Khan (Writer, Human Rights Activist, and Current CEO of INSPIRE)

14:30: 10 Min break for tea and coffee

14:40: PANEL 3: Refugee Rights, the Far right and racism chaired by Melanie Gingell (with Q&A).


  • Anna Zobnina (Chair of the European Network of Migrant Women (ENOMW))

  • Dr Janroj Keles (Research Fellow at Middlesex University Research, Interests in Media, migration and ethnic conflicts)

  • Bob Churchill (Communications Director for IHEU, Editor of The FreeThoughtReport)

15:50: PANEL 4: Activism: What works? Chaired by Yasmin Rehman (with Q&A).


  • Hibo Wardere (Somalian-born campaigner against female genital mutilation (FGM), author, and public speaker.)

  • Lisa Marie Taylor (Feminist Activist)

  • Terri Murray (Author)

  • Chris Moos (Student activist and Writer)

  • Donya Taher (Human Rights Activist)

17:00 End

What is Conatus News?

Founded in 2016, Conatus News is an online blog news-platform started by grassroots activists that aims to give progressive voices centre stage on important issues - from current affairs, politics, and culture, to philosophy, science and religion. Conatus News aims to evolve news by refocusing the ethos of news away from personalities, sales and partisanship over to a commitment to social progression. Furthermore, as part of its attempt to disseminate and effectuate progressive narratives, Conatus News has a widely respected interview and podcast series that has featured some of the most exciting up-and-coming activists and, moreover, some of the most distinguished activists working in human-rights today.

Since its inception, Conatus News has managed to amass a team of sixty dedicated writers from various backgrounds and professions and has managed to forge itself as one of the most significant progressive news platforms in the UK today.

What is Culture Project?

Founded by distinguished Kurdish feminist Houzan Mahmoud, Kurdish writer and Novelist Ismail Hamalaw and Novelist and lawyer Miran Abraham, Culture Project is a unique platform for Kurdish writers, feminists, artists and activists. Culture Project gather emerging and established voices from Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora, and gives them a vital space to freely express their ideas. Through the well-established web magazine and planned-for printed journal, Culture Project advocates a total freedom of thought: freedom to suggest controversial new ideas, secularism, free thinking about gender issues and a whole new cultural awareness that is fresh and challenging. Culture Project embraces political discourse, feminism, philosophy, literature and critical analysis of cinema, photography and art

We really hope that you will be able to participate in what will surely be one of the biggest and the most exciting conferences in the UK in 2017.

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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square



United Kingdom

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