Present at SPEAK UP! 2016

Proposal Submission Review Criteria

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DEADLINE: 11:59 PM EDT, Friday, May 20, 2016

We invite proposals for a variety types of sessions (affinity groups, discussion group, or workshop) for SPEAK UP! Positive Women’s Network – USA’s 2016 National Leadership Summit.

SPEAK UP! A National Leadership Summit for Women Living with HIV will be held September 27-30, 2016 in Fort Walton Beach, FL. This Summit is open only to women with HIV, including transgender women with HIV. In September 2014, Positive Women’s Network – USA held our first-ever National Leadership Summit to build advocacy skills and leadership capacity among over 200 women living with HIV from 26 states, the US Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico. Participants from the 2014 Summit have gone on to do amazing work in their communities, fighting stigma, advocating for fair policies and supporting people living with HIV in their regions. The 2016 Summit will be designed for both first time participants and 2014 alumni as emerging and seasoned advocates to deepen advocacy and collective organizing strategies during a key election cycle.

If you are interested in contributing to this growing and vibrant community, we encourage you to submit an abstract to conduct a session (workshop or other activity at the Summit). As a session leader you will ensure that information and skill-building activities are provided in line with PWN-USA values, priorities, and goals for the Summit.

There will be 5 workshop tracks at the Summit:
1) Rights, Power and Justice,
2) Building Leadership Skills,
3) Policy and Advocacy,
4) Media & Strategic Communications and
5) Advancing the HIV Research, Care, and Prevention Agenda.

Descriptions for session tracks:
1. Policy & Advocacy Sessions will examine or discuss timely policy and/or advocacy trends relevant to women with HIV and provide participants with tools to take action at the local, state and/or federal level.

2. Effective Leadership Skills Sessions will focus on developing specific skills that support leadership by women with HIV, including self-care for leaders.

3. Rights, Power & Justice Sessions will focus on building critical consciousness and/or ability to use a human rights/social justice framework in advocacy. We are especially interested in sessions that intentionally hold a power, race, gender and/or class analysis and which advance our collective ability to be accountable and strategic as a movement-building organization. Sessions in this track may focus on particular rights and justice issues that disproportionately impact communities most affected by HIV.

4. Media & Strategic Communications Sessions will focus on building media and communications capacity of participants to advocate, organize and/or mobilize on policy issues through effective print, online and/or broadcast media, and/or social media strategies.

5. Advancing HIV Research, Care, and Prevention Agenda Sessions will focus on building our ability to advocate for innovative and timely research and service delivery that works for our communities.

Things to Know:

  1. We welcome interactive and informal sessions, including discussion-based and hands-on training exercises.
  2. Session proposals should clearly communicate what knowledge, skills, tools, or insights participants can expect to gain from the session.
  3. We encourage sessions with more than one presenter or facilitator.
  4. Session presenters will not be compensated or otherwise reimbursed for travel, ground transportation from home to or to the Summit, food beyond meals covered through Summit registration, or other expenses. Presenters are expected to pay a registration fee for the Summit.
  5. Accepted sessions will be scheduled to minimize topic overlap and as meeting space and logistics allow. The program committee will consider requests for specific scheduling (day and time) but is unable to honor all scheduling requests.
  6. Once a session has been accepted and listed online, cancellation imposes a serious burden. Please do not submit a proposal if you are uncertain that you will be able to fulfill your obligation to organize and conduct the session.
  7. Please note: If your proposal is accepted, all information provided as a part of your proposal will be confirmed for accuracy prior to the Summit.


Thursday, March 31, 2016: Release of Call for Summit Session Proposals

Friday, May 20, 2016: Summit session proposals due

Friday, June 17, 2016: Notification of accepted sessions

Friday, June 24, 2016: Session Leaders confirm participation

Review Process

Sessions should provide an in-depth review of, or introduction to, a topic of interest, and should provide participants with materials and/or ideas that are immediately useful in the real world. Proposals will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Content is timely and relevant to PWN-USA’s mission, values, and/or policy platform (view here)
  2. Content proposed is aligned with Summit goals.
  3. Goals of session are clearly stated.
  4. Proposal demonstrates a plan to leave participants with concrete tools they can use.
  5. Presenters demonstrate the expertise to present on the issue
  6. Session design includes presenters, speakers, or co-facilitators reflective of the constituencies impacted by issue.
  7. Session design is engaging, creative, and interactive.

Final decisions will be made with an eye towards meaningful involvement of women with HIV and communities of color as presenters. In particular, we seek strong representation of women living with HIV, people of color, trans and gender non-conforming individuals, and young people as presenters. We welcome abstract submissions from well-intentioned allies and encourage allies to submit in collaboration with women living with HIV.


Please submit your proposal by completing this form by April 29, 2016. If you are unable to complete the form online, you can  download and complete this form in Word. Forms submitted as attachments MUST be submitted via email in Microsoft Word. We will not accept PDF versions of proposals or faxed workshop proposals.