Every summer, the Religious Freedom Annual Review at Brigham Young University provides information on current legal religious freedom issues in the United States and facilitates discussion on resolving those issues. Although the review initially began as a conference for lawyers and counts towards Continuing Legal Education, the conference has expanded to include educators, students and the general public.
The conference also functions as a place to find common ground and start important conversations.
“These discussions illustrate what pluralism looks like in practice,” said Elizabeth Clark, associate director at BYU’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies. “It’s hard and messy, and no one may end up perfectly satisfied, but it’s a crucial part of the American project.”
The topic for this year’s fifth annual Review is “Religious Freedom for a New Generation.”
New this year at the Review are “Voice of a New Generation” panel discussions, where young professionals will discuss how culture, LGBTQ rights and social inequality intersect and inform religious freedom.
“The hope is that while the panelists are engaging each other, the audience can learn about the concerns and ideas of the millennial and Gen Z populations,” Clark said.
Also new this year, the review partnered with Tolerance Means Dialogues, an organization that pairs students and thought leaders for public discussions on helping the world become more tolerant of different perspectives.
“BYU has long brought together significant voices and thought leaders who care about matters of faith,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a legal professor at the University of Illinois and founder of Tolerance Means Dialogues.
As part of the partnership with Tolerance Means Dialogues, current college students who live within 100 minutes of BYU (and BYU-Idaho students who attend the review) can win a scholarship for submitting an essay on the topic “Religious Liberty and the culture war over LGBT rights: Can university students make a difference?” The two winning essayists will receive $750 and will present their essays at a panel during the conference. The deadline for submissions is June 13.
Online registration for the Religious Freedom Annual Review is available at http://religiousfreedom.byu.edu and closes June 10. Tickets can be bought at the door, with discounts for educators, students and legal professionals.