International Religious Freedom Summit

International Religious Freedom Summit is a powerful, broad coalition of religious, human rights and civil society groups that advocate for religious freedom for all people, everywhere at all times.

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Entrepreneur, philanthropist Kathy Ireland to be honored for work advancing international religious freedom next week at IRF Summit 2021 in DC

Jul. 13, 2021

“It is our duty and responsibility, for all of us, to fight for everyone’s right to religious freedom, no matter what religion you choose to practice. It is a basic human right.” — Kathy Ireland

WASHINGTON — Kathy Ireland, Chair, CEO and Chief Designer of kathy ireland Worldwide (kiWW), will receive the inaugural Business IRF Champion Award at the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2021 in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 15 for going above and beyond the call of duty in advancing religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

“Kathy is known throughout the globe for her entrepreneurial success, rising from supermodel to super-mogul. She has been featuredKathy-Ireland-BW-scaled.jpg on the cover of Forbes more times than on Sports Illustrated, and she recently shattered glass ceilings with kathy ireland Worldwide being named the 15th most powerful brand in the world, the highest ranking for a woman-owned and individually-owned company, ” said Dr. Brian Grim, chair of the business selection committee for the upcoming IRF Summit. “And now it is fitting that Kathy be recognized for her activism in support of all people persecuted for their faith and beliefs around the world.”

In August 2014, ISIS militants swept through the Sinjar region of northern Iraq in a deliberate attempt to annihilate the Yazidis and other religious minorities, employing brutal tactics including mass executions and sexual enslavement of young women. As this horrific genocide unfolded, Ireland not only lobbied Congress to respond, but also responded herself by supporting women-led initiatives to rescue Yazidis and to address the hatred and prejudice that created an environment where such atrocities could occur. To this day, almost 3,000 Yazidi women and children remain missing and nearly  300,000 Yazidis still live in displacement camps in northern Iraq.

Ireland will receive the Business IRF Hero Award on Thursday, July 15 at the Closing Dinner of the IRF Summit 2021, which begins at 6:30 p.m. (ET) at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“It is a tremendous honor and very humbling to receive this honor,” said Kathy Ireland. “It is our duty and responsibility, for all of us, to fight for everyone’s right to religious freedom, no matter what religion you choose to practice. It is a basic human right. Thank you Dr. Brian Grim and everyone at the IRF Summit for bringing attention to the plight of so many who are deprived of the basic right to religious freedom, and for working tirelessly to combat those who try to inflict this cruelty upon others.”

The IRF Summit 2021 brings together a bi-partisan and broad coalition of over 70 diverse partners around the world that passionately support religious freedom for a three day in-person event in Washington D.C., from July 13-15, with a virtual option for participation on July 16. Ireland will also speak during the virtual event.

More information on the International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 is available here.

Press who would like to cover the Summit must request credentials by emailing seth@theKcompany.co.

International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 is convening a powerful, diverse coalition of religious and civil society groups to advocate for religious freedom for all people, everywhere at all times. The 2021 Summit will be July 13-15 in Washington, D.C.

Samuel Brownback served as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom from 2018 to 2021. He is co-chair of the IRF Summit 2021.

Katrina Lantos Swett is president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and former chair and vice-chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). She is co-chair of the IRF Summit 2021.