Speakers & Sessions so far...

Programme & Timings:

Note:  All sessions are subject to change.

9.15am – The Live stream will commence

9.30am – START: Welcome and Introduction

9.35am – Session 1: Chris Hemmings
Healthy Masculinity – What Boys Need to Know about Being a Man

Chris will guide attendees through some of the realities facing men and boys in modern society and why it’s important they are addressed. Men and boys are more likely to experience addiction, violence and suicide, to name but a few. Recently there have been some high-profile men trying to address these issues, but their message is often tinged with misogyny or telling boys the only way to be successful as a man is to become rich, emotionless and macho. Chris will offer some suggestions to remind boys that there isn’t one way to be a man – and how breaking men free of rigid masculine stereotypes is better for them and those around them.

Chris Hemmings (he/him) Chris is a BACP psychotherapist and coach who specialises in working with men and boys – focussing on helping them to develop their emotional well-being. He’s also professional public speaker and workshop facilitator who founded the M-Path programmes having worked in schools, universities and businesses across the UK and beyond ever since his book – ‘Being a Man’ looking at macho culture – was published in 2017. He previously spent ten years as a journalist, producing and presenting numerous documentaries on the subject of men and masculinity for the BBC, whilst also writing about it for numerous national newspapers.

9.55am – Session 2: Gemma Aitchison
Man Made

Having navigated the trauma of her sister’s murder, Gemma Aitchison will explore how pornography, gender stereotypes  and behaviourism are affecting boys and men and society. And what we can do about it. 

Gemma Aitchison  (she/her) is a multi-award winning public speaker, founder and director of YES Matters, lecturer & PSHE/RSE specialist. She has worked with the UK Government and European parliament as a consultant on Violence Against Women and Girls. Gemma is the Chair of the Greater Manchester VAWG Working Group, winner of the Award for the Protection of Women and Girls Rights 2016 and Women of the Year Award Winner 2017. She is currently the Children and Young People’s Training Officer for Women’s Aid.

10.15am – Session 3: Jack Lynch 
Gender Liberation: A True Story

What is gender? Why does it define so much of our lives? How can we liberate ourselves from its binary prison? In this talk Jack discusses how gender has shaped their life. How something that, to most people, isn’t even a consideration has felt like entrapment for them. They talk about how their gender and sexual identity has changed through their lifetime and the freedom they have found in self expression. Life is a journey, a constant self evolution. Our world teaches us to fear that, but what if we embraced it as our greatest superpower? 

Jack Lynch (they/them) is a non-binary speaker and educator working for Pop’n’Olly, a children’s LGBT+ education company. Pop’n’Olly aims to give parents, carers and teachers the tools to teach about equality and diversity whilst ultimately helping to combat LGBT+ prejudice before it can begin to form. Having worked with children and young people across their career in many different industries, from sport to education, Jack is passionate that the way we combat ongoing prejudice in our society is by investing in the education of our next generation.

10.35am – Session 4: Julia Lynch
Embracing Feminist Leadership for Collective Mobilisation

What does it mean to be a feminist leader? How can we redefine power from a feminist lens so that we understand it to be positive, supportive, and encouraging of the collective? Julia Lynch will share her story as a girl who didn’t realise that she had any power but knew enough to continually question the lack of equality she experienced in a male dominated society. Julia will also explore how she used her fear, anger and struggle to fit into the norms prescribed to live a very different life far outside the box of convention. Hearing about powerful and determined girls around the world, through the Global Girl Project students will be mobilised to create change.

Julia Lynch (she/her) founded Global Girl Project in 2014, after over twenty years working as a Community Social Worker and Therapist. As a woman of colour who grew up in a small, white town Julia learned from an early age how imperative it is to see yourself represented in positions of power and leadership. Since that time, Julia has worked tirelessly to not only be a role model for her global girls, but to train them on how to be role models and leaders to others within their communities. As the Founding Director, Julia works globally to implement and run leadership programs and initiatives for girls throughout the global south. Since starting GGP Julia has become an in-demand voice on leadership and girls empowerment globally. 

10.55am – 11.25am – BREAK 

11.25am – Session 5: Imran Manzoor
Race, Masculinity and Men

In this session psychotherapist, behavioural psychologist and racial justice campaigner Imran Manzoor will explore how race impacts how we see ourselves. Drawing on his experience working with hundreds of black and Asian men who have been survivors of abuse, Imran will consider how race, culture and gender intersect and how stereotypes and norms can undermine our sense of self, damage our mental health and lead to shattered lives. 

Imran Manzoor  is founder of Breaking the Silence, a Ministry of Justice funded psychotherapeutic programme supporting male survivors, from racialised communities, who experienced trauma and abuse in childhood. Imran is a trained psychotherapist, behavioural psychologist, trainer, racial justice campaigner and educator. He delivers training on the intersections of race and gender; men, honour based abuse/violence and forced marriage; spiritual abuse; the psychologization of the PREVENT agenda; white nationalism, Incels and online hate. He is also a guest lecturer at several Universities, and an associate at SafeLives, Diverse Matters and HOPE.

11.45am – Session 6: Billy Moore
Life on Death Row – Finding your Power when Hope Seems to be Gone

In this session ex death row prisoner Billy Moore will share his experience of being entirely stripped of any power to effect change, how he maintained hope and how young people can find their voice and fight for justice.

Billy Moore was once only seven hours away from the electric chair after spending almost 17 years on Death Row. He had been sentenced to death by a single judge, with no jury present after a hearing lasting only three hours. Having received no legal representation he studied law and represented himself. His sentence was commuted in 1992. Today Billy is a Pentecostal minister who spends much of his time speaking out against the death penalty and human rights abuses.

12.05pm – Session 7: Sammy Dumbleton
A Manifesto for Change

Sammy will talk about her experiences of harassment in and out of school and the responses she has received from classmates and teachers. She will discuss why things need to change for the sake of all young people as well as how individuals and schools can best to support people  experiencing harassment in a classroom context.

Sammy Dumbleton (she/her) is an A-level student studying Biology, Chemistry, and Religious Studies at the Sir John Colfox Academy in Dorset. She has been Chair of the School Council there and also helped start the school’s annual Diversity Week. Sammy is a member of the Free & Equal? Conference steering group and plans to study Biomedical Science at University next year.

12.15pm – Session 8: Bill Cain
Gender Nonconformity and Discovering your Power in a Man’s World

As a gender nonconforming teenager living in rural Britain, Bill Cain will be exploring the effects of living in a world so heavily dominated by masculinity, and what it truly means to live outside the binary in the modern day, especially as an adolescent. Bill will discuss their own experiences, steps for change and their path to finding your voice in environments so intent on silencing you.

Bill Cain  is a 16 year old student who just finished their GCSE’s at The Blandford School and are now continuing their studies on at Bournemouth & Poole College where they will be completing an Extended Diploma in Art, Design and Communication. Bill is a passionate advocate for change and the development of safe spaces for diversity and growth, particularly in schools, and is outspoken especially when it comes to fighting for trans rights and gender equality.

12.25pm – Session 9: Panel Discussion #1 – Gender, Pronouns, Andrew Tate and Freedom of Speech
Is the fear of causing offence undermining dialogue and inclusion?

In this panel discussion featuring some of the day’s speakers alongside young people we will discuss how students can navigate online influences, what freedom of speech means and ask whether media hype and political ‘culture wars’ are increasing LGBTQ+ phobia. 

12.50pm – 1.30am – LUNCH

1.30pm – Session 10: Peter Radford 
The Dynamics of Power: Unpacking Strength, Power and Bullying Behaviours

Is strength a male quality or a human quality? Why do people bully people? Why  does power often express itself negatively and how can we each find our significance and become forces for change? In this session Peter Radford will challenge harmful understandings of power and strength that underpin rape culture and abuse and explore how insecurity and fear leads to discrimination.

Peter Radford (he/him) is a speaker, teacher and author. Founder of Peter delivers training and workshops to schools on leadership, PSHE, political engagement and human rights education. Founder of STAND UP Conferences, Peter has led two schools to achieve the Unicef Rights Respecting School Award . His book Love Teaching Keep Teaching challenges teachers and leaders to take wellbeing seriously at all levels of school life.

1.50pm – Session 11: PJ Livett
Caring Connection or Crippling Control?

As human beings, we crave relationships with others, and stable and healthy relationships are vital to our mental and emotional wellbeing. Yet all too often, a seemingly healthy, romantic relationship can be quite the opposite. Unfortunately, it can be hard to discern the difference. Abusive relationships don’t start out as abusive, they often start out as an exciting, intense experience. In this session PJ Livett will explain the subtle changes that may point to an unhealthy and/or abusive relationship.

PJ Livett (she/her) is the founder of rePHRASE Providing Healthy Relationships And Sex Education (without the awkwardness!) and works with a variety of clients including schools, parents, teachers, youth groups, Pregnancy Centres, the YMCA, Police and domestic abuse survivors. PJ loves taking the ‘awkwardness’ out of RSE and achieves this through her inclusive, down-to-earth, interactive workshops. Passionate about empowering young people to recognise their worth, become critical thinkers and develop healthy relationship behaviours, PJ believes that RSE is ultimately about safeguarding young people so they can be physically and emotionally safe when it comes to their own experience of sex and relationships.

2.10pm – Session 12: Clive Stafford Smith
Defending Terrorists! How to Use Your Voice to Speak Out for the Vulnerable

Clive’s vision is a world in which the doors to careers in human rights are flung wide open to a young and diverse generation of passionate, talented justice advocates, with lived experiences of the powerful systems that perpetuate inequality. In this session Clive will share some of his experiences as a human rights lawyer defending death row inmates and advocating for justice around the world.

Clive Stafford Smith is a human rights lawyer known for his work on behalf of prisoners on death row in the United States and those detained in Guantánamo Bay. He co-founded Reprieve, an organisation that fights for the victims of extreme human rights abuses with legal action and public education. He is licenced to practice law in the State of Louisiana, USA, and was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to human rights. He has represented 87 detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, 86 of whom have now been released or cleared. Clive has never charged a client for his services. He has now founded 3DC which works to empower young people to become advocates for human rights.

2.30pm – Session 13: Students from Felpham Community College
How to change the culture in your school

Can students really make a difference to school culture? In this session students will share their Rights Respecting journey at a school that embraced the challenge to work towards achieving the Unicef Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA). From recognising the power of student voice to challenging and overcoming discrimination, this will be a rallying cry to make change happen in your school.

The Unicef Rights Respecting School Award is a ground-breaking initiative that helps schools centre all of their provision around the rights of the child. Since its inception in the UK in 2007  over 6000 UK schools have been through the process and seen quantifiable outcomes in improved student and staff wellbeing, Improved behaviourm reduced discrimination and improved academic achievement. The Award  provides a vehicle for embedding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in school life and culture. It is now government funded for all Scottish schools and a part of the Welsh Assembly’s educational provision. Find out more at 

2.45pm – Session 14: Life Lessons
What do boys really think about CONSENT and how is this affecting them?

Life Lessons was founded in 2019 to provide a way for schools to effectively teach about Relationships and Sex. They set out to create video resources that would be relatable to young people in the classroom, fully inclusive and that would actively challenge systemic issues such as gender stereotyping and the heteronormative teaching of the subject. They have produced a scalable solution so all schools can benefit and teachers feel empowered to deliver a challenging subject.

2.55pm – Session 15: Panel Discussion #2 – CONSENT: Sometimes it’s Hard to be a Man!?
Does responsibility for gaining consent for sexual activity lie solely or mostly with men?

Featuring speakers and young people, this discussion will consider whether women and girls should accept any responsibility for the way they present and the attention it may generate. Are boys and men justified in fearing false accusations of rape? What’s the relationship between power and true consent?

3.15pm – Session 16: Emily Wheeler
Authentically You

Bullying and discrimination is often rooted in low self esteem, peer pressure and the sense that it’s not okay to be yourself. In this session Emily will explore how we can become more comfortable being our authentic selves and how a sense of self belief can lead to a fairer world.

Emily Wheeler (she/her) is Head of Religious Studies at Sir John Colfox Academy. As an experienced teacher and Mental Health First Aider, she is passionate about helping young people manage their mental health effectively and live significant lives. Emily mentors Early Career Teachers (ECTs) and has been part of the Free & Equal? Conference Planning Team since its inception in 2019. 

3.30pm – CLOSE

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