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Big ideas were born in Atlanta.

Thanks to the elected officials, faith leaders, activists, organizers, and partners who made our Inaugural Big Ideas Summit a success. Our time in Atlanta was a weekend of inspiration and empowerment. From intimate conversations, dynamic panel discussions, and informative skills trainings, our attendees left with a wealth of resources that we know will translate into fiercer advocacy for a freer and fairer nation for all of us.

It's been over two years since the last time People for the American Way or any of its leadership networks had hosted an in-person gathering to discuss and plan the future of our progressive movement -- and the stakes are now higher than they've ever been. In the years since we met for YEO Convening in 2019, the world was ravaged by a global pandemic; we took to the streets in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black Americans; and we went to the polls, defended the nation against insurrection, and are fighting against an unprecedented assault on the right to vote.


PeopleFor's Big Ideas Summit 2022 brought us together to talk about the essential progress we must make against suppression, obstruction, and disinformation from the Far Right. ​​


Summit Highlights and Resources

Have questions or want to add to Summit 2022's Big Ideas Resource Bank? Email us at


Inside Summit 2022

Coalitions are key. We were excited to use Summit as an opportunity to bring the diverse voices across our coalitions together for the first time in years. Our 2022 Summit was different from any gathering we've had. We brought together members of our Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, African American Minister Leadership Conference (AAMLC), Front Line Leaders Academy (FLLA) Alumni, progressive activists and organizers, partners, experts, scholars, and others critical to this work to discuss the predominant issues threatening our communities and our democracy.


Summit is a gathering for our nation's most dynamic progressive leaders to learn, develop, and network. It is also a celebration of the groundbreaking work People for the American Way, our networks, and our members have done to build a pipeline of progressive leadership and make our nation freer and fairer for all of us. Explore below the ideas and thought leaders that shaped Summit 2022.

Big Ideas in Focus

During the Big Ideas Summit, we brought some of the nation's brightest progressive minds and boldest leaders together to dig deeper into issues impacting our communities and shaping the fabric of our democracy. 


Since we last convened in 2019, the impact of COVID19 has only been compounded by the crisis posed by the inability of so many Americans to protect their lives and exercise their right to vote. During Summit, we explored these threats to democracy and shaped the work to make our bold, transformative vision a reality.

Check out the Big Ideas in focus at Summit 2022.


Defending Democracy and the Right to Vote

The integrity of our elections and voting rights are under unprecedented attack.

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Reimagining Policing and Public Safety

We believe that we must transform our systems of public safety to end police violence and strengthen our democracy. 


Protecting the Freedom to Learn

The essential right to a quality education in a safe and inclusive environment is under assault across America.

Speakers and Trainers

The Big Ideas Summit is about bringing the best minds across the progressive space, on and off stage, together to discuss. debate, strategize and inspire. Our 2022 Summit speaker and trainers lineup was full of dynamic partners, organizers, academics, and luminaries of the movement who guided Summit's discussions and lent their diverse experiences to our collaborative space.


Awards and Special Guests


2022 Barbara Jordan Leadership Award

Commissioner Tami Sawyer

Memphis, TN

The Honorable Reverend Dr. Clementa C. Pinckney "Good Soil" Award

Rev. Amiri Hooker

Florence, SC

The Reverend Dr. Robert P. Shine, Sr. "Lighthouse" Award 

Rev. Timothy McDonald

Atlanta, GA

Summit 2022 Georgia Host Committee

Members of our various networks across the State of Georgia welcomed attendees to Atlanta for our Inaugural Big Ideas Summit! These changemakers are moving the needle for progress in Georgia and contributing tremendously to the work of People for the American Way across the nation.


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