29th Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry

July 17, 2023 12:00 am | Virtual

“Freedom Faith at 50”

July 17–20, 2023

Join Children’s Defense Fund for our 29th Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry. Hosted annually on the sacred grounds of CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, TN, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute is where faith leaders and activists sing and pray, strategize and struggle, organize and advocate. Proctor is where we share our stories—our hurts and hopes, our pain and passion for justice—in beloved community. ​This powerful annual event refreshes and renews faith leaders so we can continue the hard, hopeful, sacred work of pursuing justice for children and ending child poverty.

About Our Theme: “Freedom Faith at 50”
This year’s theme, “Freedom Faith at 50,” was chosen to honor CDF’s 50th anniversary, as well as to uplift the memory and ministry of one of the establishing leaders of CDF’s Black Church Initiative: the late Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall.

Early in her life, Rev. Dr. Hall was an organizer with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In her last public campaign, Hall was co-chair of the Black Church Initiative of CDF’s Black Community Crusade for Children® and a consultant for CDF charged with facilitating relationships with Black denominations and caucuses.

By celebrating and centering Rev. Dr. Hall’s witness, we hope to edify the critical influence of womanist thought in projects of child well-being and child advocacy, especially in the Black community. “Freedom Faith at 50” also reinforces the necessary theological and spiritual work we must do to sustain our fight for justice, equity, and liberation. Hall proclaimed this in many settings, including Haley Farm, as she implored young people and faith leaders to “fan the fire of freedom’s faith.”

Prophetic Leadership

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Event Schedule

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Registration Details and Pricing

Event registration includes lunch and dinner each day plus all event materials. Event lodging is not included in the cost of registration and must be booked separately. Area hotels offer breakfast on site.
See here for more details on event logistics and lodging options.

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April 17–July 15, 2023

General Registration Pricing

Adult (General Admission): $350.00
Student 16+ (General Admission): $250.00
Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary (In-Person, Includes Full Conference): $200.00
Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary (Virtual, Monday Session Only): $150.00
Proctor CDF Freedom Schools® Program (5–15 years): $150.00

Registration is now closed
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2023 Proctor Institute Schedule of Events

Proctor Institute offers 16 workshop options on Tuesday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 19, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Participants can choose two (2) each day to build their organizing skills, deepen their understanding of policy concerns, discover programs and strategies to try back home, and share their perspectives on justice, community, children, and the work to which we are called.

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The CDF Freedom Schools® Program at Proctor

Proctor Institute provides children ages five through 15 a formative and enriching experience through an abbreviated CDF Freedom Schools® program right on site! Pre-register your child for Proctor’s CDF Freedom Schools program at the link below. Click here to download the Proctor CDF Freedom Schools Program Guide.

Note: Children must pre-register by June 9, 2023, in order to participate in Proctor’s CDF Freedom Schools program. No exceptions. There will be no on-site registration. Proctor Institute does not offer childcare for children under the age of 5.

Registration is now closed.
Young children listening to a story.
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Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary

Proctor Institute invites graduate students who attend DAFS-affiliated seminaries and divinity schools the opportunity to participate for course credit in our Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary (DAFS). Those who are interested in registering for the credit-bearing graduate course must sign up through their seminary or university (to pay for and receive credit hours) as well as register for CDF’s Proctor Institute, which includes the DAFS sessions.

DAFS sessions will take place Monday, July 17, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. DAFS seminarians will then join in CDF’s Proctor Institute main sessions for the remainder of the week.

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Help Center

Learn about arrivals, departures, transportation to/from the farm, hotels & lodging, weather, walking and disability accommodations, covid care policy.

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Proctor Institute Scholarship Opportunities

The Proctor Seminarian Scholarship supports future leadership in the children’s movement. Seminarians are encouraged to join us at Proctor Institute as we engage with and enjoy fellowship around a theology of child well-being. This year, Children’s Defense Fund will financially support seminarians (enrolled in an accredited graduate degree program) to attend the 2023 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute by covering the cost of registration and hotel. Applications are due by May 1, 2023.  Awardees will be contacted by May 15, 2023. If you have questions about this scholarship opportunity or experience technical difficulties while applying, please contact us at faith-based@childrensdefense.org.


American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Justice and Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ

Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary

Contact the Proctor Team

Program, Workshops, or the Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary (DAFS)

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Logistics at CDF Haley Farm, Hotels, or Other Accommodations

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