The conference was organized by the Coalition on Academic Freedom in the Americas (CAFA). CAFA is led by the University of Monterrey (Mexico), the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre – HRREC (Canada) and Scholars at Risk (United States) and aims to increase awareness of and advocacy in the defence of academic freedom across the Americas.
The hybrid conference featured in-person and virtual presentations by advocates, scholars, and activists from across the Americas who shared their research and experiences on academic freedom, as well as papers highlighting challenges and opportunities for protection, advocacy, litigation, and best practices in academic freedom and university autonomy. It also served as the global launch of Scholars at Risk's Free to Think 2023 report.
A delegation from the University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre was in Curitiba to participate in the conference: HRREC Associate Director Viviana Fernandez (member of the CAFA Executive Committee), Caroline Faucher, HRREC Specialist, Communications and Advisory Services and member of the CAFA Communications and Outreach Committee, Professors João Velloso (Faculty of Law, Common Law Section) and Isaac Nahon-Serfaty (Department of Communications, Faculty of Arts), both members of the CAFA Scientific Committee as well as Catalina Arango (Monitoring Coordinator for CAFA) and Salvador Herencia (CAFA Scientific and Organizing Committees). Our members presented papers, shared uOttawa’s experience in the context of the and acted as moderators for several sessions during the two-days event.