Help Design Upswell 2021

To all the changemakers that submitted a session proposal for the Upswell Summit in October – thank you! We had an excellent response to the campaign and have now officially closed for accepting additional workshop content.

We are excited to announce that later this month we’ll be sharing details around new opportunities to submit content for Upwell that will bring together attendees in unique formats for connecting and engaging. This content will be part of our program and we look forward to sharing more details with you soon. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about the program. You may contact us at

Here’s what you’ll need for a successful proposal:


Racial Justice and Health are complex and cross-cutting challenges. Tell us specifically how your proposed session can help us solve them.


Your title and description should clearly and concisely outline your vision for the proposed session (and get participants excited, too).


How do you plan to engage participants? Who is your ideal audience? And what are few meaningful ways that your session will make the participants more effective changemakers?


What’s ideal amount of program time you’d need to successfully deliver your session?

Diversity & Inclusion

We aim to dedicate at least 75% of program space to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices. So, please include the demographics of your session presenter(s).

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Your content is unique, relevant/timely, and furthers the goals listed above.
  • Your content directly connects to Racial Justice and some aspect of Health.
  • Your ability to effectively deliver your content and engage participants in a virtual environment.
  • The session offers tools, skills, knowledge, and resources.
  • The session has clear and actionable takeaways.
  • Your title is engaging and provides a clear sense of your content.
  • Your description succinctly outlines key takeaways and provides a clear overview of the content to be presented.
  • Your session includes Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) speakers.
  • The session acknowledges that goodwill and good ideas exist on both sides of the ideological divide.

The submission period for Upswell 2021 closed on June 1. If you have any questions, please email Monica White at

Proposal FAQs

What are the deadlines?

The submission period for speaker proposals will begin on May 4, 2021. The submission portal will close on June 1, 2021 and all submitted proposals will be reviewed and evaluated on a rolling basis.

We will notify accepted proposals on a rolling basis beginning June 21, 2021.

Criteria and Review Process

All proposals will be evaluated internally at Independent Sector and externally with key stakeholders, partners, community leaders, and specific cohorts of past attendees.

Can a proposal be submitted by a team?

Absolutely! You can pitch an idea with friends, colleagues, or strangers. You don’t have to be at the same organization or even in the same field.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes! You can submit multiple proposals. Just be sure the content is different and submit a separate form for each proposal.

Can I edit a submitted proposal?

Yes, you can modify your proposal submission by emailing us at

These are the answers to the most common questions we receive. Don’t see your question above? Email and we’ll be glad to answer it.

Join the Wave

Upswell, powered by Independent Sector, is a community of thousands of engaged, passionate, and diverse changemakers – and the energy is constantly buzzing.

Join our digital stream to hear the latest news about Upswell 2021, explore stories of good from across the country, and get a new perspective on what comes next for the social sector.