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Thank you for your partnership and/or volunteering to support Women Forward International (“WFI,” the “Organization,” “we,” or “our”)! The purpose of this Volunteer/Partner/Associate Handbook (this “Handbook”) is to (a) provide each volunteer ("partner, "associate") with a comprehensive understanding of the mission, vision, and values of WFI that inform our operations, aspirations, and expectations of our volunteers, and (b) set forth the policies and procedures to which we ask all individuals to adhere when serving as a participant in the Organization. WFI reserves the right to determine and change its policies and procedures applicable to volunteers at any time for any reason. If you wish to be a participant in our activities, please review, consider and accept WFI’s Volunteer Agreement set forth in this Handbook by signing and dating where indicated and returning a copy of your signed Handbook page to Kent Davis-Packard at or another staff member designated by WFI. Failure to sign, date and submit the Volunteer Agreement will make you ineligible to participate in a Women Forward International activity.

Our Goal – Advance Women to Advance Humanity: 

Women Forward International is an action-oriented study program for international relations graduate students – women and men – who want to bring about progress towards human unity in every field, from security, to technology, to business, to the arts.  Founded in September 2019 at the Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., WFI is a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. WFI’s Founder and President is Dr. Kent Davis-Packard, who serves an international Board of Directors.

Our Unique Model – What We Do:  


WFI enables graduate students from leading institutions to participate in global organizations by partnering them with non-profits, corporations, governments, and multilateral institutions on cutting edge research that advances women. This collaboration has a powerful ripple effect on all fronts: the institutional culture of the partner organization, the university, and the communities and countries in which they operate. It also contributes to making the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals a living reality, achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. Faculty at leading graduate schools consider Women Forward International a long-awaited transformation of an outdated template for the teaching of international relations and the practice of diplomacy. It is time to achieve positive outcomes. The world needs real solutions to real problems and leadership based on service.


Valuable Role of Volunteers – Necessary for The Mission:  

Since its inception, WFI has relied on its multi-talented volunteers to accomplish its mission. Examples include our Advisory Committee, encompassing women and men, representing diplomacy, national security, business, communications and the arts; our Council of Leopards, consisting of alumni from our student programs; and our Arts Council, representing artists who share our vision, provide our global communities with wisdom to pursue research-based on unity, collaboration, and service, and uplift the world through their Art, inspired with Love. In addition, we welcome qualified and interested individuals to assist with our programs.

Volunteer Assignments:

After screening applicants, we assign roles based on capabilities and preferences. WFI’s President, with advisory support, defines the volunteer roles according to current needs. For clarity and alignment on the work and relational scope, our volunteers then receive a description of their role and responsibilities. Our volunteers have fulfilled a wide variety of roles, employing their foreign relations knowledge, project management, and linguistic capabilities as well as their skills in traditional and social media. We especially look for individuals who share our mission of uplifting women and girls to raise up humanity.


This Volunteer Agreement (this “Agreement”) is executed by the undersigned volunteer (and, if the undersigned is less than 18 years of age, the undersigned’s parent or guardian) as of the date indicated below in favor of Women Forward International, each of WFI’s Directors, officers, employees and agents and each of the other Released Parties described in this Agreement.

Voluntary Participation:

I acknowledge that I have voluntarily agreed to participate as a volunteer for, or for the benefit of, WFI. I understand that as a volunteer I will not be paid for my services and that I am not acting as an employee or contractor of WFI. I further agree that my ability to serve as a volunteer for the Organization may be terminated at any time by WFI.

Volunteer Requirements and Conduct:

  1. Actions; Authority. Volunteers may not act on behalf of WFI or hold themselves out to be acting on behalf of WFI without express direction, instruction or permission from WFI’s leadership, and must immediately cease taking any such action upon request by WFI’s President, any other Director or any WFI staff member. Volunteers must strictly adhere to WFI’s established system of centralized governance and shall at all times be subject to the authority of WFI’s President and Directors. Departure from these policies and practices is not beneficial to WFI’s mission and can be cause for dismissal.

  2. Relationship Guidelines. WFI operates a complex, multifaceted, global network, which demands conscientious oversight by the President and Directors. Unless authorized and directed by WFI leadership, each volunteer shall interact only with those WFI partners (including its organizational partners, sponsors and donors/funders, academic institutional participants and their students) to which they have been assigned by WFI staff in accordance with such volunteer’s roles and responsibilities. This includes but is not limited to any fundraising activities, programmatic partnerships at all levels, beneficiaries of WFI actions, and graduate students themselves. Fundraising activities will be directed by the President and Directors and volunteers can partake in such events. Should volunteers have ideas about fundraising, they are encouraged to share them with the above mentioned figures to coordinate those. Relationships with students will also be coordinated by the President and Directors. Volunteers are not permitted to provide gifts to students or other WFI partners, or to otherwise contact or attempt to establish separate relationships with any students or other WFI partners in any manner that is not expressly authorized by WFI’s President or Board of Directors. It is important for each volunteer to remember and respect the trust that these organizations and individuals place in WFI.

  3. Code of Conduct. Each volunteer agrees to:

    1. Treat others with respect, courtesy and dignity, including by refraining from using language and actions contrary to WFI’s expectations;

    2. Attend all Women Forward International activities while on travel or participating in an activity in any capacity with the organization, including Team Dinners, meetings, and other agenda items;

    3. Obey all local, state and federal laws and respect local customs, culture and practice;

    4. Not possess and will refrain from the use of alcohol, illicit drugs and any other illegal substances according to local, state and federal laws (and I understand that the possession or use of alcohol, such illicit drugs and other illegal substances is prohibited at all times and that the possession or use of alcohol, such illicit drugs or other illegal substances may result in criminal prosecution);

    5. Refrain from sexual harassment, consisting of, but not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (and I understand that any such actions will not be tolerated in any manner and will result in my immediate termination as a volunteer of WFI and removal from all related activities);

    6. Refrain from taking any action that endangers myself or others; and

    7. Immediately report accidents, injuries and illnesses to WFI staff.

Each volunteer further acknowledges and agrees that WFI reserves the right to notify law enforcement as it deems necessary and appropriate.

Promotional Media and Communications Materials:

The President and Creative Director of WFI have developed verbal, graphic, tonal and other standards that appropriately express the Organization to its stakeholders and external audiences. All media, communications, and Internet or traditional publications must be authorized by WFI leadership and limited to the usages specified and volunteers agree that any authorship of these materials in service of WFI remain solely the property of the Organization unless otherwise specified in writing by WFI. Furthermore, each volunteer agrees that the use of any of the Organization’s names, logos, trademarks, service marks, and/or trade names shall be solely to the extent authorized by WFI, such use will comply with any trademark or servicemark guidelines provided by WFI, and WFI will have the opportunity to review and approve each usage of any such marks prior to release.

Except as may be otherwise specified in writing by the Organization, all WFI-related photos, video footage, and other content which has been filmed, taken or otherwise recorded by volunteers shall be owned exclusively by WFI, and the Organization shall retain the exclusive right, in its sole discretion, to grant permission for one or more third parties to use such WFI-related photos, video, and other content to additional outlets. In addition, any such film, footage or other content may be used, in the Organization’s sole discretion, in WFI’s feature film(s) and/or documentary project(s)

Discrimination and Harassment Agreement:

The nature of WFI’s global mission requires the highest ethical standards and integrity as well as behaviors, based on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). WFI is committed to providing a workplace free of sexual harassment as well as harassment based on such factors as age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, military/veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. WFI strongly disapproves of and will not tolerate harassment of employees or volunteers by managers, supervisors, or co-workers. WFI will also attempt to protect employees and volunteers from harassment by non­employees/volunteers in the workplace. It will not tolerate employees/volunteers harassing persons served or other persons or groups with whom they have contact as representatives of the Organization. The success of WFI's discrimination and harassment policy depends, in significant part, upon the understanding, cooperation and compliance of all WFI employees and volunteers. This compliance includes internal and external avoidance of any harassment behaviors or micro-aggressions based on ethnicity, nationality, gender and sexual orientation as well as religious and political affiliation or preferences.


Media Release Agreement:

I hereby (a) grant WFI the irrevocable and unrestricted world-wide right and permission (with the unrestricted right to make further grants of such right and permission to WFI’s affiliated organizations and other persons or entities acting with WFI’s (or any of its affiliated organizations’) authority and/or permission (collectively, “Sub-Grantees”)) to copyright in WFI’s (or any applicable Sub-Grantee’s) name or otherwise, and use, re-use, produce, reproduce, publish, store, distribute, re-distribute, transmit, retransmit and display my name, photographic, video, audio or other recordings of images of my likeness and/or statements by me, in or through any form of media now or hereafter known for illustration, promotion, art, editorial, advertising, trade, signage, internet, electronic commerce or any other purpose whatsoever; (b) irrevocably and unconditionally waive, on behalf of myself and my successors, assignees, heirs, guardians and legal representatives, any rights to royalties, proceeds or other amounts payable with respect to any of the foregoing and (c) consent to WFI’s or any such Sub-Grantee’s making of any such photographic, video, audio or other recordings in connection with my participation as a volunteer. I hereby release, discharge and agree to indemnify and hold harmless WFI, any Sub-Grantee and WFI’s and any Sub-Grantee’s respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any liability related to or arising out of any blurring, distortion, alteration, optical illusion or use in whole, part or composite form, whether intentional or otherwise, that may occur or be produced in the taking of any such photographic, video, audio or other recording or in any subsequent processing thereof, as well as any publication thereof, including without limitation any claims for libel or invasion of privacy.

Release of Liability:

I am aware that by participating as a volunteer for WFI, I may be exposed to personal injury, illness, death, or damage to my property as a result of my activities, the activities of other individuals (including the negligence of WFI) or the conditions under which my volunteer services are performed. I acknowledge and agree that I understand the nature of the activities to be performed as a volunteer of WFI and that I am qualified, in good health and in proper physical condition to perform such activities as a volunteer for WFI, and that I do not have any physical or other medical condition that would be impacted by or would limit my participation as a volunteer for WFI. With knowledge of these risks, I agree to accept any and all risks of personal injury, illness, death or damage to my property related to or arising out of my participation as a volunteer for WFI, whether caused by the negligence of WFI or otherwise. I further assume the complete risk of any activity done (or not done) by me in violation of any rule or directive or instruction of WFI.


In consideration of the opportunity afforded me to participate as a volunteer for WFI, I, on behalf of myself and my successors, assignees, heirs, guardians and legal representatives, hereby irrevocably and unconditionally (a) waive and release any and all claims for personal injury, illness, death or damage to property and any and all claims that arise on account of any first aid, treatment or service rendered to me, in each case, related to or arising out of my participation as a volunteer for WFI (collectively, the “Released Claims”), against WFI, any affiliate organization of WFI, any host or sponsor of any WFI event or activity, any supplier of materials, equipment or services for the any WFI event or activity, and each of their respective affiliates, directors, officers, employees or agents, or any other volunteer, service recipient or recipient of benefits of any WFI event or activity (collectively, the “Released Parties”); and (b) agree not to assert or prosecute (or assist any other person or entity in asserting or prosecuting) any Released Claim against any Released Party. I understand and agree that no Released Party assumes any responsibility for or obligation to provide financial or other assistance, including but not limited to medical, health and/or life insurance with respect to any Released Claim.


Confidentiality Agreement:

In connection with the current and possible future volunteer relationship (the “Relationship”) involving myself and WFI or its successors, I have or may receive certain confidential information concerning WFI. As a condition to, and in consideration for, being engaged to perform volunteer services for WFI, I agree to treat WFI’s Confidential Information in accordance with the following provisions of this Agreement. 

“Confidential Information” includes, but is not limited to, information directly or indirectly relating to (i) WFI and each of its programs, including all services performed and activities conducted pursuant to or in connection with any such program, (ii) WFI’s partners, affiliates, donors, supporters or other relationships, and (iii) WFI’s operations, data, results, plans, communications, finances, business, investments, affiliations, or associations.

I agree that you will use Confidential Information provided or disclosed to me, by or on behalf of WFI, solely for the purpose of carrying out my volunteer duties for WFI as contemplated by the Relationship. I further agree that I will maintain any Confidential Information in my possession as strictly confidential and not disclose it (except within WFI when required on a need-to-know basis) or otherwise make it publicly available without the express prior written approval of WFI, including after the disassociation of our volunteer relationship. The foregoing restrictions shall not apply to any information which I demonstrate through reasonable written records (i) has become generally available to the public other than as a result of a disclosure by me, (ii) was approved for release to third parties by written authorization of WFI, or (iii) is required to be disclosed pursuant to any statutory or regulatory authority, provided WFI is given prompt notice of such requirement and the scope of such disclosure is limited to the extent possible, or is required to be disclosed by a court order, provided WFI is given prompt notice of such order and given the opportunity to contest it.

Upon the request of WFI, I will promptly return or destroy all Confidential Information, whether paper or electronic format and all copies thereof, including any notes or other written summaries containing Confidential Information and any copies which may be on my phone, computer, notebooks or any other device. I agree to provide in writing upon request that you have returned or destroyed all such Confidential Information. Notwithstanding the return or destruction of the Confidential Information, I will continue to be bound by this Agreement. The provisions of this Agreement are necessary for the protection of WFI and are considered by me to be reasonable for such purpose.  I will notify WFI immediately upon my discovery of any disclosure or use of Confidential Information by me in breach of the terms hereof, and I, at my expense, shall cooperate with WFI at WFI’s request to mitigate such breach and prevent any further breach hereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I also agree that any breach of this Agreement will cause WFI substantial and irreparable damage and, therefore, in the event of any such breach, in addition to other remedies which may be available and without the requirement of posting a bond or other security, WFI shall have the right to seek specific performance and other injunctive and equitable relief and I will not oppose the granting or seeking of such relief.

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent disclosure of Confidential Information as may be required by applicable law or regulation, or pursuant to the valid order of a court of competent jurisdiction or an authorized government agency, provided that the disclosure does not exceed the minimum extent of disclosure required by such law, regulation, or order. I shall promptly provide written notice of any such order to an authorized officer of WFI and provide all assistance WFI reasonably requires to contest such law, regulation or order. In addition, this Agreement does not, in any way, restrict or impede me from exercising protected rights to the extent that such rights cannot be waived by agreement.

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as granting any rights in any information disclosed pursuant to this Agreement, except for the limited right to review such information in order to provide the services contemplated by the Relationship. Furthermore, nothing in this Agreement creates any association, partnership, employee, or agency relationship, and by signing below, I acknowledge that I am not an employee of WFI.

Governing Law and Severability:

I (a) acknowledge that this Agreement is intended to be interpreted as broadly and inclusively as permitted by the laws of the District of Columbia, (b) agree that this Agreement shall be governed by the internal laws of the District of Columbia, and (c) agree that if any clause or provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity of such clause or provision shall not otherwise affect the remaining provisions of this Agreement, which shall continue to be enforceable.

Knowing and Voluntary Execution:




Volunteer Signature:           ___________________________________


Volunteer Name:                ___________________________________


Date:                                  ___________________________________





The undersigned parent/guardian does hereby represent that he/she is, in fact, acting in such capacity, has consented to his/her child or ward’s participation as a volunteer for WFI and has agreed individually and on behalf of such child or ward to the terms of the Agreement set forth above. The undersigned parent/guardian further agrees to indemnify and hold harmless each of the Released Parties from and against any and all liability, losses, costs, claims or damages whatsoever which may be imposed upon any Released Party because of any defect in or lack of such capacity to so act.

Parent/Guardian Signature: ___________________________________


Name of Parent/ Guardian: ___________________________________


Date:                                  ___________________________________


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