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World Congress of Families Announces First Global Gathering in the United States

Salt Lake City Selected as Venue for World Congress IX

Contact: Benjamin May, 202-413-0119, bmay@policyimpact.com; www.wcf9.org

SALT LAKE CITY, May 12, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- For the first time in its 20-year history, the World Congress of Families will hold its international event—World Congress of Families IX—in the United States of America, with Salt Lake City, Utah, as the venue, October 27-30, 2015.  The announcement was made today at the Grand America Hotel, in Salt Lake City, with the signing of the official agreement between Allan C. Carlson, co-founder and international secretary of the World Congress of Families, and Stan Swim, chairman and chief operating officer of Sutherland Institute, the event's host organization.

"This is an historic moment," Carlson said.  "Since our inaugural congress in Prague (1997), we have held events in Geneva, Mexico City, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Sydney.  The World Congress of Families IX in the United States will be our largest stage to date, effectively allowing scholars, religious leaders, parliamentarians, and other advocates of the natural family to meet in a rich media environment and welcome engaged and honest discussion from participants who may never otherwise have attended outside the U.S."

The World Congress of Families selects its locations similar to the way the International Olympic Committee receives bids from international cities for its venue.  The Salt Lake City proposal was led by Sutherland Institute, a Utah-based public policy think.  "It is an honor to host WCF9," said Swim.  "Not only is there an abundance of family-related scholarship in Utah but there is an extensive interfaith community ready to host ecclesiastical leaders from faiths and denominations around the world. Salt Lake City's natural beauty will provide the perfect setting for our guests visiting from around the globe."

The World Congress of Families planning committee selected Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D, as executive director of WCF9.  A former presidential speechwriter for George H.W. Bush, and head of a Washington, D.C., think tank, Crouse is the author of Children at Risk and Marriage Matters, as well as a recognized expert on issues related to women and family.  

"We look forward to getting our message out in a big way this October," Crouse said.  "It's a simple but direct message: The family is and always will be the most effective means of providing a safety net for the oldest, youngest and most vulnerable among us. Governments, schools, or service organizations cannot duplicate what a loving mother and father can do as they raise and nurture their children.  Our congress is the world's premier gathering of experts on this subject, and at the World Congress of Families IX our objective is to expand, unite, and mobilize.  This wonderful four-day conference will be filled with inspiration, entertainment, information, and impact. We anticipate an audience of several thousand delegates coming from around 50 nations."

Crouse said that one special area of emphasis will be broadening participation for youth.  "Among the delegates will be hundreds of young people ages 18-27," she said.  "One of the defining qualities of the WCF is the involvement of people who represent many different organizations, many different faiths, and many different points of view."