2016 Convention: Faith-based Communications: Bridges, Avenues, and Intersections

DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards entry deadline: January 21, 2016

Wilbur Awards entry deadline: February 5, 2016

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How Can You Spread Peace in the Midst of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric?

RCC's national vice president Bud Heckman (second from left) joins others in Religions for Peace USA's Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative

Since the Paris attacks the U.S. has seen an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric that isolates our Muslim neighbors and feeds into a culture of fear.

What can you do to counteract this trend?

Religions for Peace USA's Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative is a national effort to end Islamophobia. For the last three years they have been on the ground in Tennessee building communities of trust across racial and religious lines. In 2016, they will begin working with key partners up in Minnesota.

Over the years, they have developed strategies and resources to help people reach out and relate to their neighbors, to understand Islam and Muslims better, and to build communities of trust that break down stereotypes eating away at the goodwill that is so necessary for strong communities to thrive.

They are now making available three online lectures of some of the nation's leading voices on interfaith peacebuilding. Listen to the lectures and share widely! 


28 Young Journalists, Communicators Named as Handa Fellows in Interreligious Communication

COLUMBIA, MO. — More than two dozen young professionals and students were named this week to the 2015-16 class of Handa Fellows in Interreligious Communication, among a strong field of 60 applicants.

This marks the inaugural year for the joint program between the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA). The fellowships are funded by a grant to RNA’s Foundation from the New York-based International Shinto Foundation. The program seeks to foster greater religious literacy in faith-based communication and mainstream religion reporting.

“Interfaith understanding and engagement is crucial in today’s world,” said Shirley Struchen, executive director of the Religion Communicators Council. “We are thrilled with the 12 RCC Handa Fellows who bring a fresh and diverse perspective to our continued work in religious literacy.”

Over the next year, fellows will be divided into RCC and RNA cohorts for immersive programming tracks and mentoring in their field, as well as joint training sessions from industry experts and leaders.

Read more on the RNS web site...

Muslim Leaders React to Paris Attacks

RCC member Jacob Bender interviewed on ABC TV Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Leaders from the local Muslim community are reacting to what happened in Paris, all of them condemning the attacks.

They call ISIS a legion of psychopaths and murderous criminals.

Jacob Bender is the local leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In no uncertain terms, he condemns the ISIS slaughter in Paris, saying Muslim leaders worldwide don’t get enough media coverage of their views on ISIS.

Read more and see video on the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Pennsylvania web site...

Impressive cast of presenters to headline spring Religion Communicators convention

2016 Convention: Faith-based Communications: Bridges, Avenues, and IntersectionsNEW YORK — Religion communicators will build “bridges” among faith groups, find “avenues” to new communications skills and discover “intersections” between faith groups and the world during the Religion Communicators Council’s (RCC) annual convention, March 31-April 2, in New York City.

The three-day event will take RCC members to the Interchurch Center on the Upper West Side, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquarters in the Lincoln Center area, and the Church Center for the United Nations. Plenary and workshop topics will include multi-religious activism, Google News Lab and the future of media, finding funding and resources, advanced social media training, and issues of religious freedom.

Among the featured speakers and panelists already confirmed:


Entry Period is Open for 2016 Wilbur Awards

Religion Communicators Council to accept submissions until Feb. 5

Wilbur Award trophyThe Religion Communicators Council (RCC) is accepting entries for the 2016 Wilbur Awards. Secular communicators have until Feb. 5, 2016 to submit work produced during 2015 for consideration in one of the oldest recognition programs in religion communication.

The council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. They honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious issues, positive values and themes.

Winners in 2015 represented Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins publishing; CBS Television News; St. Louis Post-Dispatch; WATE-TV, Knoxville, Tennessee; Religion News Service; The Huffington Post and WLRN-Miami Herald News as well as motion picture producers, bloggers, and book authors.


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