2018 Convention: April 5-7 in Atlanta, Georgia — Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication

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Religion communicators explore peace and justice through communication

By Patrick Horn

Shirley Struchen, executive director of RCC, speaks at the opening plenary session of the 2018 convention (photo by George Conklin).

Religion communicators, meeting in Atlanta last week during the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, explored how communication could help advance peace and justice. The theme for the 89th annual national convention of the Religion Communicators Council, which ran from April 5 through 7, was “Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication.”

The Religion Communicators Council is an organization of interfaith communication and public relations professionals founded in 1929. They present the prestigious Wilbur Award of excellence for secular journalism on religious issues and the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards for members who demonstrate excellence in communications.

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Stories about race in America lead the 2018 Wilbur Awards

By Skyler Nimmons

2018 Wilbur Award winners (photo by Malinda Rawls)

ATLANTA — Days after the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his birthplace of Atlanta, notably the heart of the South with a complicated history of race, equality, and justice, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) celebrated the winners of the 2018 Wilbur Awards.

RCC announced 22 Wilbur Award winners March 5. The awards honor the creative journalistic excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious, social justice, and political issues, values and themes in culture during 2017.

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Religion communicators visit Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights

By Joan Gaylord

A display at the Center for Civil and Human Rights features the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (photo by George Conklin).

One wouldn’t say we “enjoyed” our visit to Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights. A more accurate response to the powerful exhibits might be “inspired” and sometimes “heart-rending.” Overall, RCC members found the visit to Atlanta’s new museum to be very worthwhile, and, as one person added, “especially for people of faith.”

The Center describes itself as “a safe space” to explore the global issues of human rights and abuses. Exhibits – which include photographs, videos, and artifacts – delve deeply into the topic, exploring many chapters throughout human history.

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Reframing diversity and inclusion

By Curtis Ramsey-Lucas

Ana Toro (photo by Curtis Ramsey-Lucas)

Has your organization examined its programming, messages, materials, graphics, website, images, and committees for racial and cultural balance? Have you re-evaluated your use of images, terms or phrases that may be perceived by others as degrading or hurtful? Does your organization have specific diversity and inclusion goals and objectives?

These and other questions were the starting point for discussion during “Reframe Diversity and Inclusion: It's More Than Race,” a workshop led by Ana Toro, APR, Fellow PRSA, at the Religion Communicators Council 2018 Annual Convention in Atlanta.

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RCC elects Board of Governors, hears reports at annual business meeting

By Jeff Huett, APR

Bud Heckman (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

ATLANTA (April 6, 2018) — Members of the Religion Communicators Council heard updates on implementation of the organization’s Strategic Plan 2020, elected new members to its Board of Governors and received reports from local chapters in Washington, D.C., Nashville and New York at its business meeting in conjunction with the 2018 convention.

RCC President Bud Heckman reported on the organization’s progress toward upgraded communications and database infrastructure through a new website and CRM software. He reported on a conference called Reimagining Religion 2018: New Stories, New Communities. RCC worked with the University of Southern California (Knight Program & Center for Religion and Civic Culture) and the Religion News Association to develop and to sponsor the January conference.

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Be prepared: copyright, trademark and privacy laws do affect religion communication

By Amelia Tucker-Shaw

Cayce Myers (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

The Religion Communicators Council national convention held in Atlanta, Georgia the weekend on the commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. offered multiple workshops, including a session to inform and engage religion communicators about the law and the church.

Many may believe the church can't be sued or taken to court – not true! M. Cayce Myers, Ph.D., J.D., APR, a legal research editor for the Institute for Public Relations, member of the Georgia Bar Association and assistant professor of communication at Virginia Tech, presented a well structured process for all faith groups to consider – better to be prepared than not!

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Breaking through noise requires research, planning

by Katherine Kerr, APR

Gurwin Singh Ahuja (photo by George Conklin)

While the campaign to portray American Sikhs in a positive light was almost immediately successful, the campaign itself was years in the making, said Gurwin Singh Ahuja, co-founder and executive director of the National Sikh Campaign and We are Sikhs.

In his workshop, “Breaking Through the Noise: Effectively Communicating Your Values in a Polarized Political Environment,” Ahuja shared that the Sikh community had been frustrated since 9/11 about the lack of understanding about Sikhs and misidentifying members as terrorists.

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Annual reports tell your story one year at a time

By Colleen Dorner

Philip Poole, APR (photo by George Conklin)

Philip Poole, APR, executive director of university communication at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, presented a workshop on producing annual reports titled “Telling Your Story, One Year at a Time” at the Religion Communicators Council’s 2018 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Poole discussed best practices, as well as challenges, for an annual report.

Organizations have different reasons and audiences for their annual reports. Initially you need to decide if your organization needs an annual report. Providing adequate information in a clear and concise manner is key.

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Faith groups should recommit to leadership on civil rights, panel members say

By Douglas Cannon, APR

Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr., Yvette Moore, Kemal Budak, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Bedell (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

Faith communities have retreated from moral leadership in the post-civil-rights era, the Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin told RCC members April 6. Some faith communities have drifted toward social assimilation and linked religious beliefs to political positions.

Franklin, the James T. and Berta R. Laney professor of moral leadership at Emory University in Atlanta, called for people of faith to recommit to moral leadership and to holding political leaders to high standards that seek to serve a common good.

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Building relationships is key in communication leadership

By Lisa Webb

Lanette Hart (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

During the second day of the 2018 Religion Communicators Council Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC, founder and principal consultant of Hart & Associates in Jacksonville, Florida, presented the workshop “Leadership Communication in Changing Times.” This session combined practical advice on developing communication strategies and leadership skills and offered insights on preparing for change and embracing the challenge of helping others to understand the nature of change when it arises.

Speaking to a room of communicators from a variety of organizations, including faith communities, schools and publications, Hart drew on her experience as a public relations professional as she discussed the role of relationship building in managing change and inspiring others to deal with change in a positive way.

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Enhancing your story with digital media

by Joey Butler

John Blake (photo by George Conklin)

John Blake, who writes about race and religion for CNN, is an old-school print journalist who “remembers what it’s like to cover a boring city council meeting.”

In his workshop, Blake identified three major changes that transitioning to digital media has brought to his role as a journalist.

First is all the “bells and whistles” he now has at his disposal. Instead of the traditional treatment of a print story with a photo or two, Blake can tell his story with video, sound bytes and links to supplemental material. While he considers himself lucky to work for a large organization where each of those elements might be overseen by a different staffer, Blake cautioned those in a “one-man band” situation not to focus too much on the tech toys at the expense of the story.

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To work more smartly in social media, realize it’s not all about you

By Mat McDermott

Kurt Gwartney demonstrates social media tools (photo by George Conklin)

As religious communicators we naturally want to appeal to the best in humanity, Kurt Gwartney, Senior Director of Seminary Relations for Phillips Theological Seminary, told RCC conference attendees during Friday’s “Tools for Working Smarter on Social Media” panel. But, Kurt continued, this instinct is sometime at odds with the fact that not only are the social media tools we all use both physically addictive, they are primarily designed to make money for their makers. So, how can we best use these tools for good and not just play into the next dopamine hit we get by pressing ‘like’? 

It’s a lofty question and one that served mostly as a segue into the more prosaic discussion of what are the best social media management tools on the market today, how do they compare, and how are they best used.

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Reach your audience with these six steps

By Terri Lackey

Erin Fitzgerald (photo by George Conklin)

Reaching an audience with your organization’s advocacy message requires six communications steps, said two Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) communications professionals.

Erin Fitzgerald, digital director at SPLC in Montgomery, Alabama, and Seth Levi, director of marketing, led the workshop “Integrated Communication for Advocacy” at the Religion Communicators Council conference in Atlanta, April 5-7. The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of the society.

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From theory to practice: Teaching, learning, and communicating in interfaith studies

By Casey Tom

Student panel from left to right: Cale Hall, Tala AlRaheb, Brittani Magee, Kemal Budak (photo by George Conklin)

Students from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology joined the Rev. Dr. Deanna Womack, Assistant Professor of History of Religion and Multifaith Religions at Candler, to discuss experiences and the importance of interfaith engagement and communication. The student panel consisted of Kemal Budak, a PhD student in Sociology of Religion; Brittani Magee, a third-year Master of Divinity student; Tala AlRaheb, a Master of Theological Studies student; and Cale Hall, a Master of Theological Studies student.

The panel discussed what they have learned through academic studies, and how the practice of interfaith engagement has enhanced their learning. Magee shared that through academics came an understanding of belief and faith functions in different faith groups, however interfaith dialogue gives a true understanding of those faith traditions. Hall stated, “academic exposure shattered my preconceptions of different faith groups.” He then discussed a recent trip to India where he had the opportunity to experience how the people there live their own religion.

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Find commonalities, then go deeper and understand our differences

By Nadine L. Monn

Dr. Deanna Ferree Womack leads plenary (photo by George Conklin)

Reflect for a moment on the term “interreligious communication.” What role does a communicator play in these efforts: promoting religious literacy? Perhaps fostering understanding of various faith traditions? Or is it cultivating relationships between people of different faiths?

In Friday’s plenary, “Interreligious Communication: How Does It Look, How Should It Look – Models from the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries,” Dr. Deanna Ferree Womack of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University invited convention attendees to examine these questions while highlighting positive and negative examples from the last three centuries.

Initially, Womack distinguished between interfaith relations and interfaith dialogue.

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Communicators attend workshop on crisis scenarios

by Ryan Koch

Katherine Kerr, APR (photo by Andy and Malinda Rawls)

Katherine Kerr, APR, the co-founder of Polaris Non-Profit Solutions, LLC, reprised her excellent crisis communications workshop from last year.

Walking participants through the steps of responding to crises, Katherine drew from her vast experience to provide real-world examples of crises that will eventually occur.  Although each crisis is unique, they will all follow similar patterns both in terms of preparation for them, and in terms of response to them.

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Reputation management requires planning, evaluation of risks and opportunities

By Kurt Gwartney

Katherine Morales, APR (photo by George Conklin)

Communication professionals must remain vigilant about the reputation of their companies and institutions in the age of social media and ever-changing news cycles.

“Reputation management is about managing in the good times and bad times,” said Katherine Morales, APR, in her presentation during the 2018 Religion Communicators Council convention in Atlanta.

Morales said it is commonplace for institutions to be thrust into the court of public opinion on a divisive social issue. While a quality reputation can help a company or organization through the rough times, communicators also need a plan for dealing with a reputation challenge or crisis.

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Ask, decide, and take action: Tips for visualizing expanded media engagement

By Michelle Collins, Director of Communication and Discipleship (Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA)

Jacqueline Fuller (photo by George Conklin)

In her workshop, Jacqueline Fuller, RCC Board member and host and executive producer of the TV Show “Interfaith Connections” in Washington, D.C., gave participants practical steps for visualizing an expanded media engagement on a limited budget. The purpose of the “Visualizing Your 15 Minutes of Fame” workshop was to strengthen the competency and confidence participants felt when wanting to increase the visibility and connection between their organization and the media.

Participants in the workshop represented a variety of faith communities, from Episcopal to 7th Day Adventist, from Buddhist to Lutheran, as well as some independent communicators and consultants. They began by sharing their goals for the workshop – most identifying a goal having to do with strengthening the connection between their organization and the media and expanding visibility and publicity.

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Awards presented to religion communicators

By Eron Henry, APR

DeRose-Hinkhouse Best in Class winners (photo by George Conklin)

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC), the oldest public relations organization in the United States, recognized outstanding work done by its members in 2017.

The annual DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards are given annually to active members of the RCC who demonstrate excellence in religious communication and public relations.

News, feature, promotional and other materials in all forms of media – print, electronic and digital – with either local, regional or national reach, were recognized.

Winners were presented with Best in Class, Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit during the DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia on April 5.

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Intersectional justice: Gender, race, and religion in the media

By Megan Anderson

Dr. Glory Dharmaraj (photo by George Conklin)

Dr. Glory Dharmaraj began the session by presenting glaring statistics about women in the reporting field. They can all be found on the Who Makes the News website. Her main message was that gender and religion are not monolithic categories that can be essentialized and that the framing of gender, race, and religion do not occur in a vacuum. The language of “family values” is often used as a reason to keep women from advancing in the field. They are also influenced by fear and the emergence of nascent nationalist ideology.

Next, the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), presented on news accessibility, equality of access, and the representation of people and issues. Who is visible/invisible? Is more than one side of the story presented?

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RCC members learn about Atlanta’s history

By Anne Keever Cannon, APR

Tear stains are still visible on the veil worn by Coretta Scott King at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. The veil is on exhibit at the Center for Nonviolent Social Change. (Photo by Anne Keever Cannon, APR.)

Some 25 RCC members got a close-up look at Atlanta’s heart Thursday.

They visited the neighborhood where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was born, grew up and ministered. They saw his alma mater, Morehouse College, and learned a bit about the city’s vibrant downtown.

The bus stopped first at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park. The area stretches several blocks along Auburn Avenue. It includes the house where the civil rights icon was born and grew up; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as assistant pastor; and the crypt where King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are buried.

The church is the area’s center. It’s been restored to look as it did when King ministered there in the 1960s. It’s no longer an active church – the congregation built a new home across the street in 1999 to accommodate growth.

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Atlanta convention opens with keynote on “Realizing the Dream”

By Carolyn Lewis

Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Byron E. Thomas (photo by George Conklin)

Rev Russell Pierce, executive director of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church welcomed the annual Religion Communicators Council convention to Atlanta. He said that Atlanta is an international city rich in history and pointed out that his staff is now working out of a local congregation after years of being in New York.

Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Byron E. Thomas, senior pastor of Ben Hill United Methodist Church in Atlanta, called “bitterness on all sides” an impediment to improving relationships in the US.

Speaking on the theme of “Realizing the Dream of Peace and Justice through Communication,” he said, “Bitterness causes people to see others as an ‘it’ rather than a ‘thou.’”

“If we fail to deal with bitterness any progress will not bring a long lasting and endurable peace.”

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Matters of Church and State, not so separate among winning entries for 2018 Wilbur Awards

Religion Communicators Council honors 22 for work during 2017

Wilbur Award trophy

Wilbur Award winners receive a handcrafted stained-glass trophy and national recognition for their work.

NEW YORK — From the President’s televangelist advisor, immigration, to Muslims in America – this year’s 2018 Wilbur Award winners aren’t afraid to dive into the well of divisive issues to find inclusion, unity and understanding throughout vast communities of diverse belief systems.

The Religion Communicators Council announced 22 Wilbur Award winners March 5. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – for communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2017.

Welcoming the Stranger, the single program winner in our podcast and radio category by Interfaith Voices, explores multiple religious perspectives on the spiritual imperative to welcome the stranger in the midst of what might be the largest refugee crisis since World War II; Who Would Jesus Deport?, an article from the Texas Observer that examines two ministers’ interpretation on the bible’s take on immigration; a Washington Post Magazine piece about Paula White, the controversial and influential televangelist who preaches the prosperity gospel and is linked to the Presidential family; and a Rowan and Littlefield book, Being Hindu: Understanding a Peaceful Path in a Violent World, are to receive individually crafted stained-glass Wilbur trophies at an awards ceremony in Atlanta next month.

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Registration STILL OPEN for Atlanta Convention

Attendees at the 2018 national convention will tour and visit the Center for Civil and Human Rights on Saturday, April 7. Ticket price is included in your registration.

Full Convention Registration
  • Includes all presentations, workshops, scheduled meals, DeRose-Hinkhouse and Wilbur Awards banquets.
    • Full Registration: $395
    • Full Registration for a spouse or partner: $295
    • Full Registration for Students: $200 (Student ID required)
  • See Convention Registration page for fees for separate days, meals
  • Online registration

 

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Telling long-term stories that matter

By Candice Johnson

Sarah Pulliam Bailey at New York Chapter RCC, March 2018

On Tuesday March 21st, the New York City chapter of the RCC met at the Church Pension Group for its monthly lunch meeting. This month’s speaker was Sarah Pulliam Bailey of the Washington Post. Sarah is a religion reporter and currently runs Washington Post’s religion blog, “Acts of Faith.” Her focus is religion’s intersection with everything, including politics, culture and education.

Sarah began by speaking of her experience as a journalist throughout the rise of Trump. She put forth the question, in a time of Trump dominating the news cycle how do we break through as religion communicators? How do we tell long-term stories that matter instead of reacting to every tweet and scandal?

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An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story Wins Prestigious Wilbur Award

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story has won the 2018 Wilbur Award for the best feature length work in Television & Cable. The annual award is given by the Religion Communicators Council honoring the best in television, film, books, and digital. Other winners this year include: 60 Minutes, The Washington Post Magazine, CBS Sunday Morning and NPR.

Read more in the Journey Films newsletter...

CryPeace wins a Wilbur Award

I just received wonderful news – CryPeace won the 2018 Wilbur Award for best faith-based blog for the story, Motorcycle Diaries: Friday the 13th Motorcycle Rally! Although I've traveled the world capturing peace stories, this day in rural Ontario was one of the highlights of them all. I am personally encouraged by this recognition, but more importantly, it will help share the stories people entrust to me more widely.

Read more on the CryPeace website...

Atlanta in Spring!

altREGISTER NOW! Register online.

Thursday highlight: Black History tour – Free!

Plan to arrive Wednesday night, April 4 and take part in a Black History tour of historic sites on Thursday, April 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The tour includes a the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center with a visit to the crypts of Coretta and Dr. King, Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Visitor's Center, Gift Shop, and Dr. King's Birth Home followed by a drive through downtown Atlanta past Atlanta University Center which includes Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Wilbur Awards

The convention also includes the Wilbur Awards dinner, recognizing coverage of religion and values in the secular media. Check out the list of winners here – ranging from The Washington Post Magazine to 60 Minutes to BuzzFeed News.

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Convention News – Details, Updates, Reminders

Basic info: RCC’s national Convention is set for April 5-7 in Atlanta. Registration is $395. Venue is Sheraton Atlanta, special RCC rate of $129+tax. Theme: Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication. Register online.

Why it’s worth your time and $$

Your convention registration includes ticket/admission and transportation to this historic center. Saturday, April 7 from 2-4 p.m. Center for Civil and Human Rights – Downtown Atlanta

Explore the fundamental rights of all human beings. Leave empowered to join the conversation in your own community. This is a safe place to learn about the fundamental rights of all humans.

Exhibits include:

  • Live the Legacy – Photographic collection presenting a broad exploration of processes, problems and benefits of non-violent demonstration as taught by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1968 to the present.
  • American Civil Rights Movement – Rolls Down Like Water – Experience sights, sounds, interactive displays showing the struggles of individuals working to change the US in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
  • Global Human Rights Movement – Spark of Conviction – Gain a deeper understanding of human rights and how all persons are affected through this gallery’s interactive display.
  • And more, more, more....

Program highlight

Friday – 12:45 p.m. Plenary Lunch and Panel Discussion on Perceptions of Civil Rights Today: The role of faith groups in shaping public opinion. The panel will include:

Rashad Abdul-RahmaanImam Rashad Abdul-Rahmaan, assistant Imam at Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, was a participant in a three-year interfaith dialogue with leaders of the Presbyterian Church USA and conducted a weekly program, "AL-Islam in View," on the American Muslim (online) Radio Network 360 (AM 360). From 2009 to 2015, he was assistant Imam and assistant director of education at Clara Muhammad School at Masjid Sultan Mohammed in Milwaukee.

Ken BedellThe Rev. Dr. Kenneth Bedell, author of Realizing the Civil Rights Dream: Diagnosing and Treating American Racism (2017), is a former member of the RCC Board of Governors. An ordained United Methodist pastor, he served local congregations for 18 years. He was a senior staff executive at the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and a senior adviser in the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Department of Education during the Obama administration. He taught in the Master of Arts in Religious Communication program at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He edited the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches for the National Council of Churches for five years.

Robert FranklinThe Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr. is the James T. and Berta R. Laney professor of moral leadership at Emory University in Atlanta. He was president of the Interdenominational Theological Center at Atlanta University Center Consortium (1997-2002) and president of Morehouse College (2007-2012). He directed the Religion Department at the Chautauqua Institution in New York from January 2012 to August 2017. In 2016, Franklin served as an adviser to Oprah Winfrey's "Belief" series. He is ordained in the American Baptist Churches USA and the Church of God in Christ. Franklin is the author of three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (2007); Another Day's Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (1997); and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought (1990).

Yvette MooreYvette Moore is Director of Communications for United Methodist Women, a nearly 800,000-member organization committed to addressing the needs of women, children and youth. She has served as editor of its magazine, response, and in overseeing United Methodist Women’s print, web/social media and public relations operations. Moore is the author of Freedom Songs, a moving coming of age story for young adults set in Brooklyn, New York, and North Carolina in 1963. The Civil Rights Movement classic was published in the United States by Orchard Books/Franklin Watts, Inc., in 1991. She is also the author of the newly released Just Sketching, a sequel to Freedom Songs.

Read more about all the Convention speakers and schedule.

2018 Convention Sponsorship Opportunities – Great opportunity still open!

photos of Atlanta buildingsWe invite you to highlight your organization's services with faith-based communicators from around the country by sponsoring part of the upcoming convention. Details are on the Sponsorships page and we can accept commitments/reservations until Feb. 12.

The 2018 multi-faith forum is intended to enrich, engage, educate and empower professional communicators of religion and faith-based issues. Our anticipated audience of 150 people or more represent faith groups on local, regional, national and international levels. PLUS – you’ll be listed in the convention program book.

Latest workshop Atlanta convention news

Three staff members from the well-known Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will lead a workshop at the upcoming April 5-7 RCC national convention in Atlanta. Kristen Bokenkamp, Communications Director; Seth Levi, Marketing Director; and Erin Fitzgerald, Digital Director, will conduct a session titled Integrated Communication for Advocacy. Part of the Interfaith Issues track, attendees will learn about the SPLC’s efforts to fight hate and seek justice and the communication practices used to do this. These practices include web and social media content, emails to specific lists, press outreach and more. The workshop will also include an interactive discussion about challenges and opportunities found when engaging target audiences.

Convention theme is Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication. Registration is $395 (thru March 13). Hotel and meeting venue is the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel – special group rate for RCC is available until March 13. Plenary sessions, keynote addresses, workshops for professional development, awards programs and special Atlanta-location features are all part of the event. You can get more details on the Convention Schedule and Speakers page and register on the RCC Convention Registration page.

2018 convention engages how faith communities use public relations

altAtlanta — One of the plenary panels during the 2018 Religion Communicators Council (RCC) National Convention will demonstrate how faith groups have used advertising and public relations to reach key populations since the 19th century. The meeting runs April 5-7.

Realizing the Dream: Peace and Justice Through Communication is the theme of the three-day event at the Sheraton Atlanta. One highlight on the meeting schedule is a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Meeting participants can choose from workshops covering multi-religious activism, enhancing your story with digital media, copyright laws, media monitoring, branding and design, crisis communication, and planning for the “We Are Sikhs” national public service announcement campaign. The 15 workshops are organized into three five-session tracks:

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Tips when covering Islam and Muslims

Wajahat AliTop 30 do's and don'ts when covering Islam and Muslims — Tips from Wajahat Ali, co-host of Al Jazeera America’s The Stream to the 2015 RCC National Convention.

The first three are:

  • Do diversify your portfolio of token Muslims. Different Muslim super heroes have different superpowers.
  • Do not assume Arabs = Muslims and Muslims = Arab. Do not use them interchangeably.
  • Do seek out Muslims who are black and/or white and or other colors. They exist, not all are brown.

Read more...

 


Convention news

Religion communicators explore peace and justice through communication

Stories about race in America lead the 2018 Wilbur Awards

Religion communicators visit Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights

Reframing diversity and inclusion

RCC elects Board of Governors, hears reports at annual business meeting

Be prepared: copyright, trademark and privacy laws do affect religion communication

Breaking through noise requires research, planning

Annual reports tell your story one year at a time

Faith groups should recommit to leadership on civil rights, panel members say

Building relationships is key in communication leadership

Enhancing your story with digital media

To work more smartly in social media, realize it’s not all about you

Reach your audience with these six steps

From theory to practice: Teaching, learning, and communicating in interfaith studies

Find commonalities, then go deeper and understand our differences

Communicators attend workshop on crisis scenarios

Reputation management requires planning, evaluation of risks and opportunities

Ask, decide, and take action: Tips for visualizing expanded media engagement

Awards presented to religion communicators

Intersectional justice: Gender, race, and religion in the media

RCC members learn about Atlanta’s history

Atlanta convention opens with keynote on “Realizing the Dream”

Atlanta in Spring!

Matters of Church and State, not so separate among winning entries for 2018 Wilbur Awards

Spotlight on Speakers for RCC 2018

How faith communities use public relations

Convention News – Tour of Historic Atlanta

2018 convention engages how faith communities use public relations

Workshops at spring 2018 convention to help Religion Communicators polish skills

 
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