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Philip Poole to lead Religion Communication Congress 2020

Philip PooleVeteran religion communication and public relations practitioner Philip Poole of Birmingham, Alabama, has been named coordinator for Religion Communication Congress 2020 (RCCongress 2020), a once-a-decade international gathering of professional religion communicators from a wide range of faith traditions.

As of June 1, 2018, 75 interfaith organizations have committed to support RCCongress 2020, which is scheduled for March 17-21, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Cooperating organizations include large international organizations, small non-profits, academic institutions and consulting agencies.

As coordinator, Poole will lead a representative steering committee to plan the Congress program and other logistical details. The Congress will include representatives and participants from a wide range of faith traditions around the world.

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RCC hears from Rev. Michael Waters, Wilbur Award winning author

Rev. Dr. Michael Waters (r) is pictured with Gusto! host Myron Knudson (l) prior to the Wilbur Award winner giving a presentation for the speakers program and Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of RCC.

Half a hundred, including members of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of RCC, gathered recently to hear 2018 Wilbur Award winner, Rev. Dr. Michael Waters, speak on topic of Social Justice, Hope and Empowerment. Dr. Waters presentation was sponsored by the Gusto! program at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas. He won the Wilbur award for his non-fiction book titled, Stakes is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America.

Dr. Waters opened with the honest comment that in the morning’s presentation his responsibility “was not to make you comfortable.” He went on to tell attendees that, “If I disturb, then perhaps that will motivate to action.”

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GatherDC shares communications strategies for reaching young adults

Millennials are connecting to religion in a different way, so how can religious groups best reach young adults? Experts from Gather DC shared from their expertise at the April 2018 meeting of the D.C. chapter of the Religion Communicators Council.

A Jewish nonprofit dedicated to relationship-based engagement, GatherDC connects Jewish individuals in their 20s & 30s to each other, to DC Jewish life and to meaningful adult Jewish identities. Allison Friedman, Gather DC’s communications director, and Rachel Gildiner, the executive director, led a lively discussion session on how any religious nonprofit can focus strategies to build bridges to the younger generations.

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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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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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