2019 Convention: April 10-13, 2019 in Chicago

2019 RCC-ACP Convention

April 10-13, 2019 in Chicago

Seeing in New Ways: Possibilities and Perceptions

When we consider the time in which we live, as religion communicators and journalists too often we see situations and experiences in the same old ways. During our 2019 RCC-ACP Convention, we will strive to see in new ways with new possibilities and perceptions to reach existing and new audiences with a refreshing message of truth, justice, freedom and hope.

Location and Registration

Location & Registration | Speakers | Schedule


Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and the Associated Church Press (ACP) are pleased to announce the dates for their joint convention in 2019. We’ll meet together April 10-13, 2019 at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Although we’ll have our own award ceremonies, the convention is being planned by a team from both organizations and we’ll share in workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities and faith expressions.

ACP members will have the option to attend the RCC’s DeRose-Hinkhouse awards and the Wilbur Awards, which honors the best in religious coverage in the secular press. The Wilbur Awards will be held in the Ballroom of the  hotel on Friday evening April 12th. Reception to meet the secular media winners will precede the banquet.

RCC 2019 will meet at the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

We’ll meet at the incredible facilities at Fourth Presbyterian Church as our convention host.

Located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile — as close as you can get to the Windy City’s shopping, entertainment and the lakeshore district — the church is a beautiful landmark and a vibrant member of Chicago’s downtown community.


Registration is now open.

Full convention registration is $395 and includes all presentations, workshops, scheduled meals, DeRose-Hinkhouse and Wilbur Awards banquets. Day rates and additional Awards tickets are also available.


Accommodations will be at the Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago, a historic hotel on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

Our conference hotel will be the Millennium Knickerbocker where we’ve negotiated a room rate of $139/night + taxes.

Call the hotel reservation line (800-621-8140) and use the code “Associated Church Press” or 1904ASSCHU. You may also book online to lock in this rate. The promotional rate expires March 10, 2019.

Convention Parking

The 900-910 N. Lake Shore Drive Condominium (black steel and glass exterior) has the lowest parking rates in the neighborhood and is located at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Delaware. Delaware is on the north side of Fourth Presbyterian Church.

The garage entrance is three blocks east of the church on the corner of DeWitt and Delaware. Drive down the ramp, leave the keys in the ignition, and the staff will valet your car. The garage is open 24-7. People can park for the entire convention or enter and leave as needed. When leaving the garage the standard tip is $2.00.

The full day rate is $38.00

Speakers and Workshop Leaders

Location & Registration | Speakers | Schedule

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Opening Plenary

Judith Valente

Judith ValenteJudith Valente (@judithvalente) is an award-winning author and journalist and 2003 Wilbur Award winner. Her most recent book is How to Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community.

She is a sought-after speaker and retreat leader on such subjects as living a more contemplative life, discovering inner wisdom through poetry, and finding meaning in your work. She is a lay associate of the Benedictine monastery Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, which is the subject of her 2013 memoir, Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith.

Ms. Valente is the senior correspondent for WGLT Radio, an NPR affiliate in central Illinois. She writes for U.S. Catholic and National Catholic Reporter, and is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. She also worked as an on-air correspondent for Chicago Public Radio and Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on national PBS-TV.

Workshop | APR Track

Be a Leader in Your Field: Earn Your APR

 Jeff Huett, APR (@JeffHuett) is Associate Coordinator of Communications and Advancement, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Decatur, Georgia and RCC's representative on the UAB.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Plenary Panel

Communicating in the Age of #MeToo

The #MeToo movement has created a platform calling for change around gender issues in nearly every sector of society. This panel takes an intersectional approach to exploring and challenging the present state of gender representation in media and media production. Panelists will engage a range of ongoing efforts to raise awareness about gender disparities, as well as examining issues of media ethics, the role of social media, and emerging strategies. Finally, they will suggest ways to promote greater equity in our work in religion-based communications and media.

Glory DharmarajDr. Glory Dharmaraj is U.S. coordinator for the Global Media Monitoring Project (@whomakesthenews) of the World Association for Christian Communication (@waccglobal). Since the project’s inception in 1995, she has led media monitoring on the role and image of women in the United States. She also participated in WACC’s peace journalism project, coordinating peace monitoring for the United States.

Dharmaraj has spoken and written widely on the themes of Christian mission, interfaith relations and media literacy.

 Dr. Karri Whipple (@karriwhipple) is a speaker, writer, and activist who promotes transformative justice work within communities. Her work focuses on the intersection of trauma, identity politics, and religion. She is particularly interested in the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race shape responses to violence and trauma within faith traditions.

Karri is an Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at New York University and has taught at Rutgers University, Drew University, and numerous other institutions She serves as the Vice President of the World Association of Christian Communicators - North American region.

Other panelists TBA

Plenary Speaker

Rev. Jonathan E.L. Brooks

Jonathan BrooksThe Rev. Jonathan E.L. Brooks (@PastahJ) serves as Senior Pastor at Canaan Community Church in West Englewood, Illinois and has taught elementary education and Arts in inner city Chicago for over a decade.

As a firm believer in investing in the community you grew up in, Rev. Brooks has a deep desire to impress this virtue on the students and young people in his congregation, classroom and community. Canaan provides youth development, holistic health options, college scholarships, music lessons and continual support to the incarcerated and their families living in Englewood and other Chicago communities.

Rev. Brooks has a Bachelor of Architecture from Tuskegee University, Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University and Master of Divinity from Northern Seminary in Christian Community Development. He hopes to merge his academic knowledge, practical tools and ministry training in order to turn his convictions into tangible solutions which will help change the Greater Englewood neighborhood for future generations.

He is the author of Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods, released in November 2018.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Tentative 2019 RCC-ACP Convention Schedule

Location & Registration | Speakers | Schedule

Wednesday, April 10

  • 9:00 a.m. — Registration and Exhibits Open
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m. — Lunch on your own with Affinity Groups
  • 1:30 p.m. — Greetings from the RCC and ACP Presidents, words of welcome Opening
  • 2:00 p.m. — Keynote speaker on theme “Seeing in New Ways: Possibilities and Perceptions”
  • 3:00 p.m. — Sponsored beverage break and newcomer welcome
  • 3:30 p.m. — Professional Development Workshops 1
    • Management — Communication Research, Strategy Planning with leader TBA
    • Technology — Advanced Social Media: Facebook, Google, Twitter with leader TBA
    • APR Track — Be a Leader in Your Field: Earn Your APR with Jeff Huett, APR (NOTE: APR Track Workshops are open to ALL convention participants)
  • 5:00 p.m. — Faith Expressions led by ACP
  • 5:30 p.m. — Break
  • 6:00 p.m. — RCC: DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards Banquet, Fourth Presbyterian Church
  • 6:00 p.m. — ACP: Reception with hor d’oeuvres

Thursday, April 11

  • 8:30 a.m. — Faith Expressions led by RCC
  • 9:00 a.m. — Plenary Session with panel: Communicating in the Age of #MeToo
  • 10:30 a.m. — Sponsored beverage break
  • 11:00 a.m. — Professional Development Workshops 2
    • Management — Reporters and Media Relations with leader TBA
    • Technology — Pocket Production Storytelling with Matt Paolelli
    • APR Track — Crisis Communications: Putting Your Plan Into Practice with leader TBA
  • 12:30 p.m. — Luncheon with keynote speaker
  • 2:00 p.m. — RCC and ACP separate business sessions
  • 3:00 p.m. — City tours
  • 5:00 p.m. — ACP pre-dinner reception at Fourth Presbyterian Church
  • 6:00 p.m. — Suggested dinner at Giordano’s (Chicago Deep Dish) Pizza on your own
  • 6:00-9:00 p.m. — ACP awards dinner at Fourth Presbyterian Church
  • 8:00-9:30 p.m. — RCC town hall style meeting

Friday, April 12

  • 8:30 a.m. — Faith Expressions led by ACP
  • 9:00 a.m. — Professional Development Workshops 3
    • Management — Photography and Graphic Design for Editors with Ted Glasoe
    • Technology — Podcasting: From Basics to Global Reach with Christian Piatt
    • APR Track — “Does That Law Apply to Me?”: Knowing, Applying Copyright Law with leader TBA
  • 10:30 a.m. — Sponsored beverage break
  • 10:45 a.m. — Professional Development Workshops 4
    • Management — Working With Freelancers with Charles Whitaker
    • Technology — Photography and Graphic Design with Ted Glasoe
    • APR Track — Drinking From a Hydrant of Data and Using It Wisely with leader TBA
  • Noon — Sponsored luncheon
  • 1:30 p.m. — Professional Development Workshops 5
    • Management — Editorial Writing with leader TBA
    • Technology — Writing for the Web: 7 Ways to Write Content That Gets Opened, Read and Shared with Andy Crestodina
    • APR Track — “So, How Did We Do?”: The Oft-Forgotten Question with Taylor Morrison
  • 3:00 p.m. — Sponsored beverage break
  • 3:30 p.m. — Professional Development Workshops 6
    • Management — Affinity Group Wrap-Up
    • Technology — Affinity Group Wrap-Up
    • APR Track — Media Relations in a Constantly Changing Environment with leader TBA
    • Content Marketing with Andy Crestodina (extra workshop, pending)
  • 5:00 p.m. — Break
  • 6:00 p.m. — Wilbur Awards Reception at Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel
  • 7:00-10:00 p.m. — Wilbur Awards Banquet at Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel

Saturday, April 13

  • 7:30 a.m. — Faith Expressions led by RCC
  • 8:00 a.m. — Continental breakfast and interest groups: editors, marketers/public relations, photographers, publishers, social media specialists, videographers, web developers, and writers.
  • 9:00 a.m. — Additional city tours or continuation of interest groups
  • Noon — End of RCC convention at end of tours

RCC/ACP 2019 Convention Logos

Use these logos on your own web site and in your publications.

Other Conventions

Previous RCC Conventions

powered by MemberClicks