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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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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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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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