Religion Communicators add more speakers for NYC Spring Conference

NEW YORK — The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) has added more speakers to the national convention in New York City, March 31-April 2. Religion communicators will build “bridges” among faith groups, find “avenues” to new communications skills and discover “intersections” between faith groups and the world.

The New York RCC Chapter, which is planning the event, has set each day’s sessions in a different location. 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.

In addition to the featured speakers and panelists already confirmed, the RCC is pleased to announce the participation of these high level speakers from media, religion and international activism circles:

  • Laurie Goodstein — national religion correspondent for The New York Times and covers the vibrant and diverse American religious landscape.
  • Rachel Zoll — has been covering national religion for the Associated Press since 2001. Before joining the AP national reporting staff, Zoll worked for AP as a staff writer in the Boston bureau.
  • Kim Lawton — Managing Editor and Correspondent for the national public television program “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly,” where she oversees news coverage and appears as a regular on-air correspondent.
  • Father Jim Martin, SJ, a Jesuit priest — editor at large of America magazine and author of several books on religion and spirituality.
  • Dr. Azza Karam — serves as a Senior Advisor on Culture and Social Development, at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In this capacity, Dr. Karam supports Fund-wide culture outreach, is a Lead Facilitator for the United Nations Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, development and humanitarian issues.
  • Rudelmar Bueno de Faria — a Brazilian national with over 20 years of experience working with national and international church-related organizations in humanitarian, development and advocacy programs.
  • Lt. Colonel (Dr.) Dean Pallant, The Salvation Army — leads the International Social Justice Commission based in New York and is the principal advocate and advisor to the General of The Salvation Army on economic, social and political issues.
  • Dr. Karin Achtelstetter — General Secretary of the World Association of Christian Communication (WACC) and former Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Lutheran World Federation.

Workshop topics for RCC 2016 include:

  • The “Nones” led by Tom Beaudoin, Ph.D., associate professor of religion at Fordham University, will help religion communicators contemplate how to connect with the population falling outside of organized religion, a growing, complex segment of the American religious and cultural landscape.
  • Progress (or not) for women related to the news media led by Glory Dhamaraj Ph.D., U.S. coordinator for the Global Media Monitoring Project discusses the latest results released in November 2015. The project is coordinated by the World Association for Christian Communication.
  • The Business of Peacemaking, led by Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, will use global research to show how religious and economic freedoms are connected.

Linda Bloom, RCC New York Chapter President and co-chair of the RCC 2016 convention steering committee with Ryan Koch stated, “I am very excited about the additions to the schedule which offers a wealth of programming featuring media professionals, faith leaders and those engaged in religious and social issues on a global scale.” Koch added, “I’ve watched many of these speakers in action at the United Nations, and have seen how brilliant and articulate they are. I’m excited for their voices to be heard beyond the walls of the UN. I have no doubt that they will add a richness and depth to the discussions during the convention.”

For more information on the convention, including hotel information and registration, please visit the RCC Convention page. Full registration is $395, which includes banquet meals. Day rates and specific banquet tickets are also available from the event registration site.

RCC logoThe Religion Communicators Council (RCC), founded in 1929, is an association of communications professionals who work for and with a diverse group of faith-based organizations in the areas of communications, public relations, marketing and development.

Previously confirmed speakers include Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, president of Auburn Seminary; Joyce Dubensky, CEO of Tanenbaum; Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York; Katherine Marshall, senior fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs; Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr., the Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary; and Daniel Sieberg, a broadcast journalism veteran and the global head of media outreach with the Google News Lab.