Future of Religion and Diplomacy

Events

Jan
16
Tue
National Religious Freedom Day: Faith and Freedom in a Fractured America @ Knight TV Studio
Jan 16 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
National Religious Freedom Day: Faith and Freedom in a Fractured America @ Knight TV Studio | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

2018 brings heightened urgency to understand, advocate for and defend the first of America’s First Amendment freedoms: free exercise and non-establishment of religion. In a time when our liberties are being threatened by polarized perspectives and exclusionary politics, we are reminded daily that our country has no freedom at all unless we have freedom for all.

To step together into this challenge, the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute invites you to join us in recognizing and celebrating National Religious Freedom Day with a discussion on “Faith and Freedom in a Fractured America.”

This program will explore the intersection of difficult issues around faith and freedom in today’s fractured democracy. Featured panelists will illuminate the issues from a broad spectrum of religious and ideological perspectives. This experience will set the stage for continued dialogue and community-based workshops throughout 2018.

Panelists:

  • Sarah Levin, Senior Legislative Representative, Secular Coalition for America
  • Aesha Mehta, Associate Director of Programs, Hindu American Foundation
  • Imam Mohamed Magid, Executive Imam, ADAMS Center
  • Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians
  • Andre Towner, Minister to Engage Communities, DC Baptist Convention

The panel discussion will be moderated by Jennifer Hawks, Associate General Counsel, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

Jan
31
Wed
This American Moment: Bridging Religious Divides @ Knight Conference Center
Jan 31 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
This American Moment: Bridging Religious Divides @ Knight Conference Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

This half-day symposium will explore the current state of religious diversity in America during a time of growing partisanship, polarization and religious bigotry. Experts from various sectors will identify philanthropic opportunities for building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive country.

“Bridging Religious Divides” is presented by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Council on Foundations, Interfaith Youth Core and the Religious Freedom Center.

Speakers

  • Opening Keynote: Dr. Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core
  • Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations
  • Peter Laugharn, President and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Kristen Looney, Director, Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum Institute
  • Dr. Robert Jones, CEO, Public Religion Research Institute
  • Rev. Jennifer Bailey, Founder and President, Faith Matters Network
  • Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador, American Jewish World Service
  • Dr. Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network
  • Rev. Dr. Bob Roberts, Senior Pastor, Northwood Church, Keller, Texas
  • Laurie Goodstein, National Religion Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Dr. Nancy Cable, President, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
  • Dr. Hilary Pennington, Vice President, Ford Foundation
  • Kashif Shaikh, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Pillars Fund
  • Tonya Allen, President & CEO, Skillman Foundation
  • Closing Keynote: David Brooks, best-selling author and columnist, The New York Times

Feb
13
Tue
Webinar: Religious Studies and Journalism
Feb 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute invites you to attend our February webinar, Religious Studies and Journalism: Promising Venues for Public Scholarship. We will discuss how scholars of religion can engage different publics through print and online journalism, both by communicating effectively with members of the media and producing original content. We are pleased to host co-presenters Debra Mason, Janet Saidi, and Inés San Martín. The webinar will include a presentation and extended Q&A.

February 13, 2018
12 – 1 p.m. EST

RSVP >

CO-PRESENTERS

Debra Mason is among the leading experts on how religion is portrayed in the media. She brings more than 30 years of professional and scholarly experience to her position as director of the Center on Religion and the Professions, an interdisciplinary center at the world-renown Missouri School of Journalism that works to improve the religious literacy of professionals so they can better serve a multi-faith public. In addition, she has produced the largest repository of religion resources for journalists, including ReligionStylebook.com and ReligionLink.com. Since 1997, she’s also directed the Religion Newswriters Association, a professional association of journalists writing about religion in the mass media. She is publisher emeritus of Religion News Service (RNS), the world’s only non-sectarian wire service exclusively covering religion.

Janet Saidi is a freelance writer, producer and teacher in Columbia, Mo., working with print and public broadcasting and teaching at the Missouri School of Journalism. Janet recently served as vice president of news at Kansas City Public Television, leading a team of multi-platform journalists and launching KCPT’s digital magazine FlatlandKC. Before that Janet spent eight years at the Missouri School of Journalism directing the newsroom at NPR-affiliate KBIA Radio. Janet has written and produced stories for National Public Radio, PBS, the BBC and BBC World Service, Wired magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and in her spare time she writes book reviews for the Christian Science Monitor. Janet lived for several years in England, where she earned a master’s in literature from University College, London.

Inés San Martín is an Argentinean journalist who covers the Vatican in Rome for Crux. Before joining Crux, Inés was a community manager, content director, and graphic designer for Contá con Nosotros, and worked as a reporter and editor for Valores Religiosos in Buenos Aires. She managed the international press office for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. Inés holds a bachelor’s degree in social communications and journalism from Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires and Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

ABOUT THE WEBINAR SERIES

This webinar is hosted by the Public Scholars Project, a joint initiative of the Public Understanding of Religion Committee of the American Academy of Religion and the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute. The Public Scholars Project created this webinar series to help scholars hone their skills at communicating with a variety of publics. Our webinars feature scholars and practitioners who can provide tools, resources, and recommendations for presenting in a variety of settings (e.g., social media, news, public events, community gatherings) about a range of topics. To view the complete webinar schedule for the 2017-18 academic year, please visit our webpage.

Mar
5
Mon
Human Rights and Freedom in Today’s Turkey @ Knight Conference Center
Mar 5 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Human Rights and Freedom in Today’s Turkey @ Knight Conference Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Religious Freedom Center’s Committee on Religious Liberty will host a panel discussion about human rights violations and threats to basic freedoms in Turkey.

In July 2016, the attempted military takeover of the Turkish government resulted in a crackdown on the media and on dissenters of President Erdogan’s regime. Nearly 150,000 government employees — including prosecutors, judges, teachers and doctors — have been dismissed from their jobs with no right to appeal. More than 125,000 citizens have been detained and 60,000 are under arrest. With hundreds of media institutions taken over, shut down or threatened, and the highest number of jailed journalists in the world, independent media in Turkey have been almost decimated.

The panel will speak about the latest developments in Turkey and raise awareness of issues related to the government’s continued assault on individual freedoms.

Panelists

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett
Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett

President, Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.
Dr. Lantos Swett is the former chair and vice-chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and teaches human rights and american foreign policy at Tufts University. She currently serves as co-chair of the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and the Budapest-based Tom Lantos Institute. Dr. Lantos Swett also serves on the Advisory Board of UN Watch, the annual Anne Frank Award and Lecture, and The Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Sevgi Akarçesme
Sevgi Akarçesme

Journalist in exile and former editor-in-chief, Today’s Zaman.
Sevgi Akarçesme holds a master’s degree in international relations from Istanbul Bilgi University and another M.A. in political science from Temple University. Following her graduate studies in Philadelphia, Penn., she joined the Turkey Project at CSIS in Washington, D.C. Upon returning to Turkey, she worked at the Office of the President from 2008 until the end of 2010, where she gained invaluable government experience. After working as an advisor at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Center for Strategic Research from December 2010 to July 2011, she moved to her hometown Istanbul. After working as a correspondent and columnist for the daily Today’s Zaman, she became the newspaper’s last editor-in-chief before it was taken over by the Turkish government in March 2016.

Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan
Dr. Y. Alp Aslandogan

Executive Director, Alliance for Shared Values, New York.
The Alliance for Shared Values is a nonprofit organization that promotes bringing together citizens of diverse backgrounds around shared values of humanity. Prior to his current position, Dr. Aslandogan served as the board president of the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Houston, Tex., as a contributing editor for the The Fountain magazine, and on the board of scholars and practitioners of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue. Dr. Aslandogan is the co-editor of “Muslim Citizens of the Globalized World: Contributions of the Gulen Movement,” published by the Institute of Interfaith Dialog. He publishes a column on Huffington Post. Dr. Aslandogan holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Moderator

Emre Celik
Emre Celik

President, Rumi Forum.
Emre Celik is an Australian living in Washington, D.C., and has served as president of the Rumi Forum since 2009. The Rumi Forum is an organization dedicated to intercultural and interfaith dialogue issues covering themes of pluralism, social cohesion, democracy, and peace-building. Emre has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington Times and numerous media outlets in Europe and Australia on issues of diversity and dialogue. He regularly speaks at universities and was a participant of a private roundtable at Harvard University that examined issues surrounding Muslim Americans. In October 2014, the Rumi Forum helped organize the first-ever White House Eid reception, at which Emre provided opening remarks. When living in Australia, Emre was on the Melbourne Advisory Committee for the Parliament of World Religions and the Victoria Police Multifaith Council.

Rumi Forum

Mar
14
Wed
Islam & America: Tips for Sharing Scholarship with the Public (Free Webinar)
Mar 14 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

We will discuss how scholars of Islam and American public life can engage different publics to raise the visibility of their work. We are pleased to host co-presenters Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at ISPU, Najeeba Syeed, Associate Professor of Interreligious Education at Claremont School of Theology, and Asma Uddin, Fellow with the Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. The webinar will include a presentation and extended Q&A.

Mar
16
Fri
California, Coerced Speech and the Court: A Panel Discussion on NIFLA v Becerra @ Knight Conference Center
Mar 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
California, Coerced Speech and the Court: A Panel Discussion on <i>NIFLA v Becerra</i> @ Knight Conference Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

In the upcoming case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the Supreme Court will decide whether California’s Reproductive FACT Act may require pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry despite free speech protections under the First Amendment. Specifically, the California law requires licensed medical centers that offer free, life-affirming help to pregnant women to advise women on how to obtain a state-sponsored abortion. Pregnancy centers must also include a phone number for a county office that refers women to Planned Parenthood and other abortionists. Additionally, the law requires non-medical pregnancy centers to add large disclosures in multiple languages about their non-medical status in all advertisements, including billboards and newspaper ads. Pro-life pregnancy centers and their advocates argue that this obscures and crowds out their pro-life speech.

NIFLA v. Becerra is set to be argued before the United States Supreme Court on March 20th.  On March 16, join legal experts Denise Harle of Alliance Defending Freedom, Brianne Gorod of Constitutional Accountability Center, and Attorney General Rutledge for a panel discussion on the merits and implications of this case. SCOTUS reporter Kimberly Robinson of Bloomberg BNA will moderate the discussion.

Panelists

Denise Harle

Denise Harle serves as legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Life. In this role, Harle focuses her litigation efforts on defending the First Amendment freedoms of medical and support staff working in pregnancy resource centers, as well as pro-life sidewalk counselors. She also works to defend pro-life legislation around the nation.

Brianne J. Gorod

Brianne Gorod is Constitutional Accountability Center’s Chief Counsel. Before taking her current role, Brianne served as CAC’s Appellate Counsel. From 2009 to 2011, she was an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, served as a law clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, a law clerk for Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a law clerk for Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Brianne’s academic writings have appeared in, among others, the Yale Law Journal, the Duke Law Journal, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Washington Law Review, and the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty.

Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas and first woman elected to the office. General Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations lead to real solutions. Since taking office, she began a mobile office program for all 75 counties, a military and veterans initiative, a metal theft prevention program and a cooperative disability investigations program to stop fraud in social security disability. In addition to her state responsibilities, Rutledge actively works on multi-state issues with other attorneys general to include serving as chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association and vice chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region.

Kimberly Robinson

Kimberly Robinson is Bloomberg Law’s Supreme Court reporter, covering the high court since 2012. In 2017, she wrote American Justice: The Supreme Court in Crisis, detailing the way individual justices and the institution as a whole reacted to the unprecedented situation the Court was plunged into following the death of longtime Justice Antonin Scalia. Prior to joining Bloomberg Law, Kimberly was an attorney at the global law firm Morrison & Foerster, LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s litigation group. She has a J.D. from Columbia University and a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University.

Jul
6
Fri
Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 6 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Religious Liberty, Religious Literacy & Civil Dialogue

This three-session intensive will give local interns the opportunity to learn about the role of religion in public life while exploring our three areas of competency: religious liberty, religious literacy, and civil dialogue. We will host the interns on three Fridays during the month of July. Participants will be introduced to experts who are actively engaged in addressing these issues in their local and national context.

Session One: Religious Liberty & Religious Literacy

Friday, July 6, 2018

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
“The History of Religious Freedom in America” presented by Eleesha Tucker, faculty at the Religious Freedom Center

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Religious Literacy and Religious Identity” presented by Benjamin P. Marcus, religious literacy specialist at the Religious Freedom Center

Session Two: Legal Literacy & Civil Dialogue

Friday, July 13, 2018

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
“Religious Liberty and Legal Literacy” (Part 1) presented by Rev. Jennifer Hawks, associate general counsel with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Civil Dialogue session presented by Rev. Kristen Looney, director at the Religious Freedom Center

Session Three: Religious Freedom Tour & Legal Literacy

Friday, July 20, 2018

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Religious Freedom Tour of the Newseum, guided by Blair Forlaw, volunteer at the Newseum and Religious Freedom Center

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Religious Liberty and Legal Literacy” (Part 2)

The registration period is now through June 30, 2018. For questions, please contact the director of recruitment and admissions Dr. Sabrina Dent at sdent@newseum.org.

Jul
10
Tue
NCSS 2018 Summer Religious Studies Institute @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 10 @ 1:30 pm – Jul 12 @ 12:00 pm
NCSS 2018 Summer Religious Studies Institute @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

The Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute will host the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Summer Religious Studies Institute at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The program, to be held July 10 – 12, 2018, will convene K-12 educators in the nation’s capital to explore issues of religious freedom and diversity in the classroom. Educators will learn about religious studies as an academic discipline, and have the opportunity to develop working relationships with leading religious studies subject matter experts and curricular resource providers.

The NCSS Summer Religious Studies Institute is limited to 60 participants. For more information and to register, please visit socialstudies.org.

Jul
13
Fri
Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 13 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Religious Liberty, Religious Literacy & Civil Dialogue

This three-session intensive will give local interns the opportunity to learn about the role of religion in public life while exploring our three areas of competency: religious liberty, religious literacy, and civil dialogue. We will host the interns on three Fridays during the month of July. Participants will be introduced to experts who are actively engaged in addressing these issues in their local and national context.

Session One: Religious Liberty & Religious Literacy

Friday, July 6, 2018

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
“The History of Religious Freedom in America” presented by Eleesha Tucker, faculty at the Religious Freedom Center

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Religious Literacy and Religious Identity” presented by Benjamin P. Marcus, religious literacy specialist at the Religious Freedom Center

Session Two: Legal Literacy & Civil Dialogue

Friday, July 13, 2018

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
“Religious Liberty and Legal Literacy” (Part 1) presented by Rev. Jennifer Hawks, associate general counsel with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Civil Dialogue session presented by Rev. Kristen Looney, director at the Religious Freedom Center

Session Three: Religious Freedom Tour & Legal Literacy

Friday, July 20, 2018

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Religious Freedom Tour of the Newseum, guided by Blair Forlaw, volunteer at the Newseum and Religious Freedom Center

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Religious Liberty and Legal Literacy” (Part 2)

The registration period is now through June 30, 2018. For questions, please contact the director of recruitment and admissions Dr. Sabrina Dent at sdent@newseum.org.

Jul
20
Fri
Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 20 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Religious Liberty, Religious Literacy & Civil Dialogue

This three-session intensive will give local interns the opportunity to learn about the role of religion in public life while exploring our three areas of competency: religious liberty, religious literacy, and civil dialogue. We will host the interns on three Fridays during the month of July. Participants will be introduced to experts who are actively engaged in addressing these issues in their local and national context.

Session One: Religious Liberty & Religious Literacy

Friday, July 6, 2018

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
“The History of Religious Freedom in America” presented by Eleesha Tucker, faculty at the Religious Freedom Center

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Religious Literacy and Religious Identity” presented by Benjamin P. Marcus, religious literacy specialist at the Religious Freedom Center

Session Two: Legal Literacy & Civil Dialogue

Friday, July 13, 2018

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
“Religious Liberty and Legal Literacy” (Part 1) presented by Rev. Jennifer Hawks, associate general counsel with the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Civil Dialogue session presented by Rev. Kristen Looney, director at the Religious Freedom Center

Session Three: Religious Freedom Tour & Legal Literacy

Friday, July 20, 2018

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Religious Freedom Tour of the Newseum, guided by Blair Forlaw, volunteer at the Newseum and Religious Freedom Center

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“Religious Liberty and Legal Literacy” (Part 2)

The registration period is now through June 30, 2018. For questions, please contact the director of recruitment and admissions Dr. Sabrina Dent at sdent@newseum.org.