Future of Religion and Diplomacy

Events

Jun
7
Fri
Disrupt the Narrative: Centering African American Perspectives on Religious Freedom @ Knight Conference Center
Jun 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

This public conversation will explore the ethics and complex politics of race and religious freedom by centering the issues, narratives and experiences of African Americans in the United States.

This program is the second in a series of public events exploring the politics of religious freedom through our “Religious Freedom: African American Perspectives” project. During this program, participants will hear from scholars, practitioners and community leaders who are making invaluable contributions to this critical discussion. This program is also designed to encourage participants to think through practical ways to take action around religious freedom issues in their community. Participants will engage in small group discussions, a community talkback session and explore opportunities to think through next steps together.

Presenters

Keynote Speaker
Tisa Joy Wenger, Ph.D.

Tisa Joy Wenger, Ph.D., is associate professor of American Religious History at Yale Divinity School as well as of American Studies and Religious Studies at Yale University. She is the author of “Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal” (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Scholars Panel
Corey D. B. Walker

Corey D.B. Walker, Ph.D. (moderator), visiting professor at the University of Richmond and senior fellow, Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute.

Teresa Smallwood, J.D., Ph.D.

Teresa Smallwood, J.D., Ph.D., associate director for Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative at Vanderbilt University.

Alphonso F. Saville IV, Ph.D.,

Alphonso F. Saville IV, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow for the Study of American Religion and Slavery at Georgetown University.

Practitioners Panel
Faith Harris, D.Min.

Faith Harris, D.Min. (moderator), assistant professor of Theology and director, Johnson A. Edosomwan Center for Faith, Leadership, and Public Life at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology.

Itihari Toure, Ed.D.

Itihari Toure, Ed.D., director of the Sankofa Center for Data Evaluation and Quality Enhancement at Interdenominational Theological Center.

Charles Watson Jr., M.Div.

Charles Watson Jr., M.Div., director of education for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

Mandisa L. Thomas

Mandisa L. Thomas, founder and president, Black Nonbelievers, Inc.

Iva Carruthers, Ph.D.

Iva Carruthers, Ph.D., general secretary of Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a social justice network that engages progressive African-American faith leaders.

Community Talkback Panel
The Rev. Thomas Bowen

The Rev. Thomas Bowen (moderator), director of the Office of Religious Affairs in the Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C., and interim director of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs and the Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys.

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem, Esq.

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem, Esq., executive director, KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights.

Charity L. Woods

Charity L. Woods, co-founder and managing director, Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice.

Shavon Arline-Bradley, M.Div.

Shavon Arline-Bradley, MPH, M.Div., founding principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC, a public health, policy/advocacy, faith and executive leadership firm.

William H. Lamar IV, M.Div.

The Rev. William H. Lamar IV, M.Div., pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington.

Henry Luce Foundation

This program was made possible by generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

 

Partners

Baptist Joint Committee
Hood Theological Seminary
Howard University School of Divinity
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
NMAAHC
Payne Theological Seminary
Samuel Dewitt Proctor-Theology
Shaw University Divinity School

 

Jul
9
Tue
Religious Literacy in Public Schools: What to Teach and How @ Knight Studio
Jul 9 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

The Religious Freedom Center and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) will host a celebration of the publication of “Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom,” an invaluable new resource from NCSS.

About the Book: The study of religion is essential for understanding the past and present, and critical for global citizenship in a religiously diverse country and world. This book provides advice, recommendations and resources to help social studies educators know what to teach about religion and how to do it.

Panelists:

  • Charles Haynes, founding director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute and editor of “Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom”
  • Ben Marcus, religious literacy specialist of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Kristen Farrington, executive director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Susan Douglass, education outreach coordinator at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University
  • Donna Phillips, PhD, director of curriculum & assessment innovations, DC Public Schools
  • Emile Lester, associate professor at the University of Mary Washington
 
Charles C. Haynes Ben Marcus Kristen Looney Susan Douglas Donna Phillips
Charles C. Haynes Benjamin P. Marcus Kristen Farrington Susan Douglas Donna Phillips, PhD
 

National Council for the Social Studies

NCSS 2019 Summer Religious Studies Institute (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 9 @ 1:30 pm – Jul 11 @ 12:00 pm
NCSS 2019 Summer Religious Studies Institute (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
This event has been cancelled.

The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum 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 9 – 11, 2019, will convene K-12 public school 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
12
Fri
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 12 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2019 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.

The registration period is now – July 7, 2019. The registration cost is $40 per person which covers all three training sessions. For questions, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent, director of programs and partnerships, at sdent@newseum.org.

Jul
15
Mon
Dare to Overcome: Women’s Media Strategy and Film Festival @ Documentary Theater
Jul 15 @ 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

The world is increasingly visual, story-driven and mobile dominated. It’s urgent we identify, equip and mobilize leaders to create short films to share empowering messages.

The Dare to Overcome film competition challenged women filmmakers from around the world to produce short films that showcase inclusivity and multi-faith living in the workplace and community.

In partnership with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and Empower Women Media, we will showcase women’s short films that are compelling explorations of the impact of freedom of belief and how this helps empower women, religious minorities and the displaced. The screening will include a panel discussion with film makers and a reception.

Speakers Include

Shirin Taber

Iranian-American Shirin Taber directs the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network and Empower Women Media. She is passionate about helping leaders produce media for their missions.

Brian J. Grim

Brian Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and a leading scholar on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of religious freedom.

The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook

The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook (Ambassador Sujay) is a distinguished lecturer at the Freedom Forum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center. Nominated by Secretary Hillary Clinton and appointed by President Barack Obama, she was the third U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, becoming the first woman, first African American and first faith leader to hold this post.

Empower Women Media

Religious Freedom & Business Foundation

Jul
19
Fri
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 19 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2019 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.

The registration period is now – July 7, 2019. The registration cost is $40 per person which covers all three training sessions. For questions, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent, director of programs and partnerships, at sdent@newseum.org.

Jul
21
Sun
Civil Dialogue Facilitator Training @ Newseum
Jul 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Civil Dialogue Facilitator Training @ Newseum

The Religious Freedom Center, as a nonpartisan and nonsectarian initiative, is committed to promoting dialogue and understanding among people of all religious traditions and none. We carry out this mission by providing civil dialogue training and workshops, hosting the Committee on Religious Liberty, and building partnerships with organizations that represent a broad spectrum of religious and ideological perspectives.

Religious and civic leaders, educators, and business leaders are uniquely positioned to help cultivate an informed and engaged citizenry. Having the ability to facilitate dialogue is a key leadership skill for the 21st century. As sharp ideological divisions continue to polarize our communities, we need leaders who have the skills to engage people and communities who hold a variety of legal, ideological, religious and nonreligious perspectives.

We invite you to join our full-day civil dialogue training session or to schedule one with your community. The workshop will be facilitated by Rev. Kristen Farrington, civil dialogue specialist and director of the Religious Freedom Center.

Training Features

  • Dialogue theory
  • Learning and practicing the skills of dialogue
  • Learning how to facilitate dialogue
  • Learning the practical steps to setting up dialogue sessions in your community.

The registration cost is $50 per person for these training sessions. Seats are limited. Registration is required. For more information, please contact Blair Forlaw at bforlaw@newseum.org.

Registration due date is July 15, 2019.

Jul
23
Tue
Summer Religious Studies Institute @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 23 – Jul 25 all-day
Summer Religious Studies Institute @ Religious Freedom Center

The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute will host the Summer Religious Studies Institute at the Newseum. The program will convene K-12 independent school educators in the nation’s capital to explore issues of religious literacy, civil dialogue and the challenges and opportunities of navigating religious 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.

Co- conveners/partner schools: Thales Academy, Council of Islamic Schools in North America, Sacred Heart Schools, National Catholic Educational Association

Jul
26
Fri
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 26 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2019 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.

The registration period is now – July 7, 2019. The registration cost is $40 per person which covers all three training sessions. For questions, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent, director of programs and partnerships, at sdent@newseum.org.

Sep
6
Fri
‘American Heretics’ Film Screening @ Newseum's Knight Conference Center
Sep 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

At what other point in our history has the line between church and state become so tangled and polarizing? We’ve entered a time where the power of negative partisanship has sorted us along the lines of race and religion.

The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute invites you to a film screening of the documentary, “American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel.”

“American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel” takes audiences into the buckle of the Bible belt, where a group of defiant ministers, congregations and community leaders are challenging deeply-rooted fundamentalist Christian doctrine in favor of a Gospel of Inclusion. Labeled “heretics” for their beliefs and actions, they refuse to perpetuate fundamentalist Christian interpretations that continue to justify nationalism and hack away at landmark civil rights protections for women, minorities, immigrants and LGBTQ communities.

Compelling insights by religious and constitutional experts offer a broader historical context and trace the 30-year rise of the Christian Right’s influence in national politics, which has helped fuel today’s polarized political landscape.

This poignant story challenges what we think we know about the Christian heartland by offering a rare personal glimpse into the contentious and often misunderstood history of religion, race, and politics in America.

Directed and produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jeanine and Catherine Butler of Butlerfilms, edited by award-winning editor Jamie Lee Godfrey and cinematography by Peter Hutchens.

Trailer & Quotes

 

“In tune with both scripture and modern attitudes about equality and kindness”
– Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

“Eye-opening”
– Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“Butlers’ film deserves a place in the growing national conversation about what has happened in America”
– Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Speakers Include

Bishop Carlton Pearson

Bishop Carlton Pearson is a progressive spiritual teacher, author, activist/humanist and peace agent. He is the founder of the Metacostal Network of Churches and Ministries, bridging the gap between his Pentecostal roots in spiritual transcendence and embracing a metaphysical approach to ministry and progressive spirituality. He is featured in the documentary film “American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel” and his life story serves as the basis for the Netflix original movie titled, “Come Sunday,” produced by Endgame Entertainment and This American Life.

Rev. Marlin Lavanhar

A graduate of Harvard Divinity school, Rev. Marlin Lavanhar is the senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla. In 2008, Marlin invited Bishop Carlton Pearson and his remaining Pentecostal flock to join All Souls, creating a truly integrated congregation that includes liberal Christians, progressive humanists and conservative Pentecostals. Rev. Marlin and his work is featured in “American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel.”

Robert Jones, Ph.D.

Robert Jones, Ph.D. is a leading scholar, author and commentator on religion, culture and politics. He is the founding chief executive officer of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture and public policy. Dr. Jones is featured in the documentary film “American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel.”

Rachel Laser

Rachel Laser is a lawyer, advocate and strategist who has dedicated her career to making our country more inclusive. She has a proven track record of uniting both faith and secular leaders and advocacy organizations to make tangible progress on some of the most important issues of our time. She currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook

The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook (Moderator) is a distinguished lecturer at the Freedom Forum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center. Nominated by Secretary Hillary Clinton and appointed by President Barack Obama, she was the third U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, becoming the first woman, first African American and first faith leader to hold this post.

Jeanine Isabel Butler

Jeanine Isabel Butler is an award-winning director, producer and writer of Butlerfilms, LLC, specializing in documentaries and nonfiction entertainment for television, museums, educational nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). She is the director, co-producer and co-writer of “American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel.”

Catherine Lynn Butler

Catherine Lynn Butler is an Emmy award-winning documentary writer/producer of Butlerfilms, LLC, who develops and delivers impactful long and short form documentaries for television, museums, educational nonprofits and NGOs. She is co-producer and co-writer of “American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel.”

This program was made possible by generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Henry Luce Foundation