Future of Religion and Diplomacy

Events

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 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 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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].

Jul
21
Sat
Civil Dialogue Training @ Newseum’s Learning Center
Jul 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Civil Dialogue Training @ Newseum’s Learning Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

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

upcoming sessions

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018 (registration due date is September 7, 2018)
  • Saturday, December 8, 2018 (registration due date is November 30, 2018)

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.

Sign up online today. These training sessions are free but seats are limited. Registration is required.  For more information, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent at [email protected].

 

Jul
26
Thu
Religious Persecution in Iran and Yemen: The Case of the Baha’is @ Knight Conference Center
Jul 26 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Religious Persecution in Iran and Yemen: The Case of the Baha’is @ Knight Conference Center

The Religious Freedom Center and the Baha’is of the United States invite you to a reception followed by the U.S. premier screening and a panel discussion of the 25-minute film, “The Cost of Discrimination,” by journalist and film producer, Maziar Bahari. The film draws striking comparisons between the apartheid era system of education in South Africa and the denial of higher education to Baha’i youth in Iran. Shot partly in South Africa, it features Arash Azizi, well-known author, former BBC journalist, and co-host of a popular Iranian TV show. The impact on religious freedom of Iran’s influence in Yemen will also be addressed. Mr. Richard Foltin, a senior scholar at the Religious Freedom Center, will moderate a panel that will consist of Mr. Azizi, Ms. Diane Ala’i, representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva, Dr. Farhad Sabetan, a U.S.-based spokesperson for the Baha’i International Community, and Mr. Saman Mobasher, who studied in the informal and discretely operated Baha’i Institute for Higher Education after being denied admission to university in Iran on account of his religion.

Use the password HOPE to get a ticket. There is limited seating to this event.

Jul
27
Fri
Security and Religious Freedom: How Do We Protect Both? @ Newseum’s Knight TV Studio
Jul 27 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Secretary of State Pompeo is convening the first ever Ministerial to advance religious freedom in Washington, D.C., from July 24-26. The Religious Freedom Center at the Freedom Forum Institute/Newseum is holding a side event at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 27 — Security and Religious Freedom: How Do We Protect Both?

One of the most pressing questions in the world today is how best to protect both security and robust rights to religious freedom. Too often, governments across the world use security as a rationale to impose overly broad limits on religious exercise — from regulating religious garb and religious speech to limiting cultural productions and even cutting off access to houses of worship. This panel will examine how such limitations are worsening rather than bettering security and discuss the benefits of religious freedom for security, social stability and economic health.

Program panelists include Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, Neil Hicks, senior director for advocacy at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, and Haroon Azar, program director for the Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom.

Asma Uddin, senior scholar of religious freedom at the Religious Freedom Center, will moderate the conversation.

panelists

Brian J. Grim

Brian Grim, Ph. D.
Brian Grim is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and a leading scholar on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of religious freedom. His recent research finds that religion contributes $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, more than the combined revenues of the top companies including Apple, Amazon and Google. Brian is an affiliated scholar at Baylor University, Boston University and the Freedom Forum Institute. He is also recent chair of the World Economic Forum’s council on the role of faith, and he works closely with the United Nations “Business for Peace” platform. Brian is a Penn State alumnus and author of numerous works including “The Price of Freedom Denied” (Cambridge), “World Religion Database” (Brill), “World’s Religions in Figures” (Wiley), and “Yearbook of International Religious Demography” (Brill). He is also a TEDx speaker and a speaker at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

Neil Hicks

Neil Hicks
Neil Hicks is the senior director for advocacy at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. He has over 35 years of experience in the human rights field.

Neil began his career in human rights at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank. He worked as an executive assistant and researcher at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International in London, focusing on Egypt and Iran, between 1985 and 1991. He then worked at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in New York, later known as Human Rights First, for 27 years and in a variety of positions. During that time, he founded the organization’s Human Rights Defenders program, engaged in research and advocacy on a wide range of countries in the Middle East and beyond, and led the organization’s efforts to promote the protection of human rights as a central part of the U.S. government’s strategy to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism. Neil joined CIHRS in 2018.

Haroon Azar

Haroon Azar
Haroon Azar teaches National Security and Civil Liberties at UCLA School of Law. He is a Senior Fellow at UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and Program Director for the Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom. Mr. Azar is a recognized national security expert with broad experience working with law enforcement and faith-based communities to further resilience mission areas. Prior to his current role, Mr. Azar was the Regional Director in Los Angeles for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Previously, Mr. Azar worked as Deputy Director for the Middle East, Africa, & South Asia in the Office of International Affairs at DHS Headquarters in Washington DC. His portfolio included providing the Office of the Secretary with policy counsel and management of international affairs related to homeland security. Additionally, Mr. Azar was responsible for negotiating bilateral and multilateral security agreements with international partners focusing on improving immigration policy, visa security, aviation security, border security, supply chain management, and counterterrorism efforts.

Mr. Azar earned his B.S. magna cum laude at California State University Dominguez Hills, and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law.

Asma T. Uddin

Asma Uddin
Asma T. Uddin is a fellow with the Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. She is also a research fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Asma previously served as counsel with Becket, a nonprofit law firm specializing in U.S. and international religious freedom cases, and as director of strategy for the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom, a nonprofit engaged in religious liberty in Muslim-majority and Muslim-minority contexts. She is widely published by law reviews, university presses and national and international newspapers. She is also an expert advisor on religious liberty to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition to her expertise in religious liberty, Asma writes and speaks on gender and Islam, and she is the founding editor-in-chief of altmuslimah.com. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a staff editor at the University of Chicago Law Review.

Aug
13
Mon
Exploring Religious Identity and Race Through Civil Dialogue @ Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library
Aug 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Exploring Religious Identity and Race Through Civil Dialogue @ Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library | Alexandria | Virginia | United States

Alexandria is a vibrant community of many races, ethnicities, and faiths. Diverse houses of worship make up the spiritual and cultural backbone of our community; yet often, we find it difficult to reach outside our own group. How well do we really know our neighbors? How often – and how effectively – do we communicate across boundaries to address difficult subjects and challenges?

We have found that many people have the will to get to know neighbors who believe and worship differently, but they often lack the way. Finding the way begins by exercising the skills of civil dialogue.

You are invited to a workshop that will help us to practice these skills. Alexandrians will share their perspectives on the importance of dialogue across boundaries, and we will learn to better understand ourselves and others. Workshop exercises will empower attendees to explore controversial topics using the skills of civil dialogue. The workshop will be led by Dr. Sabrina Dent of the Religious Freedom Center.

Refreshments will be served.

Sep
11
Tue
Difficult Dialogue: Lowering the Heat to Engage in Meaningful Conversations @ Wesley Theological Seminary
Sep 11 @ 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm
Difficult Dialogue: Lowering the Heat to Engage in Meaningful Conversations @ Wesley Theological Seminary | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

During this workshop, you will learn the basic theory of dialogue, essential skills needed for dialogue; tips for handling the heat when dialogue gets tough, and most importantly, you will learn how to create an environment that makes authentic dialogue possible.  The workshop will be facilitated by the Religious Freedom Center.

Sep
12
Wed
Religion and Immigration: Tips for Sharing Scholarship with the Public @ Zoom videoconference room
Sep 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Religion and Immigration: Tips for Sharing Scholarship with the Public @ Zoom videoconference room

The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute invites you to attend our September webinar, Religion and Immigration: Tips for Sharing Scholarship with the Public. We will discuss how scholars of religion and immigration can engage different publics to raise the visibility of their work. We are pleased to host co-presenters Jennie Bell, faith community organizer for the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Program, Sylvia Chan-Malik, associate professor at Rutgers, and Janelle Wong, professor at the University of Maryland. The webinar will include a presentation and extended Q&A.

The Public Scholars Project is a joint initiative of the American Academy of Religion and the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute.

Sep
15
Sat
Civil Dialogue Training @ Newseum’s Learning Center
Sep 15 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Civil Dialogue Training @ Newseum’s Learning Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

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

upcoming sessions

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018 (registration due date is September 7, 2018)
  • Saturday, December 8, 2018 (registration due date is November 30, 2018)

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.

Sign up online today. These training sessions are free but seats are limited. Registration is required.  For more information, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent at [email protected].