Kristen Farrington Represents Religious Freedom Center as a First Five Columnist

Kristen Looney

Kristen Farrington, executive director of the Religious Freedom Center

In March, the Freedom Forum Institute renamed its “Inside the First Amendment” column to “First Five,” branding it alongside a corresponding weekly podcast and newsletter. The First Five weekly column features numerous scholars on the First Amendment including Kristen Farrington, who will articulate the perspective of the Institute’s Religious Freedom Center (RFC). Farrington’s contributions will focus on contemporary religious literacy topics and larger implications for safeguarding the First Amendment right to religious freedom.

Farrington, RFC executive director, oversees the day-to-day operations of the Center’s four program areas: educating leaders, promoting civil dialogue, engaging the public and equipping schools. The mission of the Religious Freedom Center is to educate the public about religion, law and civic engagement so that communities are equipped to protect the rights of people of all religious traditions and none.

Farrington debuted her inaugural column on Thursday, April 4 with a thought-provoking piece that considers the importance of civil dialogue in understanding difference and enhancing religious liberty. Her next contribution will be distributed Thursday, May 2 and focuses on how religious diversity and inclusion needs to be a priority for schools, businesses and communities, to combat the alarming rise of religious intolerance demonstrated by recent shootings, arson, vandalism and other hate crimes in Jewish, Muslim and African American communities.

“At a time when only 15 percent of Americans can name religious freedom as one of their basic constitutional rights, I feel passionate about helping Americans understand this inalienable right, so they too will be inspired to protect this fundamental freedom for people of all religions and none,” explains Farrington.

Under the “First Five” brand:

  • weekly column of 600-800 words reacting to breaking news around the First Amendment’s five freedoms — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — and examining the effects or import of proposals engaging the First Amendment;
  • weekly podcast featuring interviews with personalities in the news around cutting-edge issues and challenges to the First Amendment, providing first-hand insight and informative inquiry;
  • weekly e-newsletter providing quick reads and links to noteworthy developments in news, law, scholarship, technology and commentary.

The Institute recently announced that this engaging column will additionally include periodic contributions from the Institute’s education unit, NewseumED.

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