The Religion Communicators Council held their annual convention in Philadelphia, with members flying in from all over the country.
Online PR News – 23-April-2012 – Philadelphia, PA – How does one contribute to his faith? Some take up the calling to be a minister, imam, rabbi or priest while others might take time to volunteer or give weekly donations. There’s a certain class of people who have taken up a unique calling: communication.
The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) is an interfaith organization more than 80 years old which has members from many faith traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism and more. Members of the RCC make it their job to communicate on behalf of their tradition, to spread the good news and encourage good deeds throughout the world.
Each year, a national convention is held for all RCC members across the United States. It is a time to come together as one, to celebrate excellence in communication, and gain ideas and inspiration. The 2012 conference took place in April in Philadelphia. RCC members gathered under the theme “In[ter]dependence,” alluding to the history of Pennsylvania while also encouraging members to learn from one another. It was held at the Airport Marriott and consisted of a long weekend of activities and workshops from Thursday to Saturday.
The convention opened with a plenary by Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, who was named by President Barack Obama as Director of the Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Dec. 13, 2010; Zeenat Rahman, who is the Deputy Director of the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives at USAID; and Eugene Schneeberg, Director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Justice. They took time to speak about ways that faith-based organizations can partner with the U.S. government.
During the first evening of the convention, the annual DeRose Hinkhouse awards were presented to active members of RCC who demonstrate excellence in religious communications and public relations. The most prestigious honor were the Best of Class awards, and among the winners were Greg Brekke of United Church of Christ for the Spring 2011 issue of “StillSpeaking Magazine” and Chris Herlinger of Church World Service for his publication “Haiti: A Year Later.”
Religion Communicators heard from experts on social media, crisis management and media training during workshops, and were able to socialize and explore Philadelphia as part of the convention.
The convention concluded Saturday evening with the presentation of the Wilbur Awards, recognizing the work of individuals in secular media who communicate religious issues, values and themes with the utmost professionalism, fairness and honesty. "The Help," a critically acclaimed film about a southern white woman's relationship with two black maids during the 1960s, was one of fifteen winners of the 2012 Wilbur Award.
For more information about the RCC or the annual convention, including a complete list of DeRose Hinkhouse and Wilbur Award winners, visit religioncommunicators.org.