By Tiffany McCallen

NEW YORK (April 1, 2016) — Eleven young religion communicators met in person for the first time at the 2016 Religion Communicators Council Convention in New York City March 30.

The public relations professionals and students were named last fall, along with a cohort of 16 Religion Newswriters Association honorees, as 2015-16 Handa Fellows in Interreligious Communication through a new joint program by RCC and RNA. The fellowships are funded by a grant to RNA’s Foundation from the New York-based International Shinto Foundation. The program seeks to foster greater religious literacy in faith-based communication and mainstream religion reporting.

Over the next few days, the fellows will take part in programming that includes a number of prominent speakers:

  • Daniel Sieberg of Google News Lab
  • Dr. Frederick Harris, director of the Center on African-American Politics and Society
  • Rev. Que English, chair of the Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence
  • Father Jim Martin, SJ, a Jesuit priest and editor at large of America magazine
  • Hemal Trivedi, an Emmy and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker

Plenary sessions include “Election Year and Beyond: Social and Political Activism in the City’s Black Churches,” “Navigating Multi-religious Activism,” “Religion and the Arts” and a discussion of “Faith Organizations, the U.N. and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Joining the fellows this week is Midori Miyazaki, executive director for international affairs to the International Shinto Foundation’s Dr. Haruhisa Handa, and Bud Heckman, ISF executive director.

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