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2011 RNA Conference Archives: Durham, NC
Durham, NC
Sept. 15–17, 2011

Conference media

*Panel audio is also available via iTunes. To listen to the podcasts, launch the iTunes store, search for "2011 RNA Annual Conference." When the search results appear, click on the arrow to the right of the 2011 RNA Conference album, which will bring up a list of all the available audio tracks.

Conference schedule & resources:

Award banquet & contest links:

Sponsors & exhibitors:



2011 RNA Annual Conference Audio

To download the podcasts listed below, right-click on the link and choose "save as" to name the file to your desktop. These files are also available in iTunes (directions above).


THURSDAY, SEPT. 15, 2011

PRE-CONFERENCE PROGRAM, "Muslims in America: The Next 10 Years" (audio not available)
Additional fee, held at Duke University.
The pre-conference program is generously hosted by Duke University with scholarship support from the Social Science Research Council.

WELCOME RECEPTION, "The Sex Talk"
(audio not available)
Sex as icebreaker? Hook up with your circle of friends as we kick off the Welcome Reception for the 2011 Religion Newswriters Association Conference. Welcome to drinks, food and insight from Andy Braner, a leading thinker on teens, sex and dating. Braner—international speaker and director of Camp Kivu in Durango CO—takes on the real world of teen sexuality in his recent book, An Expose on Teens, Sex, and Dating: What’s Really Going on and How to Talk About It. Sponsored by Lovell-Fairchild Communications, the Welcome Reception is a chance to glean some cultural insight, meet a great source, and connect with friends old and new.


FRIDAY, SEPT. 16, 2011

BREAKFAST
& PRESS BRIEFING: THE STATE OF AMERICAN FATHERHOOD (audio not available)
Start Friday with a breakfast sponsored by B&H Publishing Group and a panel discussion on the state of American Fatherhood. As unhappy trends emerge from homes with absent or uninvolved fathers, experts tackle the problem from varied perspectives. Hear more than anecdotes about suicide rates, teenage pregnancy, behavioral disorders, drop-out and prison visits, to the stats and news from the fatherhood front.

PANEL: LIVE OR ONSCREEN: THE MULTI-SITE EXPERIENCE
(audio not available)

The success of evangelical mega-churches has led many congregations to try to brand their product by launching satellites to better serve far-flung members. Is the multi-site church the wave of the future?


Speakers:
  • Greg Surratt, Seacoast Church
  • Bob Gruenwald, Life Church TV
  • J.D. Greear, Summit Church
Moderator:
  • Bob Smietana, The Tennessean
RELIGION AND THE 2012 ELECTIONS (PODCAST)

The emergence of the Tea Party, the revolts in the Muslim countries, the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage — all have religious implications. But how big a role will religion play in the 2012 presidential race? Our experts make their predictions.


Speakers:
  • John Green, Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life & University of Akron
  • Melinda Henneberger, Politics Daily
  • Laura Olson, Clemson University
Moderator:
  • Jeff Diamant, The Star Ledger
LUNCH & PRESS BRIEFING: RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND THE EEOC (audio not available)
This program will focus on two cases originating with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which impinge on religious liberty. One will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 5, 2011. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC involves the "ministerial exception," a First Amendment doctrine that bars most employment-related lawsuits against religious organizations by employees who perform religious functions. The other is a case in which the EEOC attempted to use employment discrimination laws to force Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic school in North Carolina, to provide abortion coverage in its health plan. Both Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and Belmont Abbey College are represented by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a Washington-based public interest law firm. An attorney from The Becket Fund will explore the First Amendment implications in each of these cases. Sponsored by Knights of Columbus

PANEL:
CHURCH AND STATE (PODCAST)

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s investigation into the finances of several evangelical ministries has led to the formation of a commission to review accountability practices among churches. What does the future hold for the tax-exempt sector?


Speakers:
Moderator:
  • Daniel Burke, Religion News Service
PRESS BRIEFING: YOUTH IN CRISIS: WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GROWING UP GAY (PODCAST)
Mitchell Gold is as well known for his gay rights activism as for his furniture and home decor line branded with his business partner Bob Williams. Gold will talk about the reissue of his book "Crisis," in which he calls attention to religious based-bigotry and the physical and psychological toll it takes on LGBT youth.

Speaker:
  • Mitchell Gold, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

PANEL: ADOPTION FEVER: EVANGELICALS AND THE ORPHAN-CARE MOVEMENT(PODCAST)

Hundreds of evangelical churches have rediscovered orphan care and have made adoption a growing imperative. Orphan theology is an emerging field. What are the forces behind this change?


Speakers:
  • Russell Moore, Southern Seminary &author of Adopted for Life
  • Dan Cruver, Together for Adoption & author of Reclaiming Adoption
  • Jodi Jackson Tucker, National Orphan Sunday for the Christian Alliance for Orphans & mother of three adopted children from Uganda
Moderator:
  • Julia Duin, The Washington Post
PANEL: SOCIAL NETWORKING: PROMISE AND PERIL(PODCAST)

The proliferation of social media poses opportunities for journalists, but also risks.Can religion reporters remain neutral online? Should they even try?


Speakers:
  • Ryan Thornburg, UNC Chapel Hill
  • J.D. Kaleem, The Huffington Post
  • Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Christianity Today
  • Kate Shellnutt, Houston Chronicle
Moderator:
  • Amanda Greene, StarNews
DINNER WITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME COACH CATHY RUSH OF THE MIGHTY MACS (audio not available)
Dine overlooking Duke University’s Carmen Auditorium, then sit back and see clips of history made. Cathy Rush, Hall of Fame basketball coach, will introduce clips from and answer questions about the upcoming feature film, THE MIGHTY MACS, based on her life. An inspiring Cinderella sports story, THE MIGHTY MACS, starring Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton and Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn,charts the incredible journey of tiny Immaculata College and the feisty women’s basketball team that overcame the odds to earn the first women’s national college championship. In 1972, before Title IX, The Mighty Macs showed what talent and hard work—and the Cathy Rush X factor—can accomplish.Sponsored by Lovell-Fairchild


SATURDAY, SEPT. 17, 2011

BREAKFAST & PRESS BRIEFING: LOVE TIMES THREE
(audio not available)
Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger—the family who inspired HBO’s Big Love—will discuss their groundbreaking new book Love Times Three (September 2011). The first-ever memoir of a polygamous family told from a positive perspective, Love Times Three captures their extraordinary family dynamic, and argues for the acceptance of plural marriage as an alternative lifestyle. Sponsored by HarperOne.

PRESS BRIEFING: A DECADE OF CHANGE IN AMERICAN CONGREGATIONS(audio not available)
Just what has changed in religious congregations over the past decade? Using research from the 14,000 congregation 2000 Faith Communities Today national survey and the 11,000 congregation 2010 follow-up, we’ll share the pulse and track of change in religion’s organizational backbone since the turn of the century. This first release of the overall findings will explore the pockets of growth and vitality, which congregations have embraced contemporary worship and the enhanced role of electronic communication.

Speaker:
  • David Roozen, Hartford Institute for Religion Research
PANEL: ATHEISM REVISITED (PODCAST)

The Godless movement is growing increasingly bold, and for the first time in memory, gaining traction in the broader public. Where’s it going and how can reporters better follow the movement?


Speakers:
  • Bart Ehrman, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Todd Stiefel, Stiefel Freethought Foundation
  • Wendy Kaminer, The Atlantic
Moderator:
  • Yonat Shimron, Religion News Service
PANEL: THE MUSLIM FEAR INDUSTRY (PODCAST)

The rise of organizations and movements that see Islam as a threat to the United States has been gaining steam. Who funds them, how legitimate are they, and how can reporters cover them fairly and accurately?


Speakers:
  • Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press
  • Zuhdi Jasser, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
  • Faiz Shakir, Center for American Progress (Islamophobia Power Point)
  • Bob Smietana, The Tennessean
Moderator:
  • Jaweed Kaleem, The Huffington Post
LUNCH & TOUR OF FO GUANG SHAN BUDDHIST TEMPLE IBSP (audio not available)

The number of Buddhist temples in North Carolina is growing steadily. A Taiwanese temple is Raleigh’s most recent addition. We sample their food and talk about Buddhism in America. Sponsored by Religion News LLC.


Speakers:
  • Christopher Thurston, Fo Guang Shan
  • Josho Pat Phelan, Chapel Hill Zen Center
  • Robbie Watkins, Kadampa Center for the Practice of Tibetan Buddhism
Moderator
  • Nicole Neroulias, Religion News Service
PRESS BRIEFING: BAYLOR RELIGION SURVEY (audio not available)
Baylor University sociology researchers return to release fascinating findings from Wave III of the Baylor Religion Survey that probes the depth and complexity of America's religious landscape. Conducted in fall 2010 by the Gallup Organization, core themes include health and religiosity, the relationship between entrepreneurship/work and religion, religion and the American Individual, as well as recurring themes about how religion affects hot-button cultural issues, such as politics and same-sex marriage. The survey is funded by Baylor with support from the National Science Foundation and John M. Templeton Foundation.

PRESS BRIEFING: PEW RESEARCH CENTER SURVEY
(audio not available)
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life senior researcher Greg Smith and research associate Besheer Mohamed will present the main findings from a comprehensive new public opinion survey by the Pew Research Center examining the attitudes, experiences and demographics of Muslims in the U.S. They will review data on Muslim Americans' religious beliefs and practices; political and social attitudes; experiences and difficulties following 9/11; views about Islamic extremism; and attitudes toward U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. They will also address what survey findings reveal about how Muslim Americans compare with the general public and with Muslims in other countries. Sponsored by Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life

Passages, the premier exhibition of The Green Collection, presented by Hobby Lobby(audio not available)
One of the newest and largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts in the world, The Green Collection is "creating a buzz in the world of collecting" (FoxNews.com, 04/13/11). Named for the Green family, founders of Hobby Lobby, the world's largest arts and crafts retailer, The Green Collection is spearheaded by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green with Dr. Scott Carroll, the "Indiana Jones" of ancient manuscripts, serving as director. The Collection premiered at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., this spring, and has just begun traveling the world via the interactive, multimedia Passages exhibition. The Green Collection will ultimately find a permanent home in the U.S. to welcome visitors from around the globe.

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