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2014 Conference Program
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PLEASE NOTE: All times, events and panelists are subject to change.

Pre-Conference: Religion & Immigration
 Thursday, Sept. 18

 Location: Tull Auditorium of Emory University Law School

 Panelist Contact (pre-con): Click here to download PDF

 All Day                                          Registration

  8:30 - 9:30 a.m.                            Breakfast
 9:30 - 11 a.m.                                Panel: Midterm 2014: Religion, Immigration & Politics
                                                         Despite, or perhaps, as a result of the gridlock in
                                                         Washington over comprehensive immigration, the
                                                         political importance of immigration continues to grow.
                                                         How will immigration affect the mid-term election,
                                                         and how are religious communities and religious
                                                         beliefs impacting the electorate?

                                                           Moderator: John Blake, CNN
                                                           -Robbie Jones, Public Religion Research Institute
                                                           -Merle Black, Emory University
                                                           -Suzii Paynter, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
                                                           -Teresa Fry Brown, Emory University
                                                           -Jerry Gonzalez, Georgia Alliance of Latino Elected Officials

  11:00 - 11:30 a.m.                         Coffee & Networking Break
 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.                   Panel: Religion and Immigrant Support Networks
                                                          Religion and religious communities are often the place
                                                          where immigrants turn for support and assistance. How are
                                                          religious communities adapting to changes in immigration
                                                          patterns? How are religious communities finding spaces of
                                                          solidarity as well as hospitality for immigrants?

                                                            Moderator: Silas Allard, Emory University
                                                            -Marie Marquardt, Emory University
                                                            -Manuel Vasquez, University of Florida
                                                            -Don Kerwin, Center for Migration Studies
                                                            -Aparna Bhattacharyya, Raksha 
  1:00 - 2:30 p.m.                              Lunch    AUDIO
                                                             Pew Research and the Center for the Study of Law &
                                                             Religion—An expert from the Pew Research Center will
                                                             present some of the latest findings from the center's
                                                             research examining issues at the intersection of religion and
                                                             public affairs. (Embargoed)

 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.                              Panel: Religion and Immigrant Integration
                                                           Immigration brings constant change to the face of religion in
                                                           in the United States. How do immigrants adapt and change
                                                           their new home? How do established religious communities
                                                           adapt and welcome new immigrants and their new religious
                                                           practices or ways of practicing?

                                                           Moderator: Silas Allard, Emory University
                                                             -Abduhllahi An-Naum, Emory University
                                                             -Jehu Hanciles, Emory University
                                                             -Don Seeman, Emory University
                                                             -Karen Lyons, UMC Clarkston 
  4:00 - 4:30 p.m.                              Coffee & Networking Break
 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.                              Panel: Human Traffic Report
                                                           Atlanta happens to be a hotbed for trafficking.
                                                           But religious leaders worldwide have seized on the effort
                                                           to end human trafficking and slavery. How are local
                                                           religious leaders addressing the problem and what danger
                                                           and obstacles are they encountering along the way?

                                                           Moderator: Letitia Campbell, Emory University
                                                             -Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, State Department
                                                             -Sister Marlene Weisenbeck, President's Advisory
                                                             -Jeff Shaw, Out of Darkness
                                                             -Alia El-Sawi, Department of Homeland Security
  7:00 - 8:00 p.m.                               Reception (City on a Hill)


65th Annual RNA Conference — Audio
 Friday, Sept. 19

 Location: Courtyard Decatur Hotel & Conference Center

 All Day                                            Registration
  7:30 - 8:30 a.m.                               Breakfast (Zondervan: J.D. Greear, Author)   AUDIO
 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.                            Welcome & Keynote Speaker    AUDIO
                                                             -Katrina Lantos Swett, USCIRF Chair
  10:30 - 11:45 a.m.                           Panel: Mediation: Science, Spirit and Practice  AUDIO
                                                              In a 2014 cover story, Time magazine described a
                                                              "Mindful Revolution," in which  stressed out Americans
                                                              find focus and clarity, in part through meditation. But what
                                                              exactly does meditation mean? What are its religious
                                                              roots? What does science say—is it really good for you?

                                                               -Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Emory University
                                                               -Dr. Clifford Saron, UC Davis
                                                               -Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Pastoral Counselor
 Noon - 1:15 p.m.                            Lunch (Knights of Columbus)    AUDIO
  1:30 - 2:00 p.m.                              Panel: Results of Women in Leadership Study     AUDIO
                                                             The Women in Leadership National Study (WILNS) is the
                                                             first-ever academic study to investigate the representation
                                                             of women in top leadership positions at the more than
                                                             1,400 evangelical nonprofit institutions in the United States.
                                                             The panel discussion will present the results of this
                                                             comprehensive study, and discuss how evangelical
                                                             institutions are stacking up against broader societal
                                                             benchmarks for women in leadership. The study has been
                                                             led by researchers at Gordon College and Wheaton
                                                             College, with support from the Imago Dei Fund of Boston
                                                             and a national advisory board.

                                                               -Dr. Michael Lindsay, President, Gordon College
                                                               -Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.
                                                               -Dr. Amy Reynolds, Wheaton College
                                                               -Dr. Janel Curry, Gordon College

 2:10 - 3:55 p.m.                            Panel: God and Guns        AUDIO
                                                            More than 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every
                                                            year, and some religious groups have been at the forefront
                                                            of speaking out against violence. Yet little seems to have
                                                            changed.  What are the current religious efforts on this
                                                            issue? How does faith shape the way various religious
                                                            groups address questions about gun violence, gun
                                                            ownership and open carry laws? How are attitudes toward
                                                            guns intertwined with our beliefs about individual
                                                            and religious freedoms?

                                                              -Rachel Laser, Deputy Director, Religious Action Center
                                                              for Reform Judaism
                                                              -Dr. David P. Gushee, Mercer University
                                                              -Bryan Miller, Executive Director, Heeding God's Call

                                                              -Jim Winkler, National Council of Churches
                                                              -Rev. Robert Wright, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Concurrent Sessions
 4:15 - 5:30 p.m.                                Shoptalk 1: Discussing Deities    AUDIO
                                                             CNN's Eric Marrapodi will coach us on how to shoot video
                                                             and appear on television to present our stories.

                                                           Shoptalk 2: Data on Deities         AUDIO
                                                             What's the difference between data storytelling, data
                                                             visualization and data scraping? Experts share tools that
                                                             will improve every religion reporter's game.

                                                              -Lee Clontz, Emory University
 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.                               College Student RNA groups (Private)
  5:45 - 6:45 p.m.                               RNS Staff & Board Reception (Private)
 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.                               Dinner (Pure Flix)


65th Annual RNA Conference
 Saturday, Sept. 20

 Location: Courtyard Decatur Hotel & Conference Center

 All Day                                             Registration
  8:00 - 9:15 a.m.                                Breakfast & Speaker (Openly Secular)    AUDIO
                                                             The Openly Secular coalition will be announcing details of
                                                             a new multimedia campaign to eliminate discrimination and
                                                             increase acceptance by getting secular people to be open
                                                             about their beliefs.

 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.                             Panel: Persecuted Out of Proportion?   AUDIO
                                                            The new book "Religious Hostility: A Global Assessment
                                                            of Hatred and Terror," challenges the claims about
                                                            persecuted Christians. We'll hear from the panel about
                                                            how they came up with contradictory data and discuss how
                                                            best to quantify Christians' persecution worldwide.

                                                             -Katie Corcoran
                                                             -Todd Johnson, Gordon Theological
                                                             -Michael Austin
  11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.                    Panel: Entertaining Faith and Sporting Religion  AUDIO
                                                             When is it appropriate (or inappropriate) to include faith
                                                             angles in sports and entertainment? An athlete, a sports
                                                             reporter, an actor and an entertainment reporter team up
                                                             to help religion reporters understand the opportunities and
                                                             challenges in covering those beats.

                                                              -Thomas Lake, Sports Illustrated
                                                              -Rebecca Cusey, Patheos
                                                              -Kulsoom Abdullah, Muslim weightlifting competitor
 12:20 - 12:45 p.m.                           Presentation: Youth and Entertainment (Excel)  AUDIO
  1:00 - 2:15 p.m.                               Lunch: (Dobson: Building a Family Legacy)  AUDIO
 2:30 - 3:00 p.m.                            Presentation: Chaplain in America (Journey Films) AUDIO
  3:15 - 4:30 p.m.                               Panel: Spiritual Not Religious   AUDIO
                                                            Who are the spiritual but not religious, and how do they
                                                            answer basic questions about life and death? The answers
                                                            may surprise you. Before looking for them in a college
                                                            town coffee shop, try looking at your local flea market. And
                                                            to see their impact on culture, try attending a funeral these
                                                            days - or "life celebration," or even a "FUN-eral." Some
                                                            theologians say the spiritually unaffiliated mark life-cycle
                                                            events superficially, but others say they have created
                                                            refreshing new possibilities.

                                                              -Thomas Long, Candler School of Theology
                                                              -Glenda Stansbury, In-sight Institute
                                                              -Art Farnsley, Indiana University
 4:45 - 5:45 p.m.                                Member Meeting
  6:00 - 7:15 p.m.                                Silent Auction & Reception
 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.                                Banquet & Awards Presentation  AUDIO


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