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United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc. Monthly Newsletter

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UCC OC Inc. a leader among civil rights groups, promoting media accountability and media diversity.  Over the last two months, UCC OC Inc.'s role as a consensus builder and respected ally in the civil rights and media reform communities has been of more value than ever.  Cheryl Leanza, our policy advisor, leads a task force of civil rights organizations through the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of over 250 civil rights organizations.  The UCC's media justice ministry has been pleased to collaborate with these allies as the Federal Communications Commission has threatened to take steps that could negatively impact ownership of broadcast properties by women and people of color. Through this work, UCC OC Inc. is making a difference—and continuing to pursue  the original goals of our founder Everett C. Parker--making sure that communities of color are reflected in the media, both as owners and on the air.  We are hopeful the current FCC Chair, Julius Genachowski, will take heed to the objections that we and our allies have raised against this latest push toward  media consolidation.

GMP Rev. Geoffrey Black rallies for justice
GMP Rev. Geoffrey Black

Campaign to end predatory prison phone rates about to leap first hurdleUCC OC Inc. has been working with the United Church of Christ’s Justice and Witness Ministries, our allies in the civil rights and faith communities, and supportive conservatives to end the morally reprehensible  practice of predatory phone rates on telephone calls that help prisoners stay in touch with their support communities.  The UCC's General Minister and President  Rev. Geoffrey Black joined a rally outside the FCC to encourage the FCC to take action.  In addition, our policy advisor moderated a discussion panel on the issue at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition's recent telecommunications conference.  We are now seeking signatures from clergy and religious organizations on petitions to oppose this practice.   The FCC is expected to complete the first phase of its work on new regulations before the end of the year.  Sign up here for updates.

LPFM is now a reality!

Low power radio expands to whole countryIn November, we celebrated when  more than a decade of advocacy to expand the number of low power FM radio stations resulted in the FCC’s publication of new regulations to guide the process.    The faith community as a whole has been extremely supportive of the expansion of low power radio throughout the extended effort it took to pass the Local Community Radio Act.  Moreover, over 250 people of faith recently asked the FCC to take steps to help ensure that these local stations actually provided local programming. The UCC has a number of resources about the importance of low power radio, including its documentary The People's Voice, available on vimeo.  The UCC sponsored the Microradio Implementation Project in the early days of low power radio to support applicants seeking to start a new station.

Parker Honorees and OC Inc. Chair Earl Williams

Parker Lecture Celebrates Everett Parker's 100th BirthdayThe annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture and Awards Breakfast featured Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, as this year’s lecturer. Rev. Jackson praised Rev. Parker's "tenacious" pursuit of justice and proclaimed that “communications issues are the civil rights issues of today.”  The assembled guests sang "Happy Birthday" to Rev. Parker who could not attend, but who will celebrate his 100th birthday in January.  The awards ceremony also honored Charles Benton, chairman of the board of the Benton Foundation, and S. Jenell Trigg, chair of the Intellectual Property and New Media and Technology Practice Group of Lerman Senter PLLC, for their efforts, respectively, in support of the public interest and increasing participation by women and people of color in communications.  Photos and video are available on our web site.

Support our work.  Without donations large and small, UCC's media justice ministry cannot succeed.  We count on our many individual supporters to contribute, particularly during the holiday season.  Please make a contribution to keep the voice of UCC OC Inc. strong.


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