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United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc. Monthly Newsletter

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Join us for the 2014 Parker Lecture October 7th!

2014 Parker Lecture Set for October 7 at the Newseum

Save the date—the 2014 Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture and Awards Ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. October 7 at the Newseum in Washington, DC, in partnership with the Newseum Institute. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the filing of the petition by the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, Inc., that eventually led to the establishment of citizen standing at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This year’s lecture will be held in conjunction with the Newseum’s three-year commemoration “Civil Rights at 50,” chronicling media coverage of the civil rights movement from 1963 to 1965.

 More information will be available in the coming weeks, but mark your calendars now for this year’s special event.

Past Honorees Hilary Shelton and Malkia Cyril

Nominations Now Open for 2014 Parker Lecture Honorees

Please help us consider all the possibilities by nominating someone you think is worthy to be honored at this year’s 32nd Annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture and Awards Breakfast.

Together we will pay tribute to three individuals who exemplify Dr. Parker's achievements through the following three honors:

  •         Parker Lecturer

The lecturer is a compelling public speaker who can provoke our best thinking about how to put the public interest first in media and telecommunications.

  •         Everett C. Parker Award

In recognition of an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest in telecommunications and the media.

  •         Donald H. McGannon Award
    In recognition of special contributions in advancing the roles of women and people of color in the media.

Read more about last year's lecture and honorees, and about past honorees.  Please fill out the short form before Monday March 3, 2014 to assist us in choosing the 2014 Parker Lecture Honorees.

Prison phone rates are now more affordable for inmates and their families

UCC Offers Resources as Prison Phone Rates Come Down

For over ten years, a coalition of organizations and individuals has been asking the FCC to lower the costs that families and friends were forced to pay to stay in contact with persons who were incarcerated in prisons and detention centers. Last year, we finally won! The FCC’s new rate caps took effect on February 11.   The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, UCC general minister and president, was among those who participated in a rally at the FCC in November 2012, calling on the agency to take action on predatory phone rates. Black said he was happy that more than 10 years of advocacy have paid off. “Now we see the result, and it’s a day to celebrate.”

We’ve prepared a summary of the FCC’s regulations, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and a guide entitled

How to File a Complaint at the FCC for Prison Phone Call Charges that are Too High.

In addition, in late January the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries solicited more than 600 signatures on a petition asking the FCC to address exorbitant rates charged for local calls to prisoners. Click here for more information.

Net Neutrality for Progressive Christians

In response to a recent court decision which put into question the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rules, OC Inc. Board member Kimberly Knight penned a useful “Top-Ten” list about why net neutrality matters to us at UCC Media Justice.  As Kimberly explained, "Communication online is one of the most important ways we as progressive Christians, are called to work faithfully and tirelessly toward realizing a socially just planet (which translates in Jesusy terms as parenting with God to manifest the Kingdom)."

National Day of Unplugging set for March 7-8

A group of Jewish artists has called for a National Day of Unplugging for March 7-8.  For more details, see the Sabbath Manifesto. We encourage you to join the pledge  and consider extending unplugging through March 9th. For more information on OC Inc's role in the National Day of Unplugging, see our resource page.


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