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United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc. Monthly Newsletter

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Parker Lecture Date Announced: October 17, 2019
UCC OC Inc. is delighted to announce the 2019 Parker Lecture & Awards Ceremony will occur on October 17, 2019 at 8am. It will be held once again at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington DC.  With the announcement of the Parker Lecture date, the honoree committee begins considering who will deliver the lecture and be honored in October. Please nominate honorees by March 1, 2019.

Change the Terms- Stop Online Hate Speech
Following up on our previous work on stopping online hate speech, UCC OC Inc. was proud to collaborate and join the Change the Terms Campaign, along with 40 other groups. Change the Terms is a partnership lead by Color of Change, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Center for American Progress. 
The model terms focus on fair process, transparency and accountability--to be sure no one is unfairly targeted by complaints. The model terms also include a clear and well-defined of hate speech based on first amendment legal principles. We were delighted to participate in a recent webinar featuring faith leaders such as Lisa Sharon Harper, Linda Sarsour and others encouraging members of the faith community to join the campaign. UCC OC Inc. strongly encourage churches, organizations and individuals to sign on in support of the Change the Terms campaign.

Suit for Media Diversity
Just before Christmas, UCC OC Inc. lead a suit in federal court in coalition with its allies contesting the Federal Communications Commission's failure to consider the negative impact the FCC's decisions have had on the total number of TV and radio stations owned by people of color and women.  Read more about this suit.

FCC Fails to Collect Equal Employment Data for 15 Years

UCC OC Inc. criticized a recent decision of the FCC refusing to collect data about how many women and people of color are employed in broadcasting even though the FCC is required by law to collect that data. Instead, the FCC wasted time repealing a minor, unimportant form that had little impact on ensure fairness in employment. UCC OC Inc. also strongly praised new-FCC Commissioner Starks who pledged to evaluate future FCC "media modernization" proceedings to "make sure that the Commission is meeting its broader statutory obligations and key mission" rather than simply removing rules.

Importance of Faith Community in Communications Justice

Cheryl Leanza, policy advisor for UCC OC Inc., has written an article for the World Association of Christian Communication's most recent issue of Media Development, the issue titled Brave New Digital World. Ms. Leanza's article, titled, "The Personal is Political: Faith Community and Civil Rights Advocate Approaches to Net Neutrality and Ethical Blocking of Hate Speech in the U.S.," discusses the growing realization of the ethical ramification of social media and online use. It highlights both various faith traditions' approaches to manage individual use of technology and faithful approaches to communications justice in stopping online hate speech and net neutrality. Stay tuned for a series of blogs based on this article.


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