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2019 PARKER LECTURE TO HONOR DIVERSE VOICES,
FRESH APPROACHES TO MEDIA MINISTRY ON OCTOBER 17
WASHINGTON—A diverse group of persons and organizations will be honored October 17 for the United Church of Christ’s media justice ministry’s 37th annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture and Awards Breakfast.
The Rev. Julian De Shazier, senior pastor of University Church in Chicago, will deliver this year’s Parker Lecture. DeShazier, under the name J.Kwest, is an Emmy award-winning hip-hop artist, featured in the video “Strange Fruit.” He is a faculty member at McCormick Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School. DeShazier has been recognized by the Center for American Progress as one of “10 Faith Leaders to Watch” in 2018 and by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of “40 under 40” leaders in that city. DeShazier was instrumental in establishing an adult trauma center on the South Side of Chicago, currently serves on the University of Chicago Medicine Community Advisory Council (CAC). He is a regular contributor to Sojourners, ON Scripture, and HuffPost publications and has appeared on ABC, FOX, NPR and Dr. Maya Angelou’s “Oprah & Friends” radio program.
Cayden Mak, executive director of 18 Million Rising, will receive the Everett C. Parker Award, in recognition of his work to provide a voice to persons of color and underrepresented communities. Mak’s organization builds identity, belonging, and community power online in the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander community. Prior to becoming executive director, Mak was chief technology officer at 18MR, leading the team that created VoterVOX, a tool designed to help locate volunteer translation services for voters with limited proficiency in English. In addition, Mak was a cofounder of youngist.org, New York Students Rising, and an officer and staff organizer for the Communications Workers of America.
The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) of the World Association of Christian Communication (WACC) will receive the Donald H. McGannon Award in recognition of special contributions to advancing the role of women and persons of color in the media. The project is the largest advocacy initiative in the world seeking to improve the representation of women in the media. Every five years since 1995, it has conducted the largest and longest-running longitudinal study of gender in the world’s media, including such metrics as the numbers of women versus men, gender bias, and gender stereotyping in content. It involves participants ranging from grass-roots observers to academic researchers to media practitioners, all of whom serve on a volunteer basis. Its next survey, in 2020, is expected to involve volunteers in 130 countries. Sarah Macharia, the principal editor of the 2010 and 2015 GMMP reports, GMMP global coordinator and WACC’s gender and communication program manager, will be traveling from Africa to attend the Parker Lecture and accept the award on behalf of her organization. Macharia represents WACC on the board of the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) that promotes gender equality in the media.
The Parker Lecture and Awards Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. on October 17, 2019 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, DC.
The Parker Lecture was created in 1982 to recognize the Rev. Dr. Parker’s pioneering work as an advocate for the public's rights in broadcasting. Parker founded the UCC’s Office of Communication, Inc., sixty years ago to successfully challenge the broadcast license of a Jackson, Mississippi, television station for failing to serve the public interest and cover the local African American community.
The subsequent court battle established the right of ordinary citizens to participate in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission. Today, those battles continue around such issues as Net Neutrality, prison telephone rate reform, and broadcast industry consolidation.
The Parker Lecture is the only event of its kind in the United States to examine telecommunications in the digital age from an ethical perspective.