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Happy New Year Friend!

Brian Lapis

We're starting on a new decade, and as I encourage you to become a bigger part of the OC Inc. family on behalf of the OC Inc. board of directors, I took a moment to reflect on my history with OC Inc. 

I remember the moment when my love for the United Church of Christ and my love for the broadcast industry intersected. I was a student at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications when I opened up my communications law and ethics textbook, and there it was: United Church of Christ vs. Federal Communications Commission. The UCC won this case against insurmountable odds, to unseat racist owners from WLBT-TV and to make owners of all broadcast stations accountable to the communities they serve. As Kay Mills describes it in her 2004 book, Changing Channels, this was "the civil rights case that transformed television."

This match between my avocation and my vocation didn't end with my college ethics class. For 20 years, I've had the pleasure of serving on United Church of Christ Office of Communication Inc.'s Board of Directors. During that time I've proudly witnessed and contributed to OC Inc.'s efforts to keep the "public's interest, convenience and necessity" across media industries. The list of our accomplishments is long and far-reaching: preserving time on TV stations for children's educational programming, advocating for diversity in media ownership, working to prevent spiraling media ownership consolidation, helping to create community-centered low power FM radio stations, seeking reform for prison phone rates, advocating for an internet that is open to all and free of hate speech.  

While the UCC's work in media justice is not always well known in our churches, it is famous (and at times, relied upon) in the world of media advocacy. The UCC and OC Inc. are household names in the halls of the FCC and justice advocates.

I am a professional broadcaster, and I am accountable to the communities I serve every day because of the United Church of Christ's advocacy. Every time you turn on your TV, radio, or internet service, the UCC's media justice work is impacting you!

You don't have to be a professional communicator to understand how our world is connected by electronic media. The church has a vital voice in ensuring that these powerful tools are used justly, and are accessible to all.   

Please join me in supporting this effective ministry, and celebrating of sixty years of this work, with a contribution to our $60 for 60 Campaign

Sincerely,

Brian Lapis

OC Inc. Board of Directors

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