Symposium

Leadership

David N. Hempton

David Hempton PhotoDavid N. Hempton is the Dean of Harvard Divinity School, the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and the John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity. He is an internationally recognized historian of Christianity with particular expertise in populist traditions of evangelicalism in Europe, North America, and beyond. His many award-winning publications include Methodism and Politics in British Society, 1750–1850 (Stanford 1984), Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale 2005), and The Church in the Long Eighteenth Century (Tauris 2011).... Read more about David N. Hempton

H. Bruce McEver

Bruce McEver PhotoThe Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative is being funded by Mr. Bruce McEver, who is the co-founder and chairman of Berkshire Capital Securities LLC, a 2011 graduate of the MTS program at Harvard Divinity School, and a published poet. He partnered with the late Ronald Thiemann to create the Religious Literacy Foundation and was recently honored with a bronze medal at the first Global Business and Interfaith Peace Award ceremony held in Rio de Janeiro before the Paralympic Games in 2016.... Read more about H. Bruce McEver

Diane L. Moore

Diane Moore PhotoDiane L. Moore is the founder and director of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School, a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School. Her work is focused on advancing the public understanding of religion in collaboration professionals from a wide range of fields.  She is the Principal Investigator for both the Religious Literacy an the Professions Initiative and a Luce funded partnership with Oxfam investigating how international humanitarian aid organizations understand religion.... Read more about Diane L. Moore

Stephen Prothero

Stephen Prothero PhotoStephen Prothero is the C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion at Boston University and the author of the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn’t (Harper 2007). His publications also include God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter (Harper 2010) and Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections) (Harper 2016). He has been a regular contributor to CNN’s “Belief Blog” and Newsweek/The Washington Post’s blog “On Faith,” and he has also written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, and Salon.... Read more about Stephen Prothero

Keynote Speaker

Abigail Disney

Abigail Disney headshotAbigail E. Disney is a filmmaker, philanthropist, activist, and the Emmy-winning director of The Armor of Light. As CEO and president of Fork Films, the documentary production company behind the groundbreaking Pray the Devil Back to Hell and PBS series Women, War & Peace, Abigail is committed to stories that create dialogue across divides and move the needle on social change. She has executive produced and supported over 90 projects through Fork Films’ funding program. Additionally, Abigail is the founder and president of Peace is Loud, a nonprofit that uses media and live events to highlight stories of women stepping up for peace.... Read more about Abigail Disney

Speakers

Lorraine Ali

Lorraine Ali headshotLorraine Ali is television critic for the Los Angeles Times. Previously, she was a senior writer for the Calendar section where she covered culture at large, entertainment and American Muslim issues. Ali is an award-winning journalist and Los Angeles native who has written in publications ranging from the New York Times to Rolling Stone and GQ. She was formerly the Times' music editor and before that, a senior writer and music critic with Newsweek magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and pitbull, Sausage.... Read more about Lorraine Ali

Mario Cader-Frech

Mario Cader-Frech headshotMario Cader-Frech worked for nearly 15 years at Viacom International as Senior Vice President for Public Affairs & Social Responsibility. In this role, he was responsible for a creative team tapping the power of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Vh1, and Paramount’s unparalleled connection to youth and children to deliver social responsible messages utilizing fresh approaches on behalf of the United Nations, international non-profit partners, and private sector brands. Cader-Frech is the creator of MTV Agents of Change and Nickelodeon Together For Good, two global campaigns designed... Read more about Mario Cader-Frech

Bruno del Granado

Bruno del Granado headshotBruno del Granado is an Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). He works closely with many top musicians working in Latin music, including Maluma, Nicky Jam, and Luis Fonsi, among others. Del Granado also represents Cisneros Media, and works across the agency helping to create opportunities for clients in the multicultural marketplace. Del Granado joined CAA in 2013 from RM Entertainment Group, which he formed in partnership with Ricky Martin. He was an integral part of the team that orchestrated the joint venture between RM Entertainment Group... Read more about Bruno del Granado

CarolAnne Dolan

CarolAnne Dolan headshotCarolAnne is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning executive producer who has a diverse background in factual programming. She’s worked in genres including social justice, history and investigative docs, reality, pop culture, biography, wildlife and adventure, and on subject matter as diverse as shark attacks, rock and roll and mass incarceration. She has worked on both sides of the business – as a network executive garnering high ratings and awards, and on the production side creating successful programs for major cable networks. Most recent projects include Newtown (Independent Lens),... Read more about CarolAnne Dolan

Geralyn Dreyfous

Geralyn Dreyfous headshotGeralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts, extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and participates on numerous boards and initiatives. She spent an early part of her career at the Philanthropic Initiative in Boston, which guides families of wealth in strategic giving opportunities, and taught Documentary and Narrative writing with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University. Geralyn is the Founder and Board Chair of the Utah Film Center, a non-profit that curates free screenings and outreach programs for communities throughout Utah.... Read more about Geralyn Dreyfous

Sarah Hammerschlag

Sarah Hammerschlag headshotSarah Hammerschlag is an associate professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School in the fields of Religion and Literature, Philosophy of Religions and History of Judaism. She is the author of The Figural Jew: Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought (University of Chicago Press, 2010) and Broken Tablets: Levinas, Derrida and the Literary Afterlife of Religion (Columbia University Press, 2016) and the editor of Modern French Jewish Thought: Writings on Religion and Politics (Brandeis University Press, 2018).... Read more about Sarah Hammerschlag

Amir Hussain

Amir Hussain headshotDr. Amir Hussain is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, where he teaches courses on Islam and comparative religion. From 2011 to 2015, Amir was the editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He is an advisor for the television series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman. In 2008, he was appointed a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. His most recent book is Muslims and the Making of America.  The author or editor of 5 other books, he has also published over 60 book chapters and scholarly articles about religion.

John Jackson

John Jackson headshotJohn L. Jackson, Jr. is Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice. Beginning on January 1, 2019, he will become the fifth Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication. He also is the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Africana Studies, and Anthropology. He is a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, holding faculty positions in Annenberg, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Social Policy & Practice. He has produced feature-length fiction films, documentaries, and film-shorts that have screened at film festivals internationally.... Read more about John Jackson

Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant

Rhon Manigault-Bryant headshotDr. Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty Affiliate in Religion at Williams College. As a 2018 recipient of three-year New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, she is currently engaged in full-time training in film studies and documentary filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She completed her undergraduate education at Duke University, then earned a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a PhD in Religion from Emory’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.... Read more about Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant

Kerida McDonald

Kerida McDonald headshotDr. Kerida McDonald, national of Jamaica and mother of 5 children, holds a masters and doctorate degree in Education from Harvard University. She has worked with UNICEF for 20 years across a wide range of UNICEF’s programmatic areas including early childhood development; health, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation promotion; social norms such as child marriage and female genital cutting; violence prevention;  peacebuilding and adolescent engagement. Dr. McDonald is currently Senior Advisor of the Communication for Development Section in UNICEF Headquarters,... Read more about Kerida McDonald

Mik Moore

Mik Moore headshotMik Moore is recognized as one of the leading digital media campaign strategists in the United States, combining a deep understanding of public policy and electoral politics with years of experience as a writer, editor, producer, and public speaker. He is known for developing and implementing innovative efforts to harness the power of online media to create social change. He is also a thought leader in the emerging field of cultural strategy.... Read more about Mik Moore

Sheila Murphy

Sheila Murphy headshotDr. Sheila Murphy is a Full Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Trained in social psychology, Dr. Murphy specializes in identifying the individual, interpersonal, community, ethnic and cultural level factors that shape people’s knowledge, attitudes and practices. She is also an expert on the use of stories or narratives – in contrast to more traditional interventions – to change individual and normative beliefs and behavior on topics ranging from human trafficking, condom use, stereotyping, cancer screening, water conservation, and acceptance of marginalized groups... Read more about Sheila Murphy

Ross Murray

Ross Murray headshotRoss Murray is the Senior Director of Education & Training at The GLAAD Media Institute, which provides activist, spokesperson, and media engagement training and education for LGBTQ and allied community members and organizations desiring to deepen their media impact. Ross uses the best practices perfected by GLAAD to train a new generation of advocates in order to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people, as well as other marginalized communities.... Read more about Ross Murray

Anthony Petro

Anthony Petro headshotAnthony Petro is an assistant professor in Boston University's Department of Religion and in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program. He earned his PhD from Princeton University. His teaching and research interests include religion and culture in the United States; religion, medicine, and public health; and gender and sexuality studies. His first book, After the Wrath of God: AIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion (Oxford University Press, 2015), examines the history of U.S. American religious responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis and their role in the promotion of a national moral discourse on sex.... Read more about Anthony Petro

Gordon Quinn

Gordon Quinn headshotGordon Quinn—Artistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films—has been making documentaries for 50 years. In his first film Home for Life, heralded as "an extraordinarily moving documentary" by Roger Ebert, he established the direction of his life and career; storytelling that examines the broader culture through the unfolding lives of real people. A longtime activist for public and community media, Quinn was integral to the creation of ITVS, public access television in Chicago, The Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use, and in forming the Indie Caucus to hold PBS accountable. ... Read more about Gordon Quinn

Joanna Piacenza

Joanna Piacenza headshotJoanna Piacenza is a Senior Business Reporter for Morning Consult, a media and technology company. Her writing and research interests lie at the intersection of business, politics, social issues, and data. Prior to Morning Consult, she served as an editor at Public Religion Research Institute for three years. Piacenza earned her M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she served as an Associate Researcher at the Center for Media, Religion and Culture.... Read more about Joanna Piacenza

Christopher White

Christopher White headshotChristopher White received his PhD in Religious Studies from Harvard University, where he studied religion and culture in modern Europe and America.  He is particularly interested in religion and science, spirituality and “unchurched” religion, new religious movements, electronic media and popular culture.  He has published articles on these and other subjects in scholarly journals and edited books, including articles in Religion in American Culture and the American Historical Review.  His first book, Unsettled Minds: Psychology and the American Search for Spiritual Assurance (California: University of California Press, 2009) examined ... Read more about Christopher White

Religious Literacy and the Profession Initiative Staff

Lauren R. Kerby

Kerby headshotLauren R. Kerby is the RLP’s education specialist and an instructor in the Religious Studies and Education Certificate program at Harvard Extension School. She is responsible for overall design and implementation of the Religious Literacy and Education Initiative, and for programs within the Religious Literacy and the Professions Initiative.... Read more about Lauren R. Kerby

Sarabinh Levy-Brightman

Sarabinh Levy-Brightman photoSarabinh Levy-Brightman coordinates and does research for the Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative.  Her academic background lies in the study of religion and she holds a Master’s degree from The University of Chicago Divinity School and an MDiv from HDS as well as a Bachelor’s degree in History and Religion from Vassar College.  For many years Sarabinh taught in high school humanities departments, both in English and in History.... Read more about Sarabinh Levy-Brightman