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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REFRAMED: A CONVERSATION WITH THE NEXT GENERATION

February 25th, 2022 at 2 pm EST

This panel discussion will explore the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the concept of religious freedom as a framework for healing divides. The panel discussion will intentionally feature the voices of young emerging faith leaders at the intersection of racial equity, religious freedom, and public justice. This session will explore how innovative approaches to reframing religious freedom can address the ways in which the legal and cultural narratives in the U.S have largely privileged white Christians over others. The experiences of religious minorities and BIPOC communities have been largely excluded, leading to an incomplete and even harmful understanding of what religious freedom actually is or has the potential to be. This session will probe how to reimagine religious freedom’s interconnectedness with racial equity and its relevance for shared flourishing.

MODERATOR

CHELSEA LANGSTON BOMBINO

Program Officer at Fetzer Institute

I joined Fetzer after spending the last three years as the director of Sacred Sector and Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance at the Center for Public Justice (CPJ) in Washington, DC. I also served as the director of strategic engagement for the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance from 2015-17, and as acting CEO for the Center for Public Justice during summer 2020. I also worked as the learning director for Maryland Nonprofits, as well as the manager of education and development for the National Association of Consumer Advocates. I am an experienced facilitator, speaker, and teacher, having led numerous conference sessions and having taught a nonprofit management course at Pepperdine University. I continue to serve as a fellow with CPJ; am a contributing writer for Religion Unplugged; and currently serve on the boards of First Amendment Voice and Young Leaders Institute. I enjoy making yummy vegan food and exploring nature trails with my husband, Josh, and our baby, Benjamin.

PANELISTS

KERWIN WEBB

Minister & Associate Pastor at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park

Minister Webb earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Alabama State University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Additional certificates include a Certificate in Christian Ministry (Pillar College) Certificate in Black Church Studies, and an International Certificate in Youth, Theology, and Innovation from the Institute for Youth Ministry (IYM). Kerwin currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Youth and Young Adults at Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, the President of the Greater Red Bank branch of the NAACP, Board Chair of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation, and coalition liaison for the New Jersey Social Justice Remembrance Coalition. Minister Webb is also a development consultant, life coach, and a change agent. More info is available at www.kerwinwebb.com.

YASMINE ARRINGTON

Founder at ScholarCHIPS

In 2010, while a junior in high school, Yasmine founded the non-profit ScholarCHIPS (www.scholarchipsfund.org), an organization that provides college scholarships, mentoring and a peer support network to children of incarcerated parents, inspiring them to complete their college education. To date, ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $300,000 in college scholarships to 76 scholars, with 30 college graduates to date. Yasmine has been featured in TeenVogue, Essence, Black Enterprise, Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post, the Baltimore Times, ABC7 News WJLA and NBC4. Yasmine is a recipient of the Washington Business Journal Top 40 Under 40, the Linowes Leadership Award from the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Peace First Prize, the DC Social Innovation Prize, Angel Among Us Award by the Negro Council of Women, the Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, the Samuel Halperin Public Service Award, Radio One WKYS Top 30 Under 30, and others. For more visit her LinkedIn.

AMAR PETERMAN

Director, Author at Ideos Center for Empathy in Christian and Public Life

Amar D. Peterman (M.Div, Princeton Seminary) is an author and Director of the Ideos Center for Empathy in Christian and Public Life. He is a regular contributor to Sojourners Magazine and his work has also been featured in Christianity Today, the Christian Century, the Berkeley Forum, and more. You can follow him on Twitter: @amarpeterman. Peterman is under contract with Eerdmans Publishing Company tentatively titled “Empathy: Loving Well in a Divided World” (part of Ideos position).

WORKING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT WOMEN AND GIRLS PERSECUTED FOR THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

February 28th, 2022 at 2 pm EST

Too many people around the world are persecuted for their religion or belief. While statistics, when they are available, document this persecution, people can argue over what they mean and they can numb us into believing that events are beyond our control. In the divisive time in which we now live, advocating in support of religious prisoners of conscience, especially women and girls who suffer the often-devastating consequences of unjust and discriminatory laws and/or practices helps generate action and change, and brings people together as they work for their freedom.

This panel will focus on international religious freedom, the complex persecution women and girls face for their religious beliefs, and efforts that can be taken, individually and in community, to advocate on their behalf.

FACILITATOR

LOU ANN SABATIER

Principal at Sabatier Consulting

Lou Ann Sabatier is Principal of Sabatier Consulting. She is passionate about developing people, growing, and fixing organizations, identifying new markets, products & publications. She coordinates the consulting teams alongside working as the lead on a number of key assignments. With over 40 years senior management experience in publishing and publishing consulting, Lou Ann has delivered and supported a wide range of services including strategic planning, business and audience development, research, change management and finance. Her customer and market development activities have been deliberately crafted across all main content types and market sectors.

PANELISTS

JUDY GOLUB

Director of Strategy and Planning at Religion News Foundation / Religion News Service

Judy Golub is an independent consultant and the Director of Strategy and Planning at the Religion News Foundation/Religion News Service. She also is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable. Before that, Judy directed Congressional Affairs & Policy and Planning, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington, D.C. She also was the Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) in San Francisco, Ca.; the Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Washington, D.C.; and the Legislative Director, American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Washington D.C.

ELIZABETH LANE MILLER

Women’s Persecution Specialist at Open Doors International

Elizabeth Lane Miller is the Women’s Persecution Specialist for Open Doors, International. Since 2016, she has been tracking trends and raising awareness related to dynamics of how religious persecution is experienced differently by Christian women and men. Pioneering co-author of the annual Gender-specific Religious Persecution report produced by Open Doors World Watch Research since 2018, she studies global patterns of intersectional vulnerabilities of faith and gender. She is also co-author of Restorations, a socio-theological resilience model for Local Faith Actors, written to strengthen the church as it responds to the persecution targeting Christians according to their gender. She is also a co-founder of the Gender and Religious Freedom platform within the Religious Liberty Partnership.

THE STATE OF RELGIOUS LIBERTY ACROSS OUR NATION

March 3, 2022 at 11:00 am EST

Freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right, established in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. This guaranteed and protected right is being challenged and systematically stripped away through litigation at both State and Federal levels. Religious freedom is more than practicing one’s belief in the privacy of their home or house of worship. The duty of practicing one’s faith or no faith at all, is not something granted by government, and therefore, not something permissibly taken by it, either. Rather, it is a freedom attached to our humanity. It is a right meant not merely to permit religious worship, but for it to be exercised. It is a liberty not only to hold one’s convictions and conscience, but to speak about them publicly and to live them out freely. This panel will discuss the current state of religious liberty across our nation, the challenges, and the opportunities to ensure the constitutional right of every citizen to live their faith in the public square.

MODERATOR

BISHOP DR. PAUL MURRAY

Vice President of Religious Freedom Initiatives at Global Peace Foundation International

Bishop Dr. Paul Murray is a passionate advocate for religious freedom and human rights, a regular presenter on international program panels, speaking on addressing religious freedom attacks and challenges internationally and domestically. He serves as Vice Chairman of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat, Member of the National Advisory Board of the National Committee for Religious Freedom, Board Member of First Amendment Voice, Member of the Committee on Religious Liberty, and Co-Chair, Capital Area Coalition on Religious Liberty. He is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church. He is the award-winning author of Broken: Picking up the Pieces after the Fall, and soon to be published, First to Serve. Murray holds a PhD in Pastoral Leadership from Howard University, School of Divinity, an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling, an MA in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.S. in Healthcare Services from the University of Phoenix.

PANELISTS

CHERYL LYNN ALLEN

Of Counsel at The Pennsylvania Family Institute and The Independence Law Center

Cheryl Lynn Allen became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in 2007. A Pittsburgh native and former Pittsburgh public school teacher, Judge Allen is a graduate of Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She spent fifteen years practicing law before earning a merit selection appointment to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, in 1990. She was elected in 1991, and retained in 2001. Judge Allen is Of Counsel with the Pennsylvania Family Institute and the Independence Law Center. She also serves on boards including the Hosanna House and Neighborhood Academy. She is a Waynesburg University Trustee.

AMBASSADOR SAMUEL BROWNBACK

Chairman at National Coalition for Religious Freedom

Sam Brownback served as U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom from February 2018 to January 2021. In 2021 he successfully launched and co-chaired the inaugural International Religious Freedom Summit. In January 2022, he launched the National Coalition for Religious Freedom where he serves as Chairman, addressing religious liberty challenges across the nation. The Ambassador served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Prior to that he represented his home state in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback practiced law and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University. He holds a B.S. from Kansas State University and a J.D. from the University of Kansas. He and his wife Mary have five children and six grandchildren.

NEYDY CASILLAS, ESQ.

Vice President of International Affairs at Concerned Women for America

Neydy Casillas, Esq. serves as Vice President of International Affairs at Concerned Women for America, and as the adviser for the permanent mission of the Holy See at the Organization of American States. She is a board member of the National Committee for Religious Freedom. Previously, she served as a Senior Legal Counsel at ADF International and spearheaded advocacy efforts with the United Nations in New York, where she defended the sanctity of life, marriage, and family. Casillas served numerous times as a delegate for Mexico to the Commission on Population and Development and the Commission on the Status of Women. She specializes in international law, protecting fundamental human rights through challenging the misuse of international law that seeks to undermine sovereignty, national constitutions, and domestic legislation protections. She has been involved in several cases in Latin America and has authored submissions to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

DAVID CORTMAN, ESQ.

Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)

David joined ADF in 2005, and currently supervises a team of nearly 40 attorneys and legal staff who specialize in constitutional law, focusing on religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Cortman has successfully litigated hundreds of constitutional law cases in all levels of federal and state court, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. He argued Reed v. Town of Gilbert, securing a 9-0 ruling that prohibits the government from discriminating against religious speech while favoring political speech. He served as lead counsel in Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, successfully challenging Obamacare’s abortion pill mandate, which forces employers to provide healthcare coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs in violation of their religious convictions. He earned his J.D. from Regent University School of Law in 1996, graduating magna cum laude. He is a member of the state bar in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and the District of Columbia.