There are a number of special activities planned for this year’s conference. If you can arrive a day early, there is a pre-conference available. Tuesday will have a special focus on possible futures for our field. Finally, we’ll be giving away two awards.
Peace and Justice Task Force pre-conference workshop
The Peace and Justice Task Force invites colleagues to join them on Saturday, November 6th for a full day workshop on “Digital story-telling for peace and justice” that is being led by the Denver office of the internationally known Center for Digital Storytelling. This full day workshop usually costs $250 per person, but thanks to a grant the Task Force received from Feautor.org, all costs (with the exception of travel to and from the workshop venue in Denver) will be covered. Participants will acquire basic literacy in digital tools and media/curriculum design through the production a of two minute digital story. Participants are given materials prior to the workshop to assist them with preparation, including writing exercises, suggestions of limits in script duration, number of images, music, and use of video clips. The workshop involves four major components:
- Presentation of Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling
- Group Script Process
- Hands-On Software Tutorials
- Production Support and Management
We have space for up to ten participants (and will be able to take an additional five, if they bring along their own Macintosh laptops). We will accept people in the order in which they complete their overall conference registrations. Please note that the workshop begins at 8:30 am on Nov. 6th, so most people will need to arrive in Denver the evening prior.
Special Tuesday events
Tuesday, November 9th, is set aside at this meeting to focus on possible futures for our field of religious education. We will begin with breakfast, using a world café model to engage a set of senior and returning scholars who have spent the first part of our meeting serving as “embedded scholars.” That is, they will have been listening attentively to the breadth and depth of what is occurring and, bringing their wisdom, perspective, and their own locations to the table, they can help us learn what our current meeting tells us about the field.
Following that breakfast, we will move into Plenary #5, which brings together a truly diverse and international group of scholars to share with us how they see the field at the moment, and where it might be going. These are scholars who have had serious engagement with the field of religious education, but not always as professors of religious education. Three of them are currently deans or provosts in a variety of institutions, and two come from faiths other than Christianity.
Harper and Wornom Awards
This year our organization is especially pleased to present both the William Rainey Harper Award and the Herman E. Wornom Award.
William Rainey Harper Award
This award was named after the first President of the University of Chicago, who was the founder of the REA. It is given to outstanding leaders whose work in other fields has had profound impact upon religious education. Through the years the Harper Award has been presented only ten times. This year will mark its 11th award, as we celebrate the work of Dr. Parker J. Palmer.
The past recipients of this award are:
1973 Marshall McLuhan, Centre for Culture and Technology, Toronto
1975 Elie Wiesel, City College of New York, NYC
1977 Margaret Mead, Am. Museum of Natural History, NYC
1978 Randolph C. Miller, Yale Univ. Divinity School, New Haven
1981 Johannes Hofinger, S.J., Archdiocese of New Orleans
1983 Paulo and Elza Freire, Univ. of Recife, Brazil
1992 John M. Hull, Univ. of Birmingham, England
1994 Martin E. Marty, Univ. of Chicago
2003 Gabriel Moran and Maria Harris, New York University
2009 James M. Fowler, Emory Univ., Atlanta
Herman E. Wornom Award
The Herman E. Wornom Award was instituted in 1992 to honor institutions which
have provided outstanding support and leadership in religious education. Thus far there have only been two previous recipients:
1992 Craig Dykstra and Lilly Endowment
1994 Will Kennedy and Union Theological Seminary, NYC
This year we are pleased to present this award to the Interfaith Youth Core, founded in 1998 by Eboo Patel, Jeff Pinzino and Anastasia White. Although the IFYC is still young, it has been both groundbreaking and forward looking in its efforts to build mutual respect and pluralism among young people from different religious traditions by empowering them to work together to serve others.