Author, activist Rinku Sen to deliver 2017 Parker Lecture
To emphasize the ways in which modern technology can be a tool for racial equality in creating a just world for all, the United Church of Christ’s media justice ministry will turn to author and activist Rinku Sen for the upcoming Parker Lecture, where she will highlight the intersection of justice and media.
Sen, the former president and executive director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, will share how tech shapes and influences the ongoing pursuit of racial justice when she delivers the 35th annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture on Oct. 24 in Washington, D.C.
In addition to Sen’s keynote, the Parker Lecture will also honor Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, with the Everett C. Parker Award and Ravi Kapur, founder and CEO of Diya TV, with the Donald H. McGannon Award. The 2017 Parker Lecture and Breakfast, organized by the Office of Communication, Inc., will be held at 8 a.m. EST at First Congregational United Church of Christ.
“We are delighted with a lineup this year that epitomizes what Rev. Parker and the UCC stand for — use of technology to promote racial justice and accountability of those in power,” said Cheryl Leanza, policy advisor for OC Inc. “Rinku Sen has spent the last decade leading one of the most thoughtful efforts on racial justice in the U.S.; Rashad Robinson’s and Color Of Change’s strategic mastery of online activism and impact on media accountability is a model for all change agents; and Ravi Kapur is an entrepreneur whose community is at the heart of all he does.”
With expertise in racial justice, journalism, and organizing, Sen transformed Race Forward’s magazine, Colorlines, into a news website and focused on voting rights restrictions, police violence and immigration. Under Sen’s leadership, Race Forward published a “Shattered Families” report, detailing how record deportations of parents were leading to the placement of thousands of children in foster care. After 16 years on the Race Forward staff, Sen is stepping into a new role as the Colorlines senior strategist.
Sen was also the architect of the “Drop the I-Word” campaign, which led a number of major U.S. news organizations to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal.”
Prior to her work at Race Forward, Sen served in leadership roles for more than a decade with the Center for Third World Organizing. A native of India, she grew up in factory towns and learned to speak English in a two-room school house. She holds a degree in women’s studies from Brown University and graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Robinson will receive the Everett C. Parker Award in recognition of his efforts to build Color of Change into the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, with more than one million members.
Kapur will receive the Donald H. McGannon Award for his work in founding Diya TV, is the first 24-hour U.S. broadcast network targeted to serve a South Asian audience, reaching more than 70 million people in a dozen markets.
The Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture was created to recognize the late Rev. Everett C. Parker, founder of OC, Inc., and his pioneering work as an advocate for the public’s rights in broadcasting. Past speakers have included network presidents, Congressional leaders, FCC chairs and commissioners, as well as academics, cable and telephone executives, and journalists. The Parker Lecture has been hosted each year since 1982 to recognize individuals for their impact in ethical broadcasting.
Founded in 1959, OC, Inc. has worked to ensure that women, people of color, and low-income persons have equal access to ownership, production, employment, and decision making in media.
Tickets and more information about the 2016 Parker Lecture are available on the OC, Inc., website.
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