Journalists, educators, scholars, and religious leaders convened at the Pulitzer Center’s Beyond Religion Conference to discuss the importance of understanding the role of religion when reporting on current affairs. A short video captures highlights from the weekend, including remarks from Luce Foundation President, Michael Gilligan, and take-aways from conference attendees.
“My work is about places of uncertain identities, where the sacred can transcend borders,” said Polish photojournalist grantee Monika Bulaj, her voice resounding through an audience of more than 200 journalists, activists, policymakers and educators. The screen behind her featured her black and white photography, capturing portraits of women and displaced peoples in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. “I look for the beauty even in those wartorn countries. I look for the solidarity of the oppressed,” she continued.
The Pulitzer Center’s Beyond Religion Conference, held June 8 and 9, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C, focused on the role of religion in journalism. Throughout the six panels and two workshops over Saturday and Sunday, panelists explored the intersection of religion with climate change, global health, conflict and peacebuilding, gender rights, fundamentalism, and more.
The opening day of the conference focused on the role of religion in peacebuilding, gender, fundamentalism, science and the environment. Panelists reflected on the complexity of religious practice and the dangers of universalizing across a religious group. They explored credibility in peacebuilding, and how religion can shape our notion of reality. Saturday evening’s dinner allowed a deeper glimpse into a few Pulitzer Center grantees’ varied projects on religion, including Bulaj’s. On Sunday, attendees participated in conversational workshops with the panelists on the evolution of the religion beat and the coverage of American Muslim communities by the media.