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Interfaith Social Media: Question and Answer

The recent Parliament Webinar, “Interfaith Social Media: Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World” with Frank Fredericks provoked many questions during the webinar. Frank has kindly taken time to answer many of the questions that we did not have time to answer during the webinar itself:

 

Interfaith Social Media: Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World

Interfaith Social Media:  Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World - a Parliament Webinar with Frank Fredericks

Register Now Wednesday, May 9, 2012 10:00am U.S. Central Time

This webinar will explore how to think about social media.  Using the frameworks of Marshall McLuhan, marketing theory, and media hook, we will explore how to leverage these technologies tactically, to comprise an effective overall strategy in interfaith and religious work.  #socialinterfaith

Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, Çöñár Records, and Co-Founder of Religious Freedom USA. After graduating from NYU, Frank worked in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga. In 2006, he founded World Faith. a youth-led interfaith organization active in ten countries. As an active blogger, Frank has contributed to the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and Sojourners. Frank has been interviewed on Good Morning America, NPR, New York Magazine, and various international media outlets, and is an IFYC Fellow Alumnus, Soliya Fellow, and YouthActionNet Fellow.

Frank also works as an independent Online Marketing and PR Consultant, consulting non-profits, corporations, foundations, recording artists, and political campaigns on web issues ranging from viral video and social networks to SEO and advertising. He resides in New York, New York, where he still performs as a professional musician with local artists.

Title: Interfaith Social Media:  Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World

Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM CDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements

PC-based attendees:

Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/567335422

This webinar will be recorded and will be available on our website after the event.

Click here to see more webinars and recordings of previous webinars

 

Embracing Diversity for Peaceful Cohabitation in American Cities

By Frank Fredericks
From Common Ground News Service

New York – In the 19 November 2011 issue of The Economist, the cover story, called “The magic of diasporas” outlines the benefits of mass immigration, particularly to the West. However the changing demographics in major metropolises can also be a highly destabilising force.

This is especially true in the United States in cities where immigration is high and demographics can change significantly in less than a generation. In some places this has resulted in an increase in hate crimes and communal tensions. Yet some cities handle racial and ethnic diversity better than others and provide valuable lessons for other communities.

One example of this is Queens, one of the lesser known boroughs of New York City. Queens is the most diverse county in America; US Census Bureau statistics suggest that 138 languages are spoken there. Is it a hotbed of racial and ethnic tension? Crime reports suggest surprisingly that it’s not. So how does Queens handle all of this diversity?

In 2010, the state reported only 51 hate crimes in Queens, or .02 incidents per 1,000 people, which is slightly less than the national average. While Queens may be extreme with regards to its diversity and its success at managing diversity, it is not the only such example. London, Kampala, Sydney and Singapore all have strikingly similar stories.

Click here to read the full article

An Interfaith Generation Unwilling to Wait

By Frank Fredericks
Executive Director, World Faith

When religious tension between Muslims and Christians rocked northern Nigeria on January 8th of this year, the refrain of religiously fueled violence sounded so much like it had before. The ‘other’ was at fault for the problems of a region, country, and world. But when the tensions boiled over and violence broke out, resulting in burning down of churches and mosques and the death over 100 people, the response was profoundly different.

This time, young volunteers from World Faith Nigeria took action. Responding to a distress call, they rescued seventy-two passengers from a bus that was set on fire by young attackers.  On both sides were young adults taking action. But this time one set of young adults was responding to save lives and, ideally, prevent future violence.

Nigeria, like many countries around the world, hosts interfaith dialogues marked by the convening of religious leaders to counter acts of violence.  While this work is groundbreaking and necessary, it alone is not enough to turn the trends of religious violence. Violence perpetrated by youth can best be countered by equally motivated youth working toward the greater good.

World Faith helps answer the challenge of engaging young people internationally who have the potential to either cause or resolve inter-religious tensions.  Mobilizing religiously diverse youth to engage in community service projects in conflict-prone regions, World Faith enables local youth leaders to address the local needs of their communities and resolve underlying sources of strife — which are often economic or social rather than religious. World Faith has chapters in nine countries and is continuing to rapidly expand.

Not convinced that youth are the answer?  The Arab Spring stands as the greatest example of what happens when young people take action.  Movements for democratic reform have been led by the youth, who organize, mobilize, and remain endlessly resilient. Egypt stands out as a defining example of this, with Tahrir Square becoming the epicenter for Millennials with a mission.

I have spent a good amount of time in Egypt, developing World Faith’s Cairo Chapter.  As I watched the events unfold, I realized that Tahrir Square not only represented a historic moment for the power of the youth, but also stood as the greatest example of pluralism in our generation.  Most of these young people have little interest in theology, ideology, or religious separatism.  Rather than trumping secularism, they embraced pluralism.  While Muslim protesters prayed, the Christian protesters stood guard.  In short, youth worked together, took action, and transcended religious boundaries that their parents could not.

World Faith is utilizing the social entrepreneurship capacity of young people across the world.  In particular, those from the marginalized communities have stepped forward to develop and lead projects in their communities.  These projects are in direct competition with the allure of violence.  Violence, after all, is often the act of last resort — when youth feel they have no other way of being heard and have little stake in their communities.

The world is no longer the same as it was before the Arab Spring. Young people have demonstrated their potential to initiate change and profoundly impact world politics — beginning at the local level. The interfaith movement must adapt and catch up, and not only engage religiously diverse youth, but let them take the lead. We must empower the youth, a generation unwilling to wait.

The Egyptian Revolution: An Interfaith Movement

From The Washington Post

Today’s guest blogger is Frank Fredericks, executive director of World Faith, co-director of Religious Freedom USA, and president of Çöñàr Records.

Seeing the Egyptian protests on American media may lead you to believe that this is an Iranian-style revolution, with a probable result being an Islamic regime. However, when you look at the details of what is happening on the ground, this is an interfaith movement.

Since 2006, I have been frequenting Egypt, spending a month or more at a time staying and working with locals in Cairo and Alexandria. It was in Egypt when I got inspired to found World Faith, and it’s become a second home for me.

Broken messages from my Egyptian friends spiked an unparalleled mix of awe, fear and excitement. While a popular revolution was only a matter of time, the somewhat minute ignition was surprising to say the least. As we’d say, if Egypt was full of Iranians, they would have revolted 10 years ago.

But it’s not, and as my friend Haroon Moghul outlined, it is not Iran nor an Islamic movement. Whether the restrictions put on Christians for interfaith marriages or conversion, or the government’s strong crackdown on devout Muslims are an attempt to punish the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood), religion has oftentimes stood as a tool of division in Egypt.

Many assume that the Ikhwan would become the dominant player in the protests, they were slow to formally join, recognizing that their explicit support would damage the movement. They even went so far as to release a statement Saturday explicitly stating that they have no desire to lead an interim government, but would rather participate in a multiparty democratic political system. Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mohammed el-Baradei has become the inpromptu voice of the people, who stated that Egypt needs a new government “based on freedom, democracy and social justice.”

The protests have demonstrated explicit interfaith components. It was only a few weeks ago that Egyptian Muslims attended Christmas mass with their Christian neighbors and friends as human shields after the deadly attack on a Coptic church. Mohamed El-Sawy, whose cultural center has hosted World Faith Cairo events, said of faith relations in Egypt, “We either live together or we die together.” Returning the favor, Christians stood guard at mosques across Egypt while their Muslim friends finished their Friday prayers before the day’s protests. When a few demonstrators began chanting “Allahu Akbar,” others convinced them to join together: “Muslim, Christian, we’re all Egyptian!”

Click here to read entire article.