Faith, Philanthropy and Freedom of Expression

Location
Online
Dates
Monday 6 December 2021 (18:00-19:30)
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Free speech, advocacy and religious freedom are the cornerstones of democratic societies. The Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion brings together a panel of distinguished guests to discuss faith, philanthropy and freedom of expression, chaired by Dr Maryyum Mahmood, Associate Director of the Cadbury Centre. 

Please see below for our confirmed speakers:

  • A portrait of Dr Abbas BarzegarDr Abbas Barzegar, is the Director of the Horizon Forum where he stewards its collaborative and stakeholder-centered research programming. He maintains research and teaching affiliations with Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Emory University’s Masters in Development Program, and George Mason’s Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies. He has years of applied research experience covering transnational Muslim civil society at the intersection of global Islamic revival and geopolitical conflict. Between 2016-2021, he served as a Term-Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He regularly consults leading humanitarian and advocacy organizations on policy, strategy, and research.


    Recent projects he has led include the European Union funded “Bridging Transatlantic Voices” initiative at the British Council USA, the digital archive, “After Malcolm” at George Mason, and the Hijacked by Hate study on US philanthropy and anti-Muslim special interest groups. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the co-author of Islamism: Contested Perspectives on Political Islam (Stanford). His work has been supported by The European Union, The British Council, The US Institute of Peace (USIP), the Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). His commentary and analysis can be found in a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, The Hill, The Huffington Post, and Aljazeera.

  • A portrait of Elizabeth OldfieldElizabeth Oldfield, an experienced leader, speaker, writer and podcast host with a passion for intelligent public engagement on issues of faith, identity, and healing our common life. She appears regularly in the media, including BBC One, Sky News, the World Service, and writing in Prospect Magazine, UnHerd and The Financial Times. She also hosts The Sacred, a podcast, events and visual content brand which creates space for a wide range of guests to reflect on their deepest values. For ten years she was Director of Theos, the UK’s leading religion and society think tank, where she was repeatedly accredited by Best Companies as a 3* (world class) manager, reflecting her commitment to building and leading flourishing, high performing teams. She spent the first part of her career working at the BBC in television and radio, contributing to programmes including Beyond Belief and the Moral Maze, as well as Radio 3 and 4 documentaries. She is motivated by the dearth of real wisdom in public life, by a desire to increase empathy across our deep differences and the way spirituality can help individuals and societies flourish. She has a masters in Theology and the Arts and lives in an intentional community in south london.
  • Professor Anthony Reddie, Anthony ReddieDirector of Oxford’s Centre for Religion and Culture. Professor Reddie is an expert on multiculturalism and the fate of British minorities post-Brexit. Professor Reddie's scholarship in Black theology has been Informed by his doctorate in Education and Practical theology, undertaken at the University of Birmingham with Professor John Hull. This has given him an Interdisciplinary method to the subject that Is somewhat different from the more classical, systematic approaches to Black theology used by many peers in the United States. Professor Reddie's consistent research interest has been the interface between Black theology and decolonial/transformative education as a means of conscientization and empowerment. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and book chapters including Theologising Brexit: A Liberationist and Postcolonial Critique (Routledge, 2010), and the republished Is God Colour? Insights from Black Theology for Christian faith and Ministry (SPCK, 2020) and Intercultural Preaching [co-edited with Seidel Abel Boargenes and Pamela Searle], (Regent’s Park College, 2021). Professor Reddie is an A rated, Leading International Researcher with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF), and a recipient of the Archbishop of Canterbury's 2020 Lanfranc Award for 'exceptional and sustained contribution to Black theology In Britain and beyond.'
  • A portrait of Michael WearMichael Wear, a Cadbury Centre Honorary Fellow and the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics and American public life. As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.

    Today, Public Square Strategies LLC is a sought-after firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape.

    Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. He also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics and culture. He serves on the national board of Bethany Christian Services, the nation's largest adoption agency, and holds an honorary position at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. Michael and his wife, Melissa, are both proud natives of Buffalo, New York. They now reside in Washington, D.C.

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