Religion and Climate Change in the Public Sphere: The Role of Journalists and the Media

Printed version of the papal encyclical from the Vatican, offered in English and Portuguese. Image by Justin Catanoso. Peru, 2015.

Farm workers in a field not far from the proposed Tia Maria mine site. In this fertile Tambo Valley of southwestern Peru, there has never been a mine. Most residents want to keep it that way. The Mexico-based Southern Copper Corporation, with a long public record of environmental and worker abuses, vows to change that and dig a $1.4 billion open-pit copper mine it calls Tia Maria. In 18 years, it expects to extract 120,000 tons of copper annually until Tia Maria is an empty hole in the ground. Image by Justin Catanoso. Peru, 2015.

Monday, September 28, 2015 (All day)

American University, in partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation and the Pulitzer Center, brings together journalists and academic experts for "Religion and Climate Change in the Public Sphere: The Role of Journalists and the Media" on Monday, September 28, less than a week after the Pope's visit to Washington, DC.

The day-long forum on the University's campus features panelists from The Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Pulitzer Center, and faculty from several universities to consider the media treatment of the Pope's recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si', as a means to better understand the role of religion in public debate and activism on climate change.

Panel 1 - Impact of the Papal Encyclical on Catholics
Justin Catanoso, associate professor and program director, journalism, Wake Forest University
Evan Berry, associate professor, department of philosophy and religion, American University
Jason Berry, author and journalist, National Catholic Reporter and Ground Truth Project
Kevin J. O'Brien, associate professor of Christian ethics, Pacific Lutheran University

Panel 2 - Impact of Encyclical on Other Religious Approaches to Environment
Jon Sawyer, executive director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Heather Eaton, professor, conflict studies, Saint Paul University
Dan Grossman, freelance environmental reporter and documentarian
Rob Albro, associate research professor, Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, American University

Panel 3 - Impact of Encyclical on Climate Change Discourse Beyond Religion
Chris Mooney, science and environment reporter, The Washington Post
Randolph Haluza-Delay, associate professor, sociology, The King's University
Candis Callison, assistant professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia
Paul Wapner, professor, School of International Service, American University

Catanoso, Berry and Grossman are Pulitzer Center grantees. Wake Forest University and American University are part of the nearly two dozen partners in the Pulitzer Center's Campus Consortium network.

This forum is open to the public and co-sponsored by AU's Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) and School of Communication, the Henry Luce Foundation and the Pulitzer Center.
It represents a continuation of collaborations between the Pulitzer Center and American University and also is part of a Luce Foundation-funded CLALS project on Democratic Contestation in Latin America, dedicated to exploring the relationship of religion to the environment across the region.

For more information, please contact Rob Albro (albro[at]american.edu).

Religion and Climate Change in the Public Sphere: The Role of Journalists and the Media
Monday, September 28
9 am–4 pm
American University
School of International Service
Abramson Family Founder's Room
Washington, DC