News & Events

RESP Fellow Diana Kruzman Receives Environmental Journalism Story Grant

September 24, 2021

Diana will report on “Up In Smoke: The Public Health Impacts of Wood-Burning Stoves”
Across the United States, more than 11 million people rely on burning wood for heat, releasing soot that has been proven to be toxic to human health. This story will explore the effects of wood smoke on public health in low-income communities and communities of color, as well as investigate the impact of wood stove changeout programs on reducing pollution. Congratulations, Diana!

Congratulations to SEJ’s Spring 2021 Religion-Environment Story Grant Recipients!

September 20, 2021

The Religion & Environment Story Project, in concert with the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, contributed $25,000 to the Society for Environmental Journalists to fund story grants for journalists covering the intersections of religion, environment, and climate.

  • Richard Brown for “Land, Water, Blood: The Battle for Kekchi Territory in Guatemala”
  • Barbara Fraser for “Enchanted Lakes and Laudato Si’: Indigenous and Catholic Views of Our Relationship With the Natural World”
  • Melissa Godin and Alex Knott for “Clean Energy or Environmental Injustice: The Indigenous Struggle to Protect a Sacred River From Hydroelectric Exploitation in the Ecuadorian Amazon”
  • Tasmiha Khan for “How Muslims Are Motivated by Islam To Approach Climate Care and Climate Action”
  • Timothy Schuler for “Place of Refuge”
  • Neha Thirani Bagri and Sara Hylton for “Meghalaya’s Sacred Groves: How Community and Tradition Can Protect Our Natural Resources”

We can’t wait to read these stories! Click here for more information.

Announcing the Religion & Environment Fellowship Program Inaugural Class!

Britny Cordera is a published poet, nonfiction writer, and emerging journalist who investigates the intersections between environment, climate change, religion, and ecowomanism. She is interested in investigating how climate change continues to exacerbate the settler-colonial agenda, how it is affecting Black and Indigenous communities, and how we can overcome the climate crisis by giving the sacred back to the land. Twitter: @bcdpoet

Christina Nichol is a teacher and award-winning writer who has taught around the world, including in the republic of Georgia, where her first novel, Waiting for the Electricity, is set. She currently teaches environmental and cultural studies at Sonoma State University. Website: ChristinaNichol.com

 

Diana Kruzman is a freelance reporter whose work focuses on the intersection of the environment, religion and urbanism. She has written for Undark, Earther, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Vice and the GroundTruth Project and has reported from Albania, India, Kyrgyzstan and the US. Twitter: @DKruzman

 

Fred Bahnson is the author of Soil & Sacrament (Simon & Schuster). His writing has appeared in Harper’s, Emergence, Oxford American, Orion, The Sun, Notre Dame Magazine, Best American Spiritual Writing, and Best American Travel Writing. He lives in Montana. Twitter: @fredbahnson

 

Heidi Shin is a public radio + podcast producer based in Boston. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, PRX Snap Judgment, and PRI’s The World, amongst others. She also co-created and produced WGBH/The Ground Truth Project’s “The New American Songbook” whose awards include an ONA, a Webby, and an Edward R. Murrow Award.  Twitter: @byheidishin

Kendra Pierre-Louis is senior a climate reporter with the Gimlet/Spotify Podcast How to Save a Planet where her work focuses on climate change solutions. Prior to that she was a climate reporter for The New York Times and a climate reporter for Popular Science.  Twitter: @KendraWrites

 

Liuan Huska is a freelance journalist and writer at the intersection of religion, environment, health, and culture. She lives in the Chicago area, on ancestral Potawatomi land, with her husband and three children. Twitter: @LiuanHuska

 

 

Molly Olmstead is a reporter at Slate who primarily covers religion and politics. She has worked at Slate since 2016, where she reported on news and politics, often with a focus on the South. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @MollyOlmstead

 

 

Sarah Ventre is an audio journalist based in Phoenix and host of Unfinished: Short Creek, a podcast about a fundamentalist Mormon community. As part of her reporting, Sarah embedded in Short Creek and lived in former FLDS prophet Rulon Jeffs’ house. The show was named #3 best podcast of 2020 by The New Yorker. Twitter: @sarazonah

 

Sigal Samuel is a Senior Reporter at Vox and co-host of the Future Perfect podcast. She writes about artificial intelligence, neuroscience, climate change, and the intersection of technology with ethics and religion. Previously, she was the Religion Editor at The Atlantic. Twitter: @SigalSamuel

Selected from more than fifty competitive applications, the ten fellows form a cohort that will meet for all-expenses-paid workshops in Annapolis, Maryland, in early October and again in Houston, Texas, in the spring.

“We’re excited about having such an amazing group of emerging and established journalists. We’re hopeful that they will help change the conversation about the nexus of religion, spirituality and the environment as we all face the ongoing climate crisis,” said Stephen Prothero, RESP co-director and the C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion in America in the Department of Religion at Boston University. 

RESP training will help these journalists, who work in a variety of media, to bridge the divide between the religion and science beats, and promote new thinking and new narratives that will inform and educate the public, especially on the climate crisis. 

Fellows also receive a year’s membership to the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and the Religion News Association (RNA), plus registration fees for SEJ and RNA conferences held adjacent to RESP workshops. Upon completion of the program, fellows will receive a stipend of $2,000.

“The latest IPCC report reveals that the science is definitive: the climate crisis is already affecting every corner of the globe,” said Meera Subramanian, RESP co-director, award-winning journalist and past president of SEJ. “But it will depend upon human values, ethical priorities and faith-based decision-making to determine how we will respond, and how quickly. These are the missing stories that RESP hopes to foster.”

RESP is based at Boston University and funded by a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Missing Stories: Uncovering Environment-Climate-Religion Connections (May 18, 2021)
A webinar in partnership with the Society for Environmental Journalists
When it comes to covering climate change and environmental crisis, journalists are missing a major hook: religion, faith, and spirituality. Journalists on nearly every beat, along with every government department under the Biden Administration, are realizing that climate change is no longer a subject siloed under “environment.” But as the conversation shifts, one major realm of human existence sits on the sidelines: religion and how faith shapes the relationship between humans and their environment. From environmental justice activism in communities of color to environmental humanities programs at Ivy League institutions, the link is being made, but rarely is this work well-represented by media. The Religion & Environment Story Project is launching to help journalists find these missing stories through a new fellowship as well as funding story grants through SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism so you can gain the skills you need to tell these stories well.
View the conversation here!

Featuring:

Steven KatzStevenTKatzphotoC4
Director, The Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies; Professor of Religion
Judaica, Holocaust Studies, philosophy of religion, and comparative mysticism
T: 617.353.8096
judaics@bu.eduDepartment of Religion Faculty

Amanda J. Baugh

Associate Professor
California State University, Northridge

Sumanth Prabhaker

Editor
Orion Magazine

Sigal Samuel

Staff Writer
Vox Media

Meera Subramanian

Co-Director 
Religion & Environment Story Project