Interfaith Alliance will present its 2017 Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award to acclaimed journalist Diane Rehm and Muslim-American activist Khizr Khan. The award will be presented at an event on April 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. Walter Cronkite served as the honorary Chairman of Interfaith Alliance until his death in 2009 and personally presented the award until that time.
“For nearly four decades Diane Rehm has facilitated a discussion between her audience and newsmakers that has set the standard for civil discourse that informs and enriches her audience,” said Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance. “Her distinct presence on the air has made the American people better informed on so many of the issues Interfaith Alliance works on day in and day out including anti-Muslim bigotry, LGBT equality and the need to protect religious freedom for all Americans.”
“Khizr Khan’s speech at this summer’s Democratic National Convention did more to dismantle stereotypes of Muslim Americans than any other single act I can remember,” said Rabbi Moline. “As a Gold Star parent, his stirring tribute to his son touched something in all of us. His civility in the face of rightwing attacks is a testament to his courage.”
This year’s event co-chairs are David Dixon, David and Monica Dixon, Michael and Mary Dixon Raibman and Edward and Anne Dixon. The event is being hosted at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in Washington.
The Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award, established by Interfaith Alliance in 1998, recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation. The honorees embody the values of civility, tolerance, diversity and cooperation in the advancement of public dialogue and public policy on traditionally controversial and divisive issues.
Past recipients of the Cronkite award include actor and activist George Clooney, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, CNN’s Larry King, PBS’s Jim Lehrer, journalists Bill & Judith Moyers, U.S. Representatives Chet Edwards and Amo Houghton, the Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, Rev. Dr. C Welton Gaddy, Rabbi Steven Jacobs and activist Judy Shepard. A full list of past honorees can be found at interfaithalliance.org/cronkite, along with information on how to purchase tickets for the event.
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.