How can communicators — and all who work to advance the mission of women religious — bring people together over the issues that matter while both staying above the noise and still being heard? Communicators for Women Religious and the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) collaborated for an October 11 panel discussion addressing this topic as well as the question of how to make a difference in today’s world. A selection of resources shared during the webinar can be found below.
DIVINITY OVER DIVISION
Executive Director, Rumi Forum Center for Faith, Identity & Globalization
Ibrahim Anli is a civic entrepreneur with a career record that bridges nonprofit and academic experience. He was a visiting researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2007-08. Ibrahim joined the Journalists and Writers Foundation’s (JWF) Ankara office as the diplomacy coordinator in 2010. In 2013, he became the secretary-general of Abant Platform, JWF’s Istanbul-based forum of intellectuals. Ibrahim Anli was a lecturer and acting chair at the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at Tishk International University in Erbil in 2016-17. He is currently a volunteer instructor for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University, a member of Braver Angels Scholars Council, and a member of the Public Diplomacy Council of America.
Joanne Gallagher, CSJ
Director of Communications, Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
Since 2001 Sr. Joanne’s ministry has been to promote the mission, history, charism, and vision of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston and their associates, agrégées, and partners in mission through facilitating internal and external communications, working with public media, and seeking opportunities to “tell the story” of who the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston are as they move into the future. Sr. Joanne coordinates the congregational communications team as they connect with ten congregation ministries, various departments, offices, and committees to enhance print, digital and online communication. This includes the creation of a communication plan for congregational print and electronic materials, social media, and web design. She also serves as the spokesperson for the congregation when requested by its president. Sr. Joanne is also part of the CSSJ U.S. Federation Communicators and the Communicators for Women Religious, who work to create a unified vision of telling the story of Catholic sisters and their partners in mission. She was previously active in RCC’s New England chapter. She credits the interfaith connections of this group for enriching her spiritually and professionally. Sr. Joanne has served on the CWR board, the board of Fontbonne: the Early College of Boston, the CSJ Boston Corporation for Sponsored Ministries, and the CSJ Boston vocation team. Before becoming CSJ Boston’s Director of Communications, she served as a Campus Minister and Theology teacher. In 2023 the Sisters of St. Joseph celebrate 150 years in Boston, and Sr. Joanne is working alongside the congregation’s Mission Advancement Director to coordinate the events of this year of celebration.
Director of Communications, Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden
Barbara Hecht is Director of Communications for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA. During her 22-year tenure, she has worked with five Leadership Teams and previously coordinated the communications efforts of the Congregation’s two sponsored ministries. Barbara began her professional writing career at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette where she worked in various positions including education reporter and assistant city editor. After 15 years in the newspaper industry, she transitioned into the field of public relations, serving as communications coordinator for a large suburban school district. A past board member of CWR, Barbara formerly served as co-chair of the Collaborative Communications Committee of the Catholic Sisters Leadership Council of Western Pennsylvania (CSLC). She has been recognized for her work with awards from CWR (magazine), the Sisters of St. Joseph (St. Joseph the Worker), the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association, Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association, Women in Communications, Inc., and the Dow Jones News Fund. Barbara was a presenter on “Compassionate and Comprehensive Response to Abuse: The Critical Role of Communications” for the CSLC (2019). She was a co-presenter of “When the Unthinkable Happens” at CWR’s national conference (2016), and on “The Art and Science of Communicating” at the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Leaders as Leaven workshop (2006). Barbara contributed to “Communicating the Mission Globally: A Communication Manual for Institutes of Women Religious” (2018) and co-edited “Communicating Confidently and Compassionately in a Crisis: A Guide for CWR (2003).
Associate Director of Communications, Baha’i National Center
Joyce Litoff is a life-long resident of Chicago, and a world citizen at heart. She is a communications professional who has won multiple awards for her writing, podcasting, and video work. Joyce sees storytelling as central to all of these efforts and has recently delved into memoir and live-stage storytelling. Joyce works in the Office of Communications at the US Bahá’í National Center. The office is responsible for editing the content of US public website and electronic newsletter, engagement in social media networks, and media relations related to coverage of the Bahá’í Faith in the news. Joyce has worked in a variety of publishing, media production, and public relations positions in the course of her career, both in corporations and in the not-for-profit sector. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois.
Senior Vice President, Programming & Host, Jewish Life Television
Brad Pomerance currently serves as the Host of “”Air Land & Sea,”” a global travel series broadcasting weekly on the national cable network Jewish Life Television/JLTV, North America’s premiere Jewish-themed television network, available in over 45 million homes through Bell, Comcast, DirecTV, Spectrum and other video providers. Previously, Brad hosted HLN’s “Local Edition” in Los Angeles, reported and anchored for KDOC’s morning news program “Daybreak OC” and reported for LA City View Channel 35’s news magazine “LA This Week.” Brad has been nominated for three Los Angeles-area Emmys. Brad received his Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations, Cum Laude, from The University of Southern California, and his Juris Doctor, With High Honors, from The George Washington University Law School. Brad has also served as an Adjunct Professor at American Jewish University, California State University at Dominguez Hills and Whittier College.
Rev. Brian Fesler
Religion Communicators Council
Communicators for Women Religious