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Fault Lines of Faith: Reporting on International Conflict, Religion and Human Rights

Friday, March 29, 2013
12:00 AM
Henderson Room, Michigan League

Winter 2013 Human Rights Initiative Lecture Series

Kira Kay, Special Correspondent for PBS NewsHour and founder of the Bureau for International Reporting, will screen and discuss three stories from her television series Fault Lines of Faith, filmed in Thailand, India and Northern Ireland over the past year. The series provides an on-the-ground perspective of regions suffering from communal upheaval and examines the impact of conflict on the relationship between people of differing faiths. While they vary widely in geography and culture, these conflicts in fact share multiple root causes: questions of nation hood and self-identity, marginalization from political power and resources, a climate of human rights abuse and a lack of access to justice. The title Fault Lines of Faith depicts these deep societal challenges as much as the more obvious tensions at the surface of these conflicts.

Kira Kay is the founder of the Bureau for International Reporting (BIR), a non-profit news organization dedicated to the coverage of “overlooked” foreign issues and regions. As the primary on-air correspondent and producer for the BIR, she regularly reports for PBS NewsHour and other PBS and cable outlets. Recently Kay produced a three-story series from Liberia looking at post-conflict reconstruction and remaining fragilities, broadcast during that country’s 2011 elections. Last year she obtained a rare journalist visa to report from Burma on the political changes coming to that country and the campaign of Aung San Suu Kyi. Kay’s reporting on the conflict in Northern Uganda earned the Robert F. Kennedy Award for International Journalism, a first place National Headliner Award and two Emmy Award nominations, including for best story of the year.

Prior to founding the BIR in 2007, Kay was a network news producer for 15 years, reporting both internationally and domestically for PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. Some of her recent non-BIR projects include covering U.S. military actions in Africa for Dan Rather Reports, an Emmy-winning story exploring the economic impact of a rising global middle class for NOW on PBS and reporting on the plight of Iraqi refugees in Jordan for the documentary series Wide Angle.  In 2004, Kay received an Emmy nomination for her work reporting on the Darfur crisis for 60 Minutes. That same year, she was awarded a fellowship in residency at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where she focused anti-terror operations in the Asia Pacific region. From 1992 to 2001 Kay was a producer for the ABC News magazine shows Primetime Live and 20/20.

Kay completed her masters in foreign policy at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University and was a Fulbright scholar in Southeast Asia. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a fellow of the US-Japan Foundation Leadership Program.