Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance announced today that the 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award will be presented to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, and the Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution. The awards will be presented at a gala dinner in New York City on October 24, 2010.

“Walter Cronkite once told me that no less than the future of our nation was at stake in the work of Interfaith Alliance, and I can think of no two people who contribute more to advancing our mission than Rachel Maddow and Joan Brown Campbell,” said Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of Interfaith Alliance. “Rachel’s passionate coverage of the intersection of religion and politics exhibits a strong personal intellect coupled with constitutional sensitivity to the proper boundaries between religion and government. Joan was instrumental in launching the work of Interfaith Alliance and never has wavered in her vigorous commitment to and involvement in strengthening religious freedom in our nation and around the world.”

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 award recognizes individuals whose actions have embodied the values of civility, tolerance, diversity and cooperation in the advancement of public dialogue and public policy on traditionally controversial and divisive issues. Mr. Cronkite served as Honorary Chairman of Interfaith Alliance until his death in 2009.

Past recipients of the Cronkite award include actor and activist George Clooney, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, CNN’s Larry King, journalists Bill & Judith Moyers, U.S. Representatives Chet Edwards & Amo Houghton, the Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Rabbi Steven Jacobs and activist Judy Shepard. A full list of past honorees can be found at interfaithalliance.org/gala, 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.