Daily Briefing - Thursday August 26, 2010

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Kate Zernike is a national correspondent for the New York Times. She came to the Times as an education reporter in 2000 and has since worked for the paper’s investigations team, as a criminal justice reporter, and in the Washington bureau as a Congressional correspondent. She was a member of the team that shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for a series of stories about the Sept. 11 attacks. She was among the paper’s lead reporters covering the Abu Ghraib scandal and Hurricane Katrina, and covered the presidential campaigns of 2004 and 2008, and the midterm elections of 2006. She has been covering the Tea Party since Fall 2009, and her book about the phenomenon, Boiling Mad, will be out in a couple weeks. 

Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons is a professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her research focuses on Shari’ah law and its impact on Muslim women, and she teaches courses in Islamic Studies, women and religion, and African-America religious traditions. She has studied and practiced in the Sufi Islamic tradition since the 1970s. 

Dr. Dan Johnson +is the senior pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Florida, where he has served for more than a decade an a half. He holds doctorates from Asbury Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, and has written extensively on theological issues. Trinity United Methodist in Gainesville will be hosting the Gainesville Interfaith Forum’s “Gathering for Peace, Understanding, and Hope” on September 11th.

Kirby Dick is an Academy Award-nominated documentary film director whose works include "This Film is Not Yet Rated," "Twist of Faith," and "Derrida." His most recent film, "Outrage," focuses on closeted politicians with appalling gay rights voting records, examining the harm they have inflicted on millions of American and the media's complicity in keeping their secrets.