March 11, 2014, Brooklyn, NY—KidSpirit, the online magazine and social networking site created by and for 11- to 16-year-olds, has won the prestigious Wilbur Award for its Interfaith Connections column in the Online Magazine Articles category. KidSpirit is the only youth organization to have won in a category not restricted to youth.
The Wilbur Awards are awarded by the Religion Communicators Council, the oldest professional public relations organization in the country. The annual awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious issues, positive values, and themes.
KidSpirit’s Interfaith Connections column was created with the express intention of fostering dialogue to encourage greater mutual respect and understanding among young people from diverse religious backgrounds. Each quarter, three young writers of different faith backgrounds and spiritual traditions address a question posed by an all-youth Editorial Board relating to KidSpirit’s current theme.
The winning articles from KidSpirit’s 2013 Interfaith Connections department were published in the God Issue. They include a dialogue co-authored by two teenage girls in California, an observant Muslim and a “non-religious half-Asian”; an essay by a young writer from Maryland, who recently transitioned from home-school to a Quaker school, on integrating his exploration of science and spirituality into his Hindu practice; and a piece by a 13-year-old in Maine who is a young example of the demographic known as “nones”—those who are religiously unaffiliated but who may also feel a deep spiritual yearning.
KidSpirit won its first Wilbur Award in 2012 in the Youth Books category for its compilation volume, the Best of KidSpirit Online, Volume 1. An unaffiliated, non-profit quarterly, KidSpirit Magazine empowers youth to explore questions of meaning through original essays, poetry, and artwork, and supports their development into world citizens with strong inner grounding. The Editorial Board chooses themes and edits submissions each month. KidSpirit is in regular syndication on the Huffington Post, and has been honored by a rare combination of religious, educational, and parenting awards. For more information, see KidSpirit’s website.