Do you screen the presentations of your speakers?

No, and we never will. To do so contradicts the central commitments of a research university. We ask speakers for a title and a blurb for the presentation. They do not submit their notes or manuscripts to us beforehand. While we have a general idea of what they will present, we are never sure until they give the presentation ?live? to the audience. Therefore, there is always an element of risk in inviting speakers. This is one of the reasons we reiterate that the views expressed by speakers are not necessarily those of the Boniuk Center, its staff or of anyone at Rice University.

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7. Why are some presentations not available as webcasts?

Some presenters are sharing works in progress or feel a need to protect their intellectual property; they withhold the rights to webcast the event. In most of those cases, the Boniuk Center attempts to secure a limited use agreement in which a video copy of the presentation can be made available to researchers and students on loan. If there is a presentation or event for which there is no webcast available online, contact us to see if a research copy of the presentation is available.

8. How is the Boniuk Center funded?

The Boniuk Center for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance was established at Rice University with a $5 million endowment gift from Dr. Milton and Laurie Boniuk in April of 2004. Our basic operating budget comes from the interest earned on that endowment. That income provides funding for our current salaries, lecture costs, publicity, and our other activities. The Center also seeks donations from individuals, corporations, and others for the support of our grassroots activities promoting tolerance, respect, and compassion as the values and principles that build understanding amid difference. The Center also seeks additional major gift and endowment funding to support its on-going projects and future initiatives.

9. Why does the Boniuk Center need additional funds?

We hope to create a truly international presence that studies and promotes peaceful coexistence and religious understanding and tolerance. The planned growth will take additional personnel and expanding programs in educational research and curriculum development, and additional bandwidth on the worldwide web, for example, to develop programming in concert with other organizations for an internet radio station, podcasting, and webcasting of events. Our plan to provide a growing curriculum for grades K-12 in comparative religions will involve a number of contributors and the creation of video and photographic resources. The Center has been invited to join with a coalition of other university centers and programs to create a scholarly conference on the issues of coexistence that will draw top public intellectuals as contributors. Last, but not least, the Center has begun a grassroots movement to get individuals to commit to the principles of tolerance, respect and compassion, through the distribution of its Boniuk Center Lapel Pin. These and other plans for the future will require additional funding.

10. What can I do to help and join the Boniuk Center achieve its mission?

Become a sustaining member of the Boniuk Center by making an annual donation in the range of $250 to $2000. Make a major gift to increase the endowment of the Center through a pledge or through estate planning. If you are interested in either of these options, please contact the director or associate director by email or by phone. You can also make a direct gift in any amount from $10 to $10,000 by using the Giving To Rice website and your credit card. It can be reached from the Boniuk Center homepage by clicking on the link for DONATE.

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