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Frank Fredericks
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Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith and Mean Communications, and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith, a global movement of interfaith youth tackling global poverty, and Mean Communications, a digital strategy and communications consultancy. After graduating from NYU, Frank worked in the music industry, managing artists such as Lady Gaga. As an active blogger, Frank has contributed to the Huffington Post, Washington Post, and Sojourners.

While doing independent research on Christian-Muslim relations in Egypt, he became inspired to found World Faith, an interfaith action organization, mobilizing religiously-diverse youth to volunteer in development projects spanning 14 countries, taking on issues such as education, public health, and women’s empowerment.

Frank also founded Mean Communications, a digital consultancy helping non-profits, corporations, and startups on branding, social media, PR, marketing, and advertising. Mean Communications has gained clients over a million views on Youtube, managed over $500,000 in ad budgets, and trained thousands of activists and thought leaders around the world in branding, messaging, public speaking, and digital strategy.

After consulting Park51 (wrongly called the “ground zero mosque”) on PR and social media, Frank co-founded Religious Freedom USA with Rabbi Joshua Stanton, mobilizing 1,000 people in the Liberty Walk in support of Park51, and remains engaged in local activism around issues of religious freedom.

Frank is an active blogger, contributing to blogs on issues ranging from business, technology, religion, and music, and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post's Religion section. As a thought leader on about interfaith action, social entrepreneurship, and digital strategy, Frank has spoken around the world, at the United Nations, and has been interviewed on Good Morning America, NPR, New York Magazine, and many others. He is an alumnus of the IFYC Fellowship, YouthActionNet Fellowship, The AMENDS Fellowship at Stanford University, Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship, and the Soliya Network Fellowship. Frank has been recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.

Frank resides in Astoria, Queens, in New York City with his wife Medina, fervently reading, cooking, and playing guitar.

Entries by Frank Fredericks

DEBATE: Is Religion the Opiate of the Masses?

(3) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 3:10 PM

I had the esteemed privilege of opening the Proposition in the Oxford Union debate: This House Believes that Religion Remains an Opiate of the Masses. Debating at the Oxford Union, a debating society with over 170 years of tradition, is a rare honor that few people may ever get in...

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Talking Religion in Davos: Faith in the 4th Industrial Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 4:03 PM

This year at the World Economic Forum, I had the profound privilege of joining faith leaders to discuss Modern Faith, exploring what religion may look like as we continue deeper into the 21st Century. The conversation was between Thomas Friedman, The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Bani Dugal from the...

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Did God Want Me to Go to Oxford?

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 10:42 AM

I nervously peered across the large wood table, whose recent varnish failed to cover its decades of scars. The faces of a dozen interfaith leaders, some twice my age and none within a decade of me, look at me with patience for me to begin the meeting. Despite being a...

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On Charlie: Courage in the Face of Fear

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 9:48 AM

It's been over a month since the armed assault on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, and the tragedy has been on my mind every day since. There are many issues deserving of reflection, from free speech versus hate speech, and rising xenophobia and violent extremism, or even avoiding the...

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Reflecting on the Loss of Life in Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 12:34 PM

It's every parents worst nightmare. A group of gunmen enter the school and just begin shooting. School, which is such a privilege in Peshawar, is supposed to be a safe haven for the information-thirsty youth to drink from the well of knowledge. Rather, by the day's end, 132 students and...

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A Millennial Perspective on Interfaith Marriage: When Unchurched Meets Unmosqued

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 3:06 PM

I recently read Susan Katz Miller's Being Both, which is a practical, story-based guide on the many options interfaith couples have, with a particular focus on the feasibility of raising children in more than one faith tradition.

Being in an interfaith marriage of my own as a Millennial, I was...

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The Lean Interfaith Nonprofit

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 4:46 PM

It's pay day. The bills are due. The fundraiser flopped, the ask unanswered. Donations are diminishing and expected grants taken for granted. Program associates are waiting for their next quarterly budget, and all you can imagine doing is sliding underneath your desk and hibernating through this financial winter. It's pay...

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Why "Marrying Unbelievers" Can Work

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 11:18 AM

Four months ago, my wife Medina and I celebrated our one year anniversary since we married each other. No sooner than having ordered Medina's present did I stumble across Kathy Keller's "Don't Take it from Me: Reasons Why You Shouldn't Marry an Unbeliever." While the article...

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From Social Entrepreneur to Communicator in Chief

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 3:24 PM

Being the founder of a startup or social business can be overwhelming. While you founded the organization to counter violence, end hunger or promote human rights, you'll likely find yourself staring at balance sheets, quelling tensions between team members and recruiting new volunteers and supporters, not to mention endlessly fundraising....

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Our Beloved Samaritans: A Vision for Evangelicalism in the 21st Century

(17) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 11:14 AM

"Frank, there's something I wanted to tell you tonight. I'm gay."

Sitting across the table from my friend Bart, I quickly glanced from my food to his face, almost as if by reflex. "What?" I uttered without thought.

"This last year has been really hard for me. After having my...

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From Molotov Cocktails to Just Plain Cocktails

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 11:04 AM

My first time in India, on a service trip, we took the last five days of our three week journey to interview survivors of the 2002 Gujarat riots that left thousands dead and over 100,000 displaced. As I heard recount after recount of the religiously fueled attacks, I couldn't imagine...

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Portraits in Faith (PHOTOS)

(32) Comments | Posted May 29, 2013 | 11:52 AM

For almost nine years, Daniel Epstein, a Marketing Director at Procter & Gamble, has been travelling the world for business and for faith. Motivated by his own search to fill the "God-sized hole" in his life, he felt that if he did not develop some type of spiritual faith he...

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The Selfishness of Salvation

(301) Comments | Posted May 25, 2013 | 7:36 AM

This is a rant mostly relevant to my fellow Christians. Anyone else is welcome to come along for the ride though.

Recently, I saw a young man loudly shouting to the captive audience during the rush hour on the N train. Specifically, he was passionately pontificating on the certain damnation...

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10 Life Lessons From Angry Birds

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 4:50 PM

I often look for meaning in trivial things. I also attempt to justify my childish behavior by waxing poetic on its fabricated connection to meaningful lessons on life. For those who know me well, you know I have a fixation on any game, no matter how ridiculous, with an obsessive...

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Love Your Neighbor: An Inspiring Story Of Two Friends

(1) Comments | Posted November 14, 2012 | 12:12 PM

As a Christian, I reflected over the years as what it means to "love your neighbor." When I lived in rural America, outside of Portland, Ore., this seemed like a much easier feat. Our nearest neighbor lived a few hundred yards away. I'd have to walk a mile in any direction to find someone we didn't know.

Now I live in New York City, and my "neighbor" is someone I don't know. My city, neighborhood and block are filled people who don't know me, don't care to know me, don't look like me, talk like me, smell like me, think like me, and have no desire to change that fact. This is true to the extent that I haven't yet caught the names of the couple who are subletting the apartment next to ours. In short, I literally don't even know my literal neighbors. I find that it's pretty hard to love people you don't even know. And sometimes, we all, myself included, use that as an excuse to not even try.

One day, Brendan, a young but rising DJ in New York, was coming home to his Brooklyn apartment when a homeless woman asked him for money. He said, honestly, that he had no money. By the end of the week, she asked two more times, and each no he answered "no." Finally she frankly replied, "you better not, because every day you say no." Inserting some rational thinking into an otherwise awkward conversation, he proposed, "I am on my way to a job interview. If I get the job, I will take you out for Chinese food." This promise yielded a friendship that neither were prepared for -- that changed the trajectory of their lives, both forwards toward each other.

Brendan got the job. But their friendship didn't just end with Chinese food. They built a friendship of mutual support, spending their birthdays, holidays and tough times together, over a period of eight years. When Brendan's heater broke, she made him a blanket. Two days later when he told her that he had lost his job, she disappeared, returning minutes later, bringing him groceries, and which continued to do throughout the winter. Even with so little, she never hesitated to give back.

Over these years, Jackie moved from the streets and subway stations, into a halfway house, YMCA, and is now moving into an apartment. To celebrate this occasion, Brendan wanted to do something special for Jackie. He went with her to Target, and helped her to pick out everything she'd need for an apartment, starting a registry. Then, he set up a campaign to raise the money to pay for the registry (now closed), along with an awesome video telling their story. While their original goal was to raise $500, the campaign went viral and they've raised more than $6,000, and are now looking to use the extra funding to support other women in need.

Brendan isn't a Christian, and this isn't about out-Jesusing each other. It's not even a challenge to only Christians, but everyone who struggles with the desire to be a stakeholder in their community, yet are overwhelmed by the reality of living out that desire.

I met Brendan from my music business days, through our work with Lady Gaga (him as her DJ, me as her manager), long before I got involved in non-profit work. Yet he reminds me that having a dayjob with a mission doesn't relieve us of the challenge of being loving neighbors, for the few within miles, or the thousands within blocks. Similarly, loving our neighbors, whether next door or at our door step, doesn't require a change in profession, just a willingness to speak, to listen and to give. May Brendan's story challenge us this week to step out of comfort zone, and find a new way to honor, serve and love the people around us.

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Remembering Brett McLean

(1) Comments | Posted August 3, 2012 | 4:09 PM

I was excited to share with you all this week the joy of marrying Medina last month. With 190 friends and family, we had a beautiful gathering of everyone who loves us, a celebration to the audacity to love and the perfect demonstration of our love to one another. But...

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Evangelical, Republican, Progressive, Me.

(76) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 7:30 AM

I thought I'd use this occasion of launching my column on Relevant with an valiant, if not awkward, attempt to reconcile my competing identities. I am an evangelical Christian, a Republican and a progressive. To many these identities seem at odds, and I often am expected to apologize...

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Youth Redefine Interfaith Activism -- Globally

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2012 | 10:57 AM

I've never found an easy way to explain how an evangelical Christian from rural America came to found an interfaith youth organization with chapters across the world. It began in the summer of 2006.

It was past midnight when I flew into the airport in Alexandria, Egypt, not knowing a...

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Youth Lead the Way to Interfaith Action for Development

(1) Comments | Posted February 6, 2012 | 10:24 AM

A child dies every 45 seconds from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, but what can I do about it?

As young interfaith activists, a Hindu Brit and a Christian American, we've been challenged in demonstrating how life in our communities, whether London or New York, can connect to...

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Tired of Lowe's? Draft Home Depot to Advertise on 'All-American Muslim'

(2) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 9:05 AM

As many of you are well aware, Lowe's pulled their ads from The Learning Channel's "All-American Muslim." Or, perhaps a better way to say it is that they allowed themselves to be bullied into accepting idea that there is something inherently controversial about showing American Muslims in a "moderate" light....

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