Q, an organization aimed at encouraging Christians to renew and restore cultures, released what it views as the Top Ten Culture Shaping Moments of 2011.
And topping the list is the moment nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms gained the national spotlight and a $1 million grant earlier this month.
Q specifically highlighted the fact that the group’s founder, Jamie Tworkowski, used that primetime spotlight during the American Giving Awards to deliver a “gospel motivated message that ‘everyone has a story’ and not to believe the lie that you are alone.” Music artist Miley Cyrus was also at the awards ceremony backing the organization.
The list of the top 10 culture shaping moments was released “to put on display that in mainstream culture, a movement is afoot. Culture is being shaped.”
“We’ve heard it all and we get it. Many think the work of ‘cultural renewal’ is elusive, and understandably so. It’s not easy to show concretely how culture is changing over time. But in the following Top 10 List, we attempt to put on display that in mainstream culture, a movement is afoot,” Q states.
“Culture is being shaped. Organizations are being reformed. Agendas are shifting and Christians are having a say in helping the world reimagine how it ought to be.”
Q, which hosts a series of yearly conferences and a website to facilitate conversations among Christian leaders, was created by Gabe Lyons, co-author of the book unChristian. He wants to see Christian leaders recover what the Q website says is “their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.”
It is out of this desire to impact and engage the surrounding culture that the 2011 list was shaped. In forming it, the organization asked questions like: “Is culture really getting any better? Where’s the proof that all the dialogue and collaboration Q is committed to is having any impact?”
Coming in second after the recognition that To Write Love on Her Arms received is a speech delivered by President Obama during the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year. In it, he recognized charity:water as a model for giving back in the world.
The third culture shaping moment of 2011, according to Q, involves modern day slavery. With CNN and the State Department, among others, having launched new projects to end trafficking of persons, modern day slavery became a key social issue this past year, Q noted.
Also highlighted in Q’s list is celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart and his nonprofit Help Portrait going global.
He has partnered with over 10,000 photographers in 54 countries to give over 101,000 portraits away to people, many of whom are from third world countries, and would never had been able to have a photo of themselves or their family.
“Part of the beauty of Help Portrait is that it's a movement that belongs to the people," Cowart told CNN. "All events are independently organized."
Top culture shaping moments also included Christians gaining media attention. The Q Conference was recognized by USA Today as a key convener for next generation leaders wanting to engage current issues and Phil Chen’s GloBible, a digital Bible app, was named by the same newspaper as the coolest book app.
These might be only small victories for Christians in pop culture. But Q says on their website that they are still significant, even if it might be hard to see the immediate impact.
Q, which began in 2007, has quickly become a place where innovators, social entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, educators, historians, and many more like those on the list, have come together to learn from each other.
You can check the full Top Ten Culture Shaping Moments of 2011 list here.