News & Events

2021 Religious Diversity Leadership Summit

Join Tanenbaum for our annual Religious Diversity Leadership Summit!

Held virtually for the first time, programming will be spread across Tuesdays and Thursdays in May, closing on Thursday, June 3rd, the day of Tanenbaum’s annual gala Peace Made Possible.

The theme of this year’s Summit is Do the Work: Build a Bigger Table. As always, attendance is free. All sessions will be held live at 12 PM EST via Zoom, and main sessions will be recorded and shared afterward along with valuable and useful resources.

Click here to RSVP

For any questions, please contact Nina Boe, Workplace Program Associate at [email protected]

Tuesday 5/4: Keynote Speech

Tanenbaum is delighted to have this year’s keynote delivered by Sarah Eagle Heart. Sarah is an Emmy award-winning social justice storyteller, activist, media strategist, and producer focused on advocacy for Indigenous Peoples. She is an internationally accomplished executive with a diverse background in tribal, corporate, and non-profit sectors, and has worked with celebrities such as John Legend, Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo. She currently serves as Co-founder/Co-CEO of Return to the Heart Foundation and previously served as CEO of the national nonprofit Native Americans in Philanthropy.

Click here to watch the recording of the Summit keynote.

Tuesday 5/11: Purposeful Conversations: Lessons from Tanenbaum Peacemakers for the Workplace

Tanenbaum’s Peacebuilding team works to highlight the incredible efforts of faith-inspired peace builders. The Peacemakers in Action Network is currently comprised of over 30 people from conflict and post-conflict zones around the world. Listen to firsthand experiences and explore examples of how peacebuilding techniques can be applied in the workplace to support purposeful and authentic discussions and relationship building across differences.

Click here to watch the recording of the 5/11 session Purposeful Conversations: Lessons from Tanenbaum Peacemakers for the Workplace.

Tuesday 5/18: Women of Faith and Belief in the Workplace

What does religious diversity in the workplace look like? Everyone’s identity is multifaceted. How does the intersectionality of these identities have an impact on employees and workplaces? Join us for a conversation between women from diverse industries and backgrounds who will share insights from their experiences and traditions and how they inform their professional lives.



Click here to watch the recording of the panel Women in Faith and Belief.

Tuesday 5/25: Demographic Data and Trends on Religious Diversity

People and relationships are key elements of any team, project, or initiative. However, reports and policies require quantitative data. Our friends from Pew Research Center will join us for a session on the latest global demographic data and trends concerning religious diversity, religious restrictions, and additional insights.


  • Conrad Hackett, Sr. Demographer, Associate Director Demographic Research
  • Samirah Majumdar, Research Associate

Click here to watch the recording from Demographic Data and Trends on Religious Diversity.

Thursday 6/3: Closing Keynote & Learning Lab with Tanenbaum CEO Mark Fowler

Tanenbaum CEO Mark Fowler will close the Summit with some final thoughts, encouragement, and inspiration. The second half of the session will be a learning lab for some last-minute interactive takeaways.

Join us later in the evening for Tanenbaum’s Peace Made Possible gala at 6 PM!

Sarah Eagle Heart
Return to the Heart Foundation

Sarah Eagle Heart is an Emmy-winning social justice storyteller, activist, media strategist, and producer focused on advocacy on behalf of Indigenous Peoples. She is an internationally accomplished executive with a diverse background in tribal, corporate, and non-profit organizations. Her creative projects are rooted in her worldview as an Oglala Lakota raised on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation supporting narrative change for healing and impact.

She is co-founder and co-CEO of Return to the Heart Foundation focused on resourcing Indigenous Women Led initiatives. Prior to this role, she served as CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a national nonprofit that focuses on investment in Native American communities. She has organized national narrative change movements for Native Americans with Anne Hathaway, John Legend, Marisa Tomei, Mark Ruffalo, Piper Perabo, Portugal. The Man and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas. She also served The Episcopal Church for over a decade, most recently as the Team Leader for Diversity, Social Justice and Environmental Ministries and Program Officer for Indigenous Ministry on the staff of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. During her tenure, The Episcopal Church became the first major denomination to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery in 2009 and she supported multiple denominations in their repudiations of the Doctrine of Discovery (including the World Council of Churches in 2012).

Sarah is also a new author, contributing to the feminist anthology “THIS IS HOW WE COME BACK STRONGER” published in the UK on March 23 and US on April 6. She is also co-authoring a self-help/memoir titled “Warrior Princesses Strike Back” with her twin sister/psychotherapist Emma Eagle Heart – White to be published by Feminist Press in early 2022.

Follow Sarah on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Sandra Yamate
Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Sandra S. Yamate is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”). IILP is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession through its research and programs. Sandra is IILP’s subject-matter expert on diversity and inclusion and is responsible for all of its research and programming.

After practicing law for ten years, Sandra served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms and as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

Sandra has long been active in a variety of charitable causes. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the National Judicial College and is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Women Lawyers.

Sandra earned her JD from Harvard Law School and an AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Sandra has written and spoken extensively on community engagement, diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and multicultural issues.

Sandra and her husband, Brian Witkowski, reside in Chicago with their two dogs, Cashew and Filbert.

Amrith Kaur Aakre
Legal Director
The Sikh Coalition

Amrith Kaur Aakre joined the Sikh Coalition, a national civil rights organization, in 2017 as Legal Director. In this role, she supervises high-impact litigation and manages initiatives to protect the civil rights of all Americans in areas such as hate crimes, bullying, racial profiling, workplace discrimination, and religious rights matters. In addition to casework, she works with public and private sector agencies to create implicit bias and cultural competence training geared towards minimizing employment and other types of discrimination, and is a recognized expert on issues of race and religious rights. Prior to joining the Sikh Coalition, Amrith served as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney in Chicago for 11 years where she created and directed the Bond Court Initiative, a transformative alternative prosecution program focused on rehabilitating felony offenders rather than incarcerating them, and served on the CCSAO Hate Crime Advisory Council. As a highly experienced prosecutor, she also brings seasoned media experience to the job and has a background in policymaking.

Amrith currently serves on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Illinois. She served as an Emerging Leaders Fellow for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, is a 2017 recipient of the Asian American Coalition’s Community Service of the year award, and was recognized by Crain’s Business New York as a Leading Woman Lawyer. In her free time, she is also a fitness instructor teaching HIIT bootcamp classes.

Amrith holds her Bachelor of Arts in Applied Science & Technology Engineering and English Literature from The George Washington University, and her Juris Doctor from The University of Illinois at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School.

Learn more about Amrith on the Sikh Coalition website and follow her on LinkedIn.

Fatima Diop
AVP Portfolio Analyst

Fatima Diop is an AVP, Portfolio Analyst on the High Yield Corporate Desk at AllianceBernstein. Before joining AB, Fatima worked as a Senior Rates Analyst at Bloomberg where she provided risk management support.

Fatima is a Muslim and first-generation Senegalese American. She takes pride in engaging in the tough conversations about race, religion, gender, etc. and works closely with the Diversity & Inclusion team.

She is the co-chair of the Interfaith Working Group which is committed to cultivating a community within our work environment of education, acceptance and respect for people of all, any and no faith where all AB employees can bring their full professional self to work. She is also the communications chair of the Black Employee Resource Group.

Fatima was born in New York, raised in Paris and lived in Senegal for her last two years of high school. French is her first language and she considers herself as a citizen of the world.

Tina Forrister
Director of Culture and Engagement

Tina is an organizational psychologist with an additional 2 years of clinical psychology training. She served on multiple integration teams when GSK acquired TESARO after 3 years of business line and HR roles focused on talent. Prior to TESARO, Tina stood up the learning function at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals while also serving as Organizational Development lead and HR Business Partner to the Development organization. She spent over 6 years in clinical, organizational, and quality consulting with Halloran Consulting Group and managed clinical and safety learning and development at Schering-Plough, including the inauguration of clinical trial training in Japan.

Tina started her biopharma career in the trenches of the business in clinical operations with more than a decade in site, project, and program management roles. In her personal life, Tina is a cat mama, auntie to many humans, and planning to marry a Greek-Australian if COVID-19 ever allows us to travel again…

Follow Tina on LinkedIn.

Vanessa Sheridan
National Transgender Workplace Expert & Consultant
Vanessa Sheridan & Associates

Vanessa Sheridan is an expert business consultant, the author of several books, an experienced transgender inclusion/awareness trainer, an in-demand speaker on transgender workplace issues, and a leading national voice for transgender equality and gender authenticity.

She has twice been a Lambda Literary Award finalist for her books. Since 1991, Vanessa has helped major business organizations and national government agencies enhance their cultural competence through her professional business services.

Visit her website and follow her on LinkedIn.

Conrad Hackett
Associate Director, Research/Senior Demographer
Pew Research Center

Conrad Hackett is associate director of research and senior demographer at Pew Research Center. His expertise is in international religious demography, sociology of religion, and how religion relates to characteristics including gender, fertility and education. Hackett received his doctorate from Princeton University’s Department of Sociology and Office of Population Research and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the University of Texas at Austin’s Population Research Center. He also earned two graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary.

He is an author of The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, Religion and Education Around the World, The Global Religious Landscape, The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World, Global Christianity, The Global Catholic Population and various other studies of religious demography. Hackett frequently presents demographic research at scholarly conferences in the United States and abroad. He has discussed global religion with numerous media outlets, including BBC, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, the Financial Times, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Follow Conrad on Twitter.

Samirah Majumdar
Research Associate
Pew Research Center

Samirah Majumdar is a research associate at Pew Research Center, where she focuses on global restrictions on religion.

Samirah holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College.

She is a contributing author to Pew Research Center reports including the following: “A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World,” “Global Uptick in Government Restrictions on Religion in 2016,” and “Global Restrictions on Religion Rise Modestly in 2015, Reversing Downward Trend.”

Rev. Mark E. Fowler (He/Him/His)
Tanenbaum | Center for Interreligious Understanding

Raised in Harlem and the Bronx, Rev. Mark Fowler oversees all of Tanenbaum’s program areas and works with operations, fund development and communications. As CEO, Mark is responsible for program development, project management, design and implementation of all Tanenbaum trainings, and the expansion of Tanenbaum programs nationally and internationally.

Mark has been involved in New York City’s education community for over 20 years and is a skilled facilitator/trainer who has worked with teachers, counselors, administrators and students.

He is a sought-after keynote speaker and facilitator in all of Tanenbaum’s core areas, and has addressed organizations globally on issues of equality in race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Mark has presented at the National Council on the Social Studies, National Association of Multicultural Education, Teaching Tolerance, the YMCA of Greater New York, Partnership for Afterschool Education, Asia Society, National School Board Association, the United Nations, the Newseum, the Power of Women Institute, the Return on Inclusion Summit, the OutNEXT Summit, and the Forum on Workplace Inclusion regarding prejudice reduction, conflict resolution, bias and bullying.

As architect of Tanenbaum’s Corporate Membership Program, Mark has conducted trainings at GSK, Merck, Turner Broadcasting, PwC, The Walt Disney Company, CVS Health, Aetna, Bloomberg, Sodexo, Google, Moody’s, Bank of America, Walmart, and Target, among others.

Mark earned a B.A. in English and Education at Duke University and was trained as a Mediation and

Conflict Resolution Specialist with the NYC Department of Education. Mark also is a graduate of the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and is an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual minister.

Follow Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter.