In the first 30 days of this new decade we’ve been doing some heavy lifting! We’ve conducted trainings for 30 after school educators and over 100 employees of a major pharmaceuticals company. We’ve shared with them why addressing religious diversity is a critical issue for the global community in education and in workplaces. We’ve studied cases and curricula to teach new skills of respectful interaction and curiosity of differences. We’ve given our better practices on addressing the complex issues of making learning environments and workplaces hospitable to people of all faiths, and no faith. And for all the work we’ve done I want to acknowledge the people that we’ve worked with.
It is not easy to consider that you may not have been addressing all of a child’s learning styles, when you’re only desire is to see the children you have charge of thrive.
It is not easy to consider the colleagues you’ve witnessed experiencing some form of bias because of their religious beliefs, or lack thereof. And as much as you wanted to say or do something, not knowing what the appropriate channels would be – or if it was your place at all.
It is not easy to think that you may have given a child or book that had stereotypical images in it. And it’s not easy to try to accommodate the parent of the child who knows he’s not supposed to eat certain foods, but is faster than you and snatches them and gobbles them down before you can get to him.
It is not easy to create global guidelines that will support the company’s diversity initiatives with a commitment to acknowledge the religious practices of its employees.
And, yet, with all these daunting tasks, people call us daily to take on these challenges and more. So today, I want to acknowledge the people who have worked with us to make learning environments inclusive, workplaces receptive, health care institutions perceptive, and the pursuit of peace in the face of chaos and discord priority number one. These people are truly doing the heavy lifting. We are just the coaches!