Combat Extremism – October Resources from Tanenbaum

Dear Friends,

At Tanenbaum, we are committed to combating extremism because of the horror it inflicts on people. And because it fuels suspicion and fear of others, stereotypes, and hate.

There are many paths to defeat extremism, including actions you can take today. This month, Tanenbaum shares more excellent and practical resources you can use in your daily life:

  • QUESTIONS for Students and Educators: A question sheet that may be used alongside Opposition to Places of Worship and Religious Practices in the U.S. by educators and creative parents alike!
Read, download, and share! Use them to begin a discussion at the dinner table during a conversation without cell phones, in your house of worship, or at your local community center. Challenge your children and students to read them and ask questions – and then research answers. Learn the facts! Speak up! And please share your ideas with us for ways to use these resources to counter hate and terror.
With great hope for peace,
Joyce S. Dubensky,

P.S. Remember to sign the Peacemaker’s petition against extremism – commit to taking action!

Combat Extremism – New Resources from Tanenbaum!

Dear Friends,

Today is a day for remembrance, condemnation and action.
  • We remember the nearly 3,000 innocent women, men and children from more than 370 countries and a vast array of religions and beliefs, who were lost on September 11, 2001.
  • We condemn the expansion of terrorism and the horror it inflicts on its victims. We see the face of those victims in the Syrian refugees willing to risk a child’s death rather than remain in a land beset by a brutal government and the savagery of extremists. And in so many others fleeing violent extremism in Iraq, Myanmar, Libya and too many other countries.
  • We take action. Through the work of our Peacemakers in Action we counter terrorists worldwide. And through Tanenbaum’s Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees project we raise emergency funds for humanitarian disaster relief agencies working with Syrian refugees while planting the seeds for future stability in the region.

Violent religious extremism can feel insurmountable. But there are simple actions you can take to thwart the local growth of radicalism and prevent individuals (including youth) from feeling marginalized. We ask you to join us – in memory of 9/11 and because of today’s refugees – to help defy extremism:

Sign the Peacemaker’s petition against extremism.
Tanenbaum’s religiously motivated Peacemakers in Action work to stop violence and brutal extremism in the world’s worst conflicts. And now, they have joined forces to create a Campaign Against Extremism on – making a beautiful pledge toward building a safer future. Sign the petition today – and commit to taking action!
Visit Tanenbaum each month for new resources for combating extremism.
Starting today, we’re offering free, practical resources that can be used at home or at work, in schools, places of worship and in your community. Read, download and share our September 11 Fact Sheet and World Religions Fact Sheet today. Use them to begin a discussion at your house of worship, community center or over a workplace lunch and learn. Challenge your children and students to read them and ask questions – and then research answers. Learn the facts! Speak up! And please share your ideas for ways to use these resources to counter hate and terror.

We’ll be sharing new resources every month this year. So visit us on the 15th of each month and check out your new resources!

Each of us has a unique and powerful role in stopping extremism but we must take action!

With great hope for peace,
Joyce S. Dubensky,

Religion at the 2012 Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity

An interesting article in Business Insurance argues that knowledge of the law and good training of supervisors and managers can defuse many situations that lead to religious discrimination claims. The article advises employers to review company policies, and make sure that managers understand their obligation to accommodate religious needs.

The author of this article, Judy Greenwald, accurately speaks to the ways in which companies can and should avoid litigation when it comes to religion, urging employers to be vigilant and act promptly when signs of intolerance arise.

It’s often very easy to identify the overt manifestations of intolerance in the workplace (like this case, for example, in which complaints allege that supervisors and coworkers threw blood and meat at Muslim employees). But what about when intolerance becomes more subtle? At Tanenbaum, we support managers’ vigilance with a resource called the “10 Bias Danger Signs.” Identified through Tanenbaum’s benchmarking survey of employees, these “10 Bias Danger Signs” include the ways in which religion most frequently emerges in the workplace, like attire, employee networks, and socializing.

Avoiding litigation and reacting to problems appropriately is important, and the “10 Bias Danger Signs” can serve as an early warning tool. But it can also be used to identify places where religious diversity can be more thoroughly addressed within a company’s policies, practices, and D&I programming. When religious diversity in the workplace is proactively addressed and included within an overall D&I strategy, businesses may see an increase in productivity, improved morale, and better client/customer relations.

At the 2012 Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, Mark Fowler will be presenting a PDI session on this topic on March 20th.  In his session “Digging Deeper: Religious Diversity and the 10 Bias Danger Signs,” participants will explore the ways in which ignorance or bias show up and practice importance communication and listening skills. His session will address the avoidance and diffusion of conflict within the workplace, but will also explore the ways in which religious diversity can be leveraged to support overall business goals.

Religion is a hot-topic this year at the Multicultural Forum. Take a look at Laurie Trousil’s blog post and read about the different ways faith-based employee networks can be approached within an organization. And don’t miss out on “Faith-Based ERGs: Motivation, Management and Metrics,” where Laurie Trousil will be featured on a panel to discuss spirituality in the workplace, and how Best Buy, Ameriprise Financial, and Medtronic have embraced religion to create and sanction faith-based ERGs.

Annie Levers
Program Associate, Workplace