Whose Freedom?

Dear Tanenbaum Community, 
As the Fourth of July approaches, we’re reminded to take time to pause and reflect on what it means to live on this land and to celebrate freedom. We are asking ourselves hard questions, listening to indigenous perspectives, and reflecting on who we are as a nation and how we got here.   
To understand where we are today, we must challenge accepted narratives and acknowledge the continued impacts and legacy this country’s founding has had on indigenous nations, cultures, and religions. Across the continent, indigenous communities continue to struggle with access to education, health care, employment, land, the right to speak freely, to worship openly, and to protest this lack of freedom. 
We must remember that the rights so many of us enjoy, continue to come at the expense of indigenous peoples. We must honor indigenous communities, learn our honest histories, and acknowledge that freedom was not granted for everyone on this land in 1776. We’d like to offer some ways to stand in solidarity with, and show respect for, indigenous peoples this July Fourth. Together we will build a future in which the freedoms of some are not tied to the sufferings of others. 


  • Sarah Eagle Heart Keynote Address: A keynote address from the Religious Diversity Leadership Summit. Sarah is an Emmy award-winning social justice storyteller, activist, media strategist, and producer focused on advocacy for Indigenous Peoples. 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.
  • Earth & the Divine Webinar Conversation: The conversation drew on the Lenape community’s work to increase local biodiversity, and the grassroots sustainability work of Bhumi Global with Hindu communities and international communities’ writ large. Watch to learn more about how religious communities at the local, regional, and global levels honor their traditions and their responsibility for the Earth.


  • Juneteenth and the Fourth of July: A Conversation about White Christian Nationalism: PRRI and BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty) invites you to join authors and scholars Robert P. Jones and Kristin Du Mez—each of whom grew up in the white conservative Christian world—for a discussion about the role white Christianity is playing in these battles, why they are erupting at this moment in our nation’s history, and what’s at stake for the future of religion and the country.
  • Declaration Revisited: Native Americans Podcast: Writer, activist, and past Independent presidential candidate Mark Charles lays out the anti-Native American sentiments within the Declaration of Independence, the doctrines and proclamations from before 1776 that justified ‘discovery,’ and the Supreme Court decisions that continue to cite them all.


  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States: In an Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them.
  • How American Indians Really Feel About Independence Day: An OP-ED from 2000 exploring the Indigenous Persons perspective on July Fourth. Twenty-One years later many of the messages expressed within still carry strong resonance.


  • Native Words, Native Warriors: On this celebration of American Freedom, learn about the Native Americans who have bravely served in the United States Military infusing their own warrior traditions with classic American heroism.
  • Honoring the American Flag through Art: Objects decorated with American flag designs were incorporated into Native art in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Watch Emil Her Many Horses (Oglala Lakota), museum curator and historian at the Smithsonian, as he takes us through objects in the museum’s collection that were created to honor the American flag.

In solidarity,

Rev. Mark Fowler,
CEO, Tanenbaum



Summer Days (and Nights) of Remembrance

Spring has sprung, come and gone, but summer is no exception to upcoming holidays! The next month ahead will see many people celebrating two holidays with which you may or may not be familiar. Whether you’re wondering how observance might involve the workplace, education or health care settings, each of our fact sheets includes history, background, and some guidance on greetings and potential observations.

This year, the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha will be observed across multiple days, starting with sundown on July 19th until sundown on July 23rd. This festival of sacrifice celebrates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son when ordered to do so by God. Eid al-Adha is of great significance within Islam and employees may request time off to observe it. Please review and share Tanenbaum’s Eid al-Adha fact sheet for more information on the holiday’s workplace implications, appropriate greetings, and more!

Also, did you know that July 24th is Pioneer Day? This holiday is one of the major holidays of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The day commemorates the arrival of Brigham Young and his followers to Salt Lake Valley and is often observed with parades, fireworks, and Old West reenactments. Check out our Pioneer Day Fact Sheet to learn more about the holiday’s history, its significance, and how the holiday may impact the workplace.

In case this only intrigues you to learn more, you can find a number of other holiday fact sheets on our Workplace Resources page. As always, if there’s any way we at Tanenbaum can be of assistance during these holiday times and beyond, please drop us a line!

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum


Photo 1: Pioneers Crossing the Plains of  Nebraska by C.C.A. Christensen

Photo 2: Ahmed Aqtai

The Platinum Rule

The following shared vision is on the Platinum Rule: “Treat others how they want to be treated”. As the Platinum Rule is a philosophical response to the Golden Rule, “treat others how you want to be treated,” we acknowledge that many traditions do not have the exact phrase above written verbatim in their sacred texts. However, we also recognize that one of the key tenets of the Platinum Rule, empathy, is a major part of the moral codes of numerous religions around the world. With this in mind, we suggest reflecting upon empathy and the Platinum Rule in unison while viewing the quotes below, considering the switch in emphasis from you to they.

Click here to view and download a PDF of Tanenbaum’s latest Shared Visions:
The Platinum Rule: A Vision of Empathy

Click here to view and download our desktop wallpaper:
The Platinum Rule: A Vision of Empathy



Introducing Another Honoree!

Former Muslim supremacist Mubin Shaikh, former white supremacist Arno Michaelis, former Tanenbaum CEO, Joyce Dubensky and Seeds of Peace Program Director, Kiran Thadhani come together for a Courageous Conversation supported by Nissan Foundation on the power of dialogue to pull people away from extremism and towards respect.

Dear Friends,

We are so pleased to announce that Nissan Foundation will be the recipient of Tanenbaum’s Philanthropic Bridge Builder Award at this year’s Gala!

This award is given to organizations lifting up the non-profit sector through social change. Since its founding in 1992 to help bridge the deep societal divides brought to light after the Rodney King trial verdict, Nissan Foundation has been an exceptional leader in philanthropy, awarding more than $12 million to organizations working to build community by valuing diversity.

Students at Queens Community House learn about Chinese calligraphy through a project supported by Nissan Foundation that used Tanenbaum’s World Olympics curriculum to teach students the value of diversity.

Nissan Foundation has been a critical Tanenbaum partner in promoting justice and building respect for religious difference since 2013. Together, we have impacted thousands of students, educators and community leaders with needed resources for diversity, including our Combating Extremism campaign and World Olympics curriculum. We would not be as successful as we have been without Nissan Foundation’s help, so join us in celebrating their accomplishments on June 3rd!

Click here for our Gala webpage with ticket and sponsorship info. I look forward to seeing you there!

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum



Support Religious Diversity Education

Dear Friends, 

With your support, Tanenbaum powerfully impacts the educational landscape.

Recently we have been actively promoting Resolution 1257, an innovative resolution brought forth by New York City Councilmembers Daniel Dromm, Benjamin Kallos, and  Daneek Miller, calling for New York City’s Department of Education to implement religious literacy and diversity curriculum in K-12 schools and provide professional development in this area. We are so fortunate to join the Muslim Community Network, the Sikh Coalition, the Interfaith Center of New York on this initiative!

Simultaneously, we have been finalizing the second editions of our impactful Religions in My Neighborhood and World Olympics curriculums which will be released in the coming weeks.

Please support us in our efforts to ensure that young people have the social and emotional skills necessary to respect the differences among them by contributing to this year’s Peace Made Possible Gala, and plan to join us on June 3rd, 2021!

Click here for our Gala webpage with ticket and sponsorship info. I look forward to seeing you there!

Stay active and educated in Tanenbaum’s future!

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum



Watch Rev. Mark Fowler Speak in Support of Resolution 1257

Join Rev. Mark Fowler, CEO Tanenbaum at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 4th, as he speaks in support of Resolution 1257!

Resolution 1257 calls on the NYC Department of Education to offer age-appropriate religious literacy and diversity curricula to all K-12 students and to provide professional development for teachers in this area.

Rev. Mark Fowler be a guest speaker on behalf of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding at a press conference to announce Res. 1257 and to call on the City Council to support religious diversity education. He will be joined by faith leaders, community organizations, City Council Members, and K-12 educators.

We invite you to attend this press conference on Zoom this Thursday, March 4th, at 10:00 A.M. You may register for the event at https://tinyurl.com/Reso1257 to receive the Zoom link and passcode you will need to join.

Join us to fight hate crimes and bias incidents with religious diversity education!