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



Working Toward a Healthy Future

Our Health Care team has been busier than ever this year, working on several timely and informative resources exploring the role religion plays in providing quality medical care and in understanding our own health.

Our team recently released a resource on vaccines and contemporary religious viewpoints. Vetted by religious and medical experts, this comprehensive pamphlet examines religious beliefs and practices regarding vaccines, common misconceptions about vaccines, and offers information on current laws and requirements. Tanenbaum also provides recommendations and considerations for when you are deciding whether to get vaccinated.

Additionally, our team created a series of three learning modules on the role conscience plays in providing medical care. This online learning experience can be used to help students, health providers, and hospital administrations better understand how to navigate situations where conscience (either the patient’s or the providers) becomes integral to patient care. It’s also free!

Interested in learning more about how our Health Care program impacts others? Join us on June 3 for our 2021 Peace Made Possible Gala. Click here for our Gala webpage with ticket and sponsorship info.

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum



Speaking out against Antisemitism

Many resources exist on how individual people can respond to situations, comments, and acts based in prejudice and bias. Though many companies may intuitively seek to respond to situations of injustice, finding the first steps to do so can seem daunting.

Tanenbaum has shared considerations, resources, and strategies of how to respond to antisemitism, from background and basics to integrating responses into longer-term strategies. Education and awareness are key, as are considerations for hosting and facilitating discussions where people may share their own lived experiences, fears and frustrations.

Please click here to download and share our new resource!



Managing Vaccines in the Workplace

COVID-19 is a daunting and overwhelming reality that companies worldwide are navigating. As vaccines are more widely available, however, companies also have innovative opportunities to design the “new normal” they want to create . . . What is your new normal?

What works best or well for one company will, of course, differ from business to business and location to location. As companies assess next steps in consultation with their legal counsel, Tanenbaum recommends that, at the very least, it is prudent to proactively encourage employees to get vaccinated. As the information continues to evolve, there are actions you can take.

To support companies in this ongoing effort, Tanenbaum has created a digestible resource for how to approach vaccinations in the workplace. For additional information on vaccines and recognized religious exemptions, please see our more in-depth research, available here.

While remaining aligned with both federal and state legal requirements, Tanenbaum encourages companies to support their employees in getting the vaccine. This is good for your employees and the broader community, as it will get us closer to herd immunity. It is also good for your company, differentiating you and adding to your stature as a responsible corporate citizen.

Best of all, by doing this, we can get through this pandemic together.


Vaccines and Our Health: What do you need to know?

Dear Friends,

The COVID-19 pandemic has once again brought the subject of vaccinations to the forefront of public discourse. Although vaccinations have long been successful in combatting serious illnesses and in some cases almost eliminating them completely (such as smallpox and polio), they still remain the subject of much debate and confusion.

In order to provide an alternative to the rampant misinformation campaigns, Tanenbaum has put together a resource exploring common misconceptions about vaccinations and offering answers and information vetted by health experts and religious authorities. It is our hope that this resource will dispel some of the hesitancy and anxiety that affects many people throughout the United States.

There are a number of reasons why people may be hesitant to receive vaccines. These include mistrust of the government and regulating agencies that approve vaccines, pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines, religious beliefs and concerns that may question the ethics of vaccines, and exposure to misinformation campaigns or, in some cases, a lack of concern about the viruses and diseases that vaccines prevent.

While it would be impossible to address each and every concern cited by the public, this resource explores these concerns and provides facts to mitigate fears, promote education, and combat widespread misinformation around vaccine production and use.

This resource also examines the history of vaccines in the United States in order to answer frequently asked questions that we have identified in regard to vaccines, such as:

Are vaccines required by law?

If so, where and why are they required?

Are there exemptions available for people who may object to certain vaccines?

To learn the answers to these questions and more, please view our new resource Vaccines and Our Health: What do you need to know?

Stay safe and healthy,

The Tanenbaum Health Care Team



Upcoming Holidays and Time for Reflection

We hope this message finds you all well as we transition fully into spring. As we look ahead to the year to come, we have the opportunity to reflect and explore thoughts and traditions.

Upcoming in the next month one such opportunity is the National Day of Prayer. Though not mandated by the federal government, this day is often utilized as a chance for prayerful reflection – you can learn more with our fact sheet here. Some examples of typical observations have included students meeting to pray outside their schools before classes, or faith-based employee resource groups taking time to pray.

Vesak Day, also known as Buddha Day, is observed by Buddhists around the world. Although the exact date of observance varies from country to country, many people will be observing the day this year on May 7th. For more information, including the holiday’s history, scheduling tips, and recommended holiday greetings, please explore our Vesak Day fact sheet. Please note that offices in many Southeast Asian countries may close in observance of the holiday.

As always, you can find these fact sheets and more on our Workplace Resources page. If there’s any other way Tanenbaum can be of assistance during these times, for holidays and beyond, please don’t hesitate to reach out – we’d love to hear from you!

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum



New Year, New Colors, Remembrance

Holidays arise throughout the year and spring is filled with them! Countless people around the world this year will be observing these upcoming holidays, which you may know by different names.

In late March, we see the beginning of the week-long Jewish celebration of Passover, also called Pesach in Hebrew. The end of March also brings the Hindu holiday Holi, often called the festival of colors, as well as the Sikh holiday Holla Mohalla which follows it. You can learn and share about these holidays with our fact sheets for Passover, and Holi.

With many holidays in such a short time, there’s a lot to learn. Schools and workplaces explore respectful ways to observe and accommodate, and hospitals and care facilities may need to be aware of patients or staff who may be fasting or have dietary restrictions. In addition to our fact sheets, the Tanenbaum staff is here to help. You can learn about each of these holidays, their impact on the workplace, and more by visiting Tanenbaum’s Workplace Resources page for fact sheets and additional resources.

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum



Spring Celebrations and Commemorations

Friends –

As the seasons begin to change, we’ve already seen the Lunar New Year come and go. Did you know that some faiths follow a solar calendar?

Sikhism is one of them – on April 14th, millions of Sikhs will celebrate Vaisakhi, an important religious holiday as well as a cultural festival in northern India. Read our Vaisakhi fact sheet to learn more!

Amongst other upcoming holidays is Easter. Did you know that there are different dates for Easter (and Christmas) for some Christian denominations? Many Christians will observe Easter this year on April 4th, but Orthodox Christians will celebrate on May 2nd. You can learn about that and more with our Easter fact sheet.

Also, the holy month of Ramadan will begin soon on the evening of April 12th and end on May 11th, with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr following it. To learn more about the meaning and traditions behind this month and how your Muslim colleagues may be observing it, take a look at our Ramadan fact sheet.

You can learn about each of these holidays, their impact on the workplace, and more by visiting Tanenbaum’s Workplace Resources page for fact sheets and additional resources.

With my warmest regards,

Rev. Mark Fowler
CEO, Tanenbaum