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We’ve Made Our Pledge – 150 CEOs Take Action!

Dear Friends,

Amid the drumbeat of political news, something powerful happened yesterday that I find exciting. Globally, we took a giant step toward justice and respect when the newly formed CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion announced that 150 corporate executives from major companies pledged to work toward more diverse, inclusive and just workplaces. The three initial goals are:

  1. To continue to make workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion;
  2. To implement and expand unconscious bias education; and
  3. To share best—and unsuccessful—practices

I am honored to represent Tanenbaum as a signatory on the CEO Action pledge and one of the few organizations of our ilk on the list. As the only secular, non-sectarian not-for-profit with more than two decades of experience helping multi-national companies create inclusive environments for employees of all faiths and none, Tanenbaum is uniquely positioned to offer better practices on this topic—including ones we’ve implemented in our own office. Click here to read about our Holiday Swapping policy, and here for other better practices from the global companies represented.

Religious diversity is part of the larger Diversity & Inclusion conversation, and I trust that Tanenbaum’s involvement in the pledge will inspire more companies to proactively address religious diversity in the workplace. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is poised to inspire lasting change in workplaces large and small. And how wonderful is that?

Let’s keep moving the needle toward equity, justice, and respect,

Joyce S. Dubensky
Tanenbaum CEO

Conscientious Refusals – New Fact Sheet Available!

Tanenbaum’s new Conscientious Refusals Fact Sheet is now online!
Religiously-motivated conscientious refusals to provide services in the workplace have increasingly become a topic for debate. From the 2014 Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, to health care providers who believe providing abortions violates their faith, to federal employees who object to issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, religiously motivated conscientious refusals are invoked by employees who work in a variety of industries and come from a wide range of religious backgrounds.
Our Conscientious Refusals Fact Sheet provides an overview of the types of conscientious refusals that are most frequently emerging in different workplaces (i.e., health care, government, religious and a range of businesses) as well as better practices for both employers and employees who are looking to address their own or others’ conscientious refusals.

Administration to Work With Arab Spring Islamist Parties: News Roundup

In the news this week: the Obama administration is set to work with Muslim world Islamist parties, the Palestinian Authority concedes defeat in statehood bid, an interfaith event is held at Park 51, and other stories.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared Monday that the Obama administration would work with ascendant Islamist parties of the Muslim world, answering one of the central U.S. policy questions resulting from the Arab Spring. Associated Press
 
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday an enforcement initiative to protect the religious rights of increasingly diverse New Yorkers while they're at work and elsewhere. NBC New York
 
Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, teetered and fell in September, after Steve Ross, whose grandfather began the company 91 years ago, called it quits. In a twist of history — and, one might say, a twist of bread as well — the store has been saved by two Muslim businessmen who leased the space and started a corporation under almost the identical name. They’ll keep the kosher shop’s offerings the same, preserving its history. Jewish Daily Forward
 
The Palestinian Authority has conceded defeat in its effort to have the state of Palestine recognized by a majority of the UN Security Council. The Palestinians learned on Tuesday that Bosnia planned to abstain in a vote on the issue, leaving the PA with only eight supporters, when nine are needed. Jewish Daily Forward
 
As war, the economy and persecution by Muslim extremists push Arab Christians and religious minorities out of the Middle East, the refugees and immigrants are quietly settling in small pockets across the U.S. They are reviving old, dormant churches, bringing together families torn apart by war and praying collectively in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Religious experts say their growing presence in the U.S. is all about survival as Christians and religious minorities continue to get pushed out of the Holy Land. Associated Press
 
On Tuesday, November 15th at 7:00 PM (EST), the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard will hold an event hosted by Park51 and Center for Inquiry NYC, in partnership with a wide swath of NYC-based organizations, to discuss communities for the nonreligious and the role of atheists in interfaith work, while launching two groundbreaking new initiatives: The Humanist Community Project, and Values in Action at the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard.
 
"The Humanist Community Project seeks to unify millions of nonreligious Americans and develop a comparable social and cultural experience to that of a religious congregation," said Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Good Without God. "We are convinced, based on history, sociological research, and personal experience, that the success of the Humanist and secular movement depends almost entirely on our ability to build strong local communities." The Open Press