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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

Join us in Minneapolis!

SThomas_general-session

Dear Friends,

Every year, some of the best thinking around Diversity & Inclusion takes place at the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in Minneapolis. We are proud to once again be among the presenters at this important event.

This year, Tanenbaum will be presenting “The Battle for Inclusion: Exploring Veteran Status and Religion in the Workplace.”
Mark Fowler and Liz Joslin will be joined by:

• Kimberly Mitchell: Director, Easter Seals Dixon Center
• Lisa Rosser: CEO and Founder, The Value of a Veteran
• Michael Burns: Director, Head of ICG Diversity, Citi

If you haven’t already registered for the Forum, click here to do so.If you have, we look forward to seeing you there!

In friendship,

Mark Fowler,
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

A cautionary reminder about the destructive power of religious hate

Today is the U.S. release date of “La Rafle” (The Roundup) , a French film that follows the Jewish tenants of Parisian apartment house  during the little known roundup and deportation of Paris’s Jews during WWII. The film is based on real events and real people, and it is one of the most moving WWII films I have seen in a very long time. The film serves as a reminder of the tragic the results of religious hate.

“La Rafle” is based on an event that took place in 1942 and, 70 years and two months later, the  Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life  released a saddening study that sheds light on some alarming trends about the global rise religious oppression. To some readers, this may not be surprising. We have been hammered and disheartened by all the news about the religious fallout from the Arab Spring, growing tensions and violence in religiously diverse African countries and, earlier this year, by the sham trial and conviction of Pussy Riot band members for blasphemy in Russia.

But under these obvious reminders, there was also some surprising data in the study. One country where social hostilities toward religious groups moved up since last year is France.  In fact, France now falls under the category “High” on the Social Hostilities Index, alongside some other countries whose presence on that list is surprising, including the U.K., Germany, and Ukraine.

The U.K. and France are among the world’s pioneers of social democracy and liberalism, countries where what we call “western tradition” was incubated and where some of the ideals of our modern civilization were first espoused. Germany and Ukraine had catastrophic experiences with religious hatred. One would think all four of these countries would have learned the important lessons about the existential dangers of religious prejudice, but unfortunately this does not seem to be the case.

Perhaps the most surprising surprise (for me) in the PEW study was that religious freedom is also on the decline in the U.S. Like our European counterparts, the U.S. is undergoing a resurgence of religious oppression, and indicators of social hostilities toward religious groups and government restriction on the free practice of religion are both rising.  This is alarming.

All of our societies, both here and in Europe, need a reminder of just how tragic the results of hate can be, so I highly recommend attending a showing of  “La Rafle” (The Roundup). If you know anyone who needs to be reminded about how religious hate impacts our world, this film is a perfect fit.

Mihai Morar
Chief of Staff