I experienced two things at my workshop in D.C. that confirmed the absolute urgency and human impact of combating religious prejudice, but more on that later.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State convened over 100 top diversity leaders for the first "Diversity, Inclusion and U.S. Foreign Policy" strategy session. The day’s agenda focused on the impact of diverse professional environments and the way in which the diversity and inclusion agenda informs U.S. foreign policy.
Refreshingly, the session was much more than the same old conversations. It was new. Representatives of the State Dept., leaders in the field, and fellow presenters were saying that our global human rights agenda are directly linked to the U.S.’s success in foreign policy and global workplaces that thrive on diversity. In other words, practicing what we preach will lead to a safer world.
The range of issues discussed and diversity of thought was powerful, but I especially appreciated the opportunity to lead a workshop on Implementing Faith Based Diversity Initiatives. The workshop’s conversation was lively and I was able to share a few of our better practices – including the importance of creating religious diversity policies in companies and governments. Two things showed me that we moved the needle by getting key folks focused on this issue. First, as a group, we discussed the core learnings that came out of our discussion. Everyone agreed that addressing religion as an issue in the Diversity and Inclusion efforts of global companies is more than just a consideration – – it is key in the entire diversity conversation. The second thing that proved the workshop was useful happened just after it ended. One of the participants came up to me and said, “Joyce, I have to hug you.” And she did.
Joyce S. Dubensky