Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Maurice Samuel Ostro, OBE, KFO, Finalist in the 2021 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards

26 Jul, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: Maurice Samuel Ostro, OBE, KFO, Chair of Ostro Fayre Share Foundation, Vice Chair of the Council of Christians and Jews (the UK’s oldest interfaith organization) and the Founding Patron of the Faiths Forum for London, has been an interfaith champion in business and philanthropy for decades.

He has promoted religious inclusion in the businesses he has started and grown. For example, he provided prayer rooms for all faiths represented by the more than 1,000 employees in his offices to ensure that all staff feel comfortable practicing their faiths during the workday. He has also established a social enterprise making jewellery in Burma, providing dignified, well-paid jobs to Buddhist and Muslim women and building bridges between these communities. In the UK, he is a founding patron of Faiths Forum for London, the capital’s preeminent interfaith body, the chair of Faiths United, a pan-UK coalition of faith leaders responding to COVID-19, and continues to support his Foundation’s initiative, Strengthening Faith Institutions, to assist over 900 faith institutions across the UK.

Maurice has been involved in advising several UK Governmental bodies, latterly on the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission, as well as having been a mentor for one of the UK’s most senior police officers. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and a Knight of the Royal Order of Francis I in 2014.

“It is a true honor for us to recognize one of the world’s leading champions of interfaith understanding,” said Dr. Brian Grim, President of the  Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, “and we wholeheartedly congratulate Mr. Ostro as a finalist for the 2021 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards.”

On the occasion of this nomination, Maurice Ostro OBE shared the following:

“I am honoured to be a finalist for these awards. It has been a privilege to work with faith leaders and businesspeople to build bridges between communities and use our different perspectives to deliver imaginative solutions to real problems. I stand on the shoulders of giants: this award is a testament to their vision and perseverance too.”

Mr. Ostro is competing for a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal, which will be announced and awarded on Aug. 24 virtually at Dare to Overcome. Dare to Overcome is the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s global intersectionality conference, highlighting the ways diverse communities support and reinforce one another to build more inclusive workplaces and peaceful societies.

Background on the Awards

The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards are presented biennially by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, a US-based nonprofit, in cooperation with the United Nations Global Compact’s Business for Peace initiative. The foundation helps educate the global business community about how religious freedom is good for business and how they can promote respect for freedom of religion or belief.

The awards are held in tandem with the opening of the Paralympic Games, including previously being held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and in Seoul in 2018. This year they will be held during RFBF’s Dare to Overcome event, Aug. 22-24, 2021, both virtually worldwide and in-person in Tokyo (due to pandemic restrictions, limited to those already in Japan) .

In the short video below, the global chair of the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards, Dr. Brian Grim (also president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation), shares the inspiration for these awards, followed by brief reflections by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.