Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Monthly Archives: January 2022

Dare to Overcome Bengaluru Meeting

31 Jan, 2022

Dare to Overcome (DTO): Global Business and Peace Awards & Symposium

  • — Join  DTO Global Chairman, Dr. Brian Grim, for an Informational Breakfast Meeting

  • — Monday, March 21, 2022, 8:00 am, Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel

  • Email Brian Grim for details.

Dare to Overcome’s overarching objective is to build allyship among diverse communities in the workplace and marketplace worldwide. Why? It’s good for businesses, economies and societies!

DTO 2022 will be May 23-25, 2022, in Washington, DC, where the 2022 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award will be given along with recognition of the 2021 Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award winners who could not gather in 2021 due to covid.

2021 Gold medalists included Pat Gelsinger, CEO Intel Corporation, and Sandra Rivera, EVP of Intel.

See their acceptance speeches.

American Airlines is the global partner and official airline of Dare to Overcome (DTO), with the shared mission of caring for people along life’s journey. Many other top corporations have been involved, including GoogleIntelSalesforceWalmartAmerican ExpressEYHyundai GroupAccentureSAP, and CVS Health. In addition to American Airlines, other corporate partners through the years include FordTyson FoodsDellTexas InstrumentsPayPalEquinix, and Kathy Ireland Worldwide.

DTO’s mission is to shine a light on business successes in promoting mutual respect and allyship among diverse communities. Awards are given each year to CEOs and companies building peace through interfaith and intercultural understanding in their workplaces and communities.

DTO 2023 will be in India, held in tandem with the G20 Meeting, which India will host.

India’s rich cultural and religious diversity is a tremendous business asset to the country, making it an ideal location not only for DTO 2023!

For example, see below how India’s Cobra Legal represents just the tip of the iceberg of the depth of India’s companies’ commitment to building bridges of trust and community in workplaces across the country!

An Encouraging Word

26 Jan, 2022

by Kent Johnson, J.D., Senior Corporate Advisor, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation

Part of the blog series, Authenticity & Connection and based on last week’s talk Kent gave to 250 people at American Express

Let me share some good news, to quell some of the fear, worry, skepticism, anger and distrust that seem to define culture in many companies today.

At the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, we celebrate companies that are nurturing authenticity and connection among their employees and with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. In order to do that, we connect with people up and down the reporting chain; with people of all races, religions, nationalities, political persuasions, genders, sexual orientations; young and old. And when we connect, we seek to connect people with one another’s core beliefs and motivations … what really makes them “tick.” What we’re learning is hugely encouraging.

I could share many inspiring stories, but let me start with this week. I was invited to give a talk to AMEX employees. Leaders of their Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups (CHAI, Peace and Salt) each shared what they’re doing. What wonderful work! Among other things, they spoke of how they are reaching out to one another, to build genuine friendships.

We spoke about:

  • — The inherent dignity of every human being
  • — How religious diversity can be the fabric of civility
  • — How people of different faiths can learn from one another without compromising the beliefs that define their core identity

We explored reasons why people do what they do at work: Is it the possibility of higher pay? Personal recognition? Avoidance of blame? A desire to help the working group succeed? The “satisfaction of a job well done?” A desire to provide truly useful goods and services to customers? To make the world a better place? We noted that for many, the ultimate “why” of work is rooted in their faith. They seek to obey and honor god (or their core values) in the way they perform their duties, and in the way they treat others. That’s why they honor their commitments, treat others with respect, give credit to others where it’s due, visit coworkers in the hospital, and show other kindnesses. For some, such deeds are a way of earning god’s favor. For others, works like these are a worshipful response of gratitude for god’s unmerited kindness. Point is, a culture that permits and encourages voluntary discussions about people’s personal “why” enables rich and meaningful connections. It affirms people.

I shared some insights from diverse leaders at SAP, PayPal and Dell, on why faith-based employee resource groups matter. In our 2021 conference, they said, it’s “Because my colleagues’ beliefs matter to me.” They said this included:

  • — Becoming “visible” to one another; learning what colleagues consider their core identity
  • — Dispelling myths and defusing fears about various faiths
  • — Promoting authenticity
  • — Learning of various faith-rooted holidays, festivals and commemorative times
  • — Engaging other worldviews
  • — Strengthening mutual respect, without compromising their own faith
  • — Transcending polarization
  • — Becoming better colleagues and better friends
  • — NOT feeling weird

Even in these polarizing times, authentic, heart-level connection is possible. It’s happening in companies. This is wonderful, encouraging news. The more we connect with the growing number of companies that embrace religious diversity, the more encouraged we are.

My prayer is that many of you will join us in shining a light on these “best practices” that enrich cultures. If your company has done work in religious diversity, we want to celebrate you. The survey described at this link will help focus on best practices. Please have your company fill it out; and perhaps your company will be recognized in 2022 as one of the leaders. In any case, your involvement will reflect well on your company and will be an encouragement to others.

This is good work.

EEOC Commissioner Andrea R. Lucas to Keynote National Faith@Work Conference

26 Jan, 2022

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 26, 2022 | Washington DC

Andrea R. Lucas, Commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will deliver a keynote presentation at the 3rd annual National Faith@Work ERG Conference, May 23-25 2022. The overall conference – to be held in-person – is called Dare to Overcome, with the theme Better Together. It brings together representatives of Fortune 500 companies who are members of faith-and-belief employee resource groups (ERGs) in allyship with others with a special focus on disability inclusion.  The conference also is a national convening point for workplace chaplains and corporate leaders interested in ethical leadership. (Conference registration is open.)

Commissioner Lucas will speak on Best Practices to Prevent Religious Discrimination and Promote Religious Inclusion. RFBF’s Senior Corporate Advisor Kent Johnson, J.D., will moderate the session. Kent retired recently as Senior Counsel at Texas Instruments.

“We are honored to have Commissioner Lucas participate in the Faith@Work conference as a strong advocate for nondiscrimination on the basis of religion in America’s workplaces. It is a wonderful opportunity for companies to hear directly from a EEOC Commissioner about how religious nondiscrimination and accommodation is integral to the success of American workplaces,” said Dr. Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

Andrea R. Lucas was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 22, 2020, to be a Commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a term expiring July 1, 2025. Before her appointment to the EEOC, Commissioner Lucas was a member of the labor and employment and litigation practice groups of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and was based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

The 2022 conference is co-convened by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC to support the growing movement of top companies that are adopting faith-friendly policies that make their workplaces religiously inclusive. Corporate sponsors include American Airlines, the official airline of Dare to Overcome, PayPal, Equinix, Ford Motor Company, and more to come!

The 2022 Dare to Overcome conference builds on previous conferences and includes: national and global awards for companies and CEOs advancing interfaith understanding and religious inclusion; expert and practitioner seminars; a Dare to Overcome Allyship Concert featuring the hit Gentlemen trio GENTRI; exhibition hall and resources on faith@work best practices.

The 2021 program built on the 2020 Faith@Work conference at the Busch School of Business in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by American Airlines and Tyson Foods, and on the 2019 Faith@Work conference at the corporate HQ of Texas Instruments in Dallas, both cosponsored with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

During the conference, the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation will release its annual Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Index, which benchmarks the state of corporate America’s inclusion of religion as an integral part of its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.


Barbara Phillips to Discuss Google’s Growing Inter Belief Network (IBN)

21 Jan, 2022

Thursday, Feb. 3rd, 12:00-12:30 pm ET / 9:00-9:30 am PT

Join us to hear from Google’s Barbara Phillips* about the pathbreaking work of their Inter Belief Network (IBN). Could this be a model of religious inclusion for your company?

See related video.

At Google, there are currently 16 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) with more than 250 chapters globally – providing community, personal and professional development opportunities for Googlers from underrepresented communities.

Of these ERGs, Google’s Inter Belief Network (IBN) aims to create a culture of inclusion, tolerance, and mutual understanding at Google for a diversity of beliefs, where Googlers of all beliefs feel welcome, included, and supported.

IBN also aims to ensure that the voices of belief-based communities are represented in Google’s products.

IBN consists of multiple member chapters representing specific communities of interest, including but not limited to: Buddhists, Christians, Jewglers, and Muslims. IBN also has an interfaith chapter.

* Barbara Phillips is a Founding Member & Global Chair of Google’s Inter Belief Network (IBN), Co-Lead of the Google Christian Fellowship chapter (GCF), and Economics Business Partner to Google’s Chief Economist. Barbara is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She seeks to strengthen employee relations, broaden product inclusion, and amplify the inclusive space by focusing on education, equity, and allyship.

Faith inclusion is thriving in 65+ Silicon Valley businesses

17 Jan, 2022

Repost from Sue Warnke on LinkedIn: “Faith inclusion is thriving in 65+ Silicon Valley businesses, from Facebook to Google, Salesforce, PayPal and so many others. Grateful to Brian J. Grim and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation for assembling faith leaders last week like Roy Tinklenberg, Barbara Phillips, Becky Pomerleau, Rev. Greg McBrayer to discuss 2022 strategies for faith at work. Register for the third annual Faith ERG conference in Washington DC in May here: #faithinclusion #faithatwork #faithdiversity

Equinix to join as sponsor of Dare to Overcome

14 Jan, 2022

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is pleased to announce today that Equinix joins as a corporate sponsor of Dare to Overcome, our annual Faith@Work ERG conference. In 2022, Dare to Overcome will be an in-person gathering where Fortune 500 faith-and-belief employee resource groups (ERGs) come together to share best practices and build supportive, intersecting networks nationally and globally.

Equinix is the world’s digital infrastructure company. They interconnect industry-leading organizations in finance, manufacturing, mobility, transportation, government, healthcare and education across a cloud-first world. Equinix’s has 220+data centers in 60+ markets from Mumbai to Dublin, Singapore to Chicago, and Helsinki to San José.

“I’m thrilled to have Equinix come on board as a Diamond Sponsor of Dare to Overcome,” said RFBF President Brian Grim. “Their FaithConnect employee resource group has taken off in the past year, and despite the remote work during the pandemic, FaithConnect has been instrumental in bringing not only their own people together but other companies to connect on issues related to faith and belief. I’m looking forward to the panels they are putting together for Dare to Overcome showcasing how companies collaborate on religious inclusion!”

The 2022 theme is “Better Together,” reflecting an emphasis on being strong allies of others — with a special focus on those with differing abilities. Dare to Overcome will be held in Washington DC in partnership with the Busch School of Business, May 23-25, 2022, and then move onwards to India in 2023.

“The three pillars of FaithConnect are Invite, Learn and Respect. Our mission is to inspire a culture of learning and respect for all faiths, non-faiths and worldviews in the workplace and we believe that by celebrating spiritual diversity, employees can bring their whole authentic selves to work,” said Marsie Sweetland, Client Executive and Founder of Equinix FaithConnect.

“FaithConnect is thrilled to sponsor and participate in the 2022 Dare to Overcome conference. We have partnered with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundations for in-office training and events and we look forward to joining for another year of this outstanding conference,” said Sweetland.

American Airlines is the global partner and official airline of Dare to Overcome.

Countries with greater religious freedoms are more peaceful

11 Jan, 2022

Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Executive Vice President at Freedom House, cites the work of the Institute for Economics & Peace and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation which found that countries with “greater religious freedoms are generally more peaceful, whereas countries with less religious freedom are generally less peaceful,” in her article ‘Religious Freedom Can Teach Us About Strengthening American Democracy.’ In the article for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, she details how protections for religious belief offer a crucial lesson for strengthening American democracy and addressing growing societal rifts.

Two EEOC Commissioners to Share Expertise on Combating Anti-Semitism in the Workplace

7 Jan, 2022

One of the pressing religious liberty issues of the day is a deeply troubling increase in antisemitism in the United States. On Monday, Jan. 10, at 12 pm ET, EEOC Commissioners Andrea Lucas and Keith Sonderling participated in an important conversation hosted by the Louis D. Brandeis Center about combatting antisemitism in the workplace.

Watch the Webinar Here!

See the Commissioners’ PowerPoint presentation here

Related Content: Religious Nondiscrimination is Good for Business

(Washington DC, Feb. 10, 2021) –  Sharon Fast Gustafson, EEOC’s General Counsel at the time, delivered a keynote presentation at the 2021 national Faith@Work ERG Conference on why religious nondiscrimination is good for business and explained the legal obligations relating to religious nondiscrimination and accommodation in the workplace. Watch below or read her prepared comments. Read prepared comments.

RFBF to host Silicon Valley business breakfast on faith and allyship

5 Jan, 2022

RFBF will host a January 14 breakfast discussion at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley in Palo Alto to hear how American Airlines, the world’s largest carrier, partners with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation on our annual faith-oriented employee resource group (ERG) conference, Dare to Overcome.

We will also discuss how Dare to Overcome can help faith@work initiatives have greater impact through allyship with other ERGs, including Dis/Abilities ERGs.

Breakfast opens at 7:30AM; program begins at 8:00AM. All faiths and beliefs welcome. To find out more, email Brian Grim, RFBF President.


  • – Fr. Greg McBrayer, American Airlines, Chief Flight Controller, Chaplain, Christian EBRG Global Lead
  • – Roy Tinklenberg, Faith and Work Movement Global, Co-Founder and Chief Vision Officer
  • – Becky Pomerleau, PayPal, Director SOX Program and Believe Interfaith ERG Co-founder
  • – Sue Warnke, Salesforce, Senior Director of Content Experience, and part of the team that started Faithforce
  • – Dr. Brian Grim, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation President and Dare to Overcome Global Chair

Host & Sponsor:

Religious Freedom & Business Foundation