Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Dare to Overcome – A Terrific Opportunity to Connect In Person

12 Apr, 2022

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

Part of the blog series, Authenticity & Connection

You’re going to hear more in coming weeks about the upcoming blockbuster conference Dare to Overcome by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF). This short column will introduce one new feature of this year’s conference that we’re calling a “Human Library.”

The testimonials of attendees at previous RFBF conferences are fantastic and compelling. The speakers have been wonderfully qualified, deeply insightful and riveting. Also, many who attended in-person in 2020 were moved by what they learned from and the relationships they forged with other attendees, including people of varied faiths. Muslims and Jews, atheists and Baptists, Sikhs and Hindus, agnostics and Buddhists met, connected and engaged significantly on the topic of faith and life at work.

This year, we want to amplify opportunities for that kind of person-to-person connection. Our goal with the Human Library is to advance personal and authentic cross-faith, cross-cultural engagement. It’s a non-threatening way to learn and build bridges in a manner that follows the teachings of our respective faiths.

The 30-minute Human Library event will take place on the second day, after our speakers have sown a lot of thoughtful ideas. We’ll provide some suggested questions in advance for this interaction, including:

  1. (1) How does your faith relate to your personal identity – who you are?
  2. (2) What principles taught by your faith relate directly to the conduct of your work?
  3. (3) What does your faith teach about authority, teamwork, serving and work relationships?
  4. (4) Other relevant facts about the other’s faith, such as the meaning behind their main religious holidays, clothing, diet, schedule, etc.

If you’d like to suggest standard questions for this activity, we’d love to see them in advance! Contact In any case, feel free to explore any questions you have!

To help match participants, we’ll ask registrants to identify the top three religions/belief systems they’d most like to engage with, and we’ll do our best to accommodate those wishes. Multiple participants may be assigned together with a person of a particular faith; and some will be one to one. (We’re learning on the logistics of this; so bear with us.)

For these encounters, we ask that participants focus on learning. The human Library is not intended to be a forum for convincing others to convert. That said, we encourage participants to look for common ground, and not to shy away from learning about differences.

We won’t put anyone on the spot. If you’d just like to spectate in one of the sessions, tell us. If you’re pleased to share about your faith, tell us. In any case, this is entirely voluntary.

Email me at if you’d like to participate!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the conference!