Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Monthly Archives: July 2022

From the Vatican to American Airlines

30 Jul, 2022

By Brian Grim, RFBF President

Last week, I had meetings with two different sections at the Vatican. The first was with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. We discussed corporate efforts to combat human trafficking and the release of the 5th ed. of their pivotal document, Vocation of the Business Leader.

The Vocation of the Business Leader is a 32-page “vademecum” (handbook) addressed to entrepreneurs and business leaders, in their daily commitment to integrating faith and work, and to professors in their formative moments in schools and universities.

The second meeting was with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary of Relations with the States (Vatican’s international relations). We had a terrific discussion of the global work of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

As soon as I returned from Rome, I had meetings at American Airlines with Senior Vice President Thomas Rajan, Chief Diversity Officer Cedric Rockamore, and Chief Flight Controller & Company Chaplain Rev. Greg McBrayer discussing how their mission to care for people on life’s journey (including chaplaincy) is what makes them #1 on the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s Corporate 2022 REDI Index.

You can read more here:

Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection, 5th ed.

Beginning the Day at American Airlines

Beginning the Day at American Airlines

30 Jul, 2022

By Brian J. Grim, Ph.D. This is part of our ongoing blog series, Authenticity & Connection.

I just had the opportunity to spend the day with Fr. Greg McBrayer at American Airlines Skyview headquarters, just down the road from DFW Airport. Fr. Greg is a chief flight controller and a chaplain at the airline. He’s also global lead for their Christian Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG).

I’d just come from the Vatican, where I had meetings with two different sections. One, which I’ve worked with through the years, is the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which produced the pivotal document, Vocation of the Business Leader.

American Airlines, from my perspective, is a company that is putting to practice some of the core principles from that document, including the concept of a “company of persons”:

“The Six Practical Principles for Business in the Vocation of the Business Leader point to the purpose of business, which John Paul stated “is not simply to make a profit, but is to be found in its very existence as a community of persons who in various ways are endeavoring to satisfy their basic needs, and who form a particular group at the service of the whole of society”. While the phrase “community of persons” is not common in business literature today, it actually best expresses the full realization of what a company and corporation can be.

The etymology of the words “company” and “companions”—cum (with), and panis (bread)—suggests “breaking bread together”. The etymology of the word “corporation”—the Latin corpus (body)—suggests a group of people “united in one body”. This is the ideal when relatives join together in a family business. And reflecting the love that wants every family member to flourish, family business leaders might tailor work opportunities to marginalized and disadvantaged groups.”

In the video below, see the breadth of the faiths active across American Airlines forming a “community of persons,” beginning with how the Christian Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) leader at American Airlines begins his day with his Muslim colleague.

Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection, 5th ed.

29 Jul, 2022

The Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection, initially published by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (which merged into the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, since August 2016), is a 32-page vademecum addressed to entrepreneurs and business leaders, in their daily commitment to integrating faith and work, and to professors in their formative moments in schools and universities.

The publication the Vocation of the Business Leader has its origin in the international seminar “Caritas in Veritate: The logic of Gift and the Meaning of Business”, held in Rome, from 24 to 26 February 2011, in the presence of entrepreneurs and scholars (with key input by the University of St. Thomas). On that occasion, the participants in the seminar decided to draw up a guide, intended for entrepreneurs as well as business teachers, which would highlight the important role of the vocation for the entrepreneur in the context of the current globalized economy, as well as the contribution of the fundamental principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church to the organization of modern business activities.

The best-selling book has already been translated and published in 15 languages, including Chinese.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has re-published it in a 5th edition that presents some of the teachings of Pope Francis that are particularly relevant to business, especially in Laudato Si’. The 5th edition text is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese.

Authentic Connections: Bringing my faith and beliefs to my workplace

27 Jul, 2022

At noon ET on August 4, join us for a tremendous opportunity to connect meaningfully with people of various faiths and beliefs in a Zoom-based discussion.

The following attendees have volunteered to serve as discussion leaders in the Zoom breakout sessions.

  • — Atheists & Agnostics: Julia Gratcheva, Intel
  • — Baha’i: Jenna Nicolas, Impact Experience
  • — Buddhist: Thong Yian Nee, Dell Technologies
  • — Christian: Barbara Phillips, Google, & Yvonne Lane, American Airlines
  • — Catholic: Brian Grim, RFBF (formerly Pew Research Center)
  • — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: King Husein, Span Construction & Engineering
  • — Friends of Bill (AA): Melissa Grim, RFBF
  • — Hindu: Milind Makwana; Bhawna Saxena, PayPal
  • — Jewish: Naomi Kraus, Google
  • — Muslim: Hadi Sharifi, Intel
  • — Protestant/Presbyterian: Kent Johnson, RFBF (formerly Texas Instruments)
  • — Scientology: Marsie Sweetland, Equinix
  • — Sikh: Neetu Dhaliwal; Harpreet Dhindsa, PayPal

We’d suggest the following questions; but each “room” will be free to chart its own path:

  1. (1) How does your faith relate to your personal identity – who you are?
  2. (2) What principles taught by your faith relate 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.

We hope many of you will join us for these respectful conversations, as we continue to promote meaningful, authentic connections.

Register for the Zoom event today.

Tokyo: Dare to Overcome Aug. 27

20 Jul, 2022

Outline of DTO Japan Conference
Target: Corporations, organizations, businesspeople, and future leaders (including students)
Purpose of the conference: To highlight global issues of interest to working people and teams
To improve productivity and solve social issues by shedding light on global themes of interest to workers and teams.
Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 13:00 ~ 17:00
Venue: International Conference Hall, Yotsuya Campus, Sophia University (Building 2, 17th floor)
Speakers and Lecture Topics

1. Human Trafficking/strong>

Masako Tanaka
Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University
Why is the technical internship system criticized as human trafficking?
Reproductive Health and Rights of Migrant Women

2. People with disabilities Employment Situation

Hiroyasu Ito
Chairman of NPO Japan Abilities
NPO Japan Abilities Association
Activities aimed at the realization of a symbiotic society: Introducing the practice and current status of our activities to realize a symbiotic society

3. You are unique. Introduction of Employee Resource Group (ERG), a U.S. company

Justin Green
Accenture, U.S.A.
Leader of ERG for people with disabilities
Aiming for a society in which each individual can play an active role as a unique individual 〜 Introduction of ERG in a U.S. company

4. Leveraging Diversity – The Future of Business Environments

Dr. Brian Grim
Dare to Overcome International – Global Chair
President, Religious Freedom Business Foundation

Diverse Business Environments Are Expanding Around the World: Understanding the nature and benefits of diversity

Registration is free of charge, but the number of participants is limited, so please register by clicking on the link below.

Rome: Notre Dame Religious Liberty Initiative

20 Jul, 2022

by Brian Grim, Ph.D.

Rome: Yesterday, I was able to share about the amazing religious inclusion movement within Fortune 500 companies as a member of the Religious Liberty Initiative (RLI) Advisory Board. Established in 2020, Notre Dame Law School’s Religious Liberty Initiative promotes religious freedom for people of all faiths through scholarship, events, and the Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic.

Today begins the second annual Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit, a gathering of the foremost thought leaders on religious liberty. The summit stimulates engaging conversations between scholars, advocates, and religious leaders about the future of religious liberty in the United States and around the world.

The inaugural Religious Liberty Summit was held in 2021 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The second Religious Liberty Summit will be held from July 20-22, 2022, in Rome, Italy.

Each year during the summit, one individual is honored with the Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty in recognition of achievement in preserving religious liberty.

Click for 2022 Religious Liberty Summit Schedule

Selected sessions will be recorded and available to watch on the Law School’s YouTube channel.

How Can Modern-Day Human Trafficking Be Stopped?

13 Jul, 2022

Summary by Alessio Atria

More people are being enslaved nowadays than at any other point in time, mainly since those who aren’t enslaved are oblivious to the existence of human trafficking. The presentation  above suggests that disrupting the cycle of human trafficking will end it altogether.

Bill Clark, A21’s Chief Advancement Officer, shared a presentation explaining how human trafficking can end and how corporations could help during the opening opening plenary of Dare to Overcome, the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s annual faith@work conference, May 23-25, 2022.

The current estimated number of enslaved people is tens of millions, with the largest estimate being 40 million. 

6 million Ukrainian women and children, huge targets for trafficking, have moved into neighboring countries while the men stay and fight in the ongoing war with Russia.

The cycle of human trafficking suggests that vulnerable people, if left unprotected, end up being exploited. Unless these people receive care after escaping these circumstances, they might be re-victimized and the cycle repeats.

In order to protect Ukrainian refugees, A21 handed out flyers in refugee shelters explaining to refugees what human trafficking looks like and what numbers to call. In partnering up with Clear Channel, A21 received 89 human trafficking-related billboards and placed them throughout Poland, thereby having A21 reach 1.4 million people. A21 runs hotlines to identify victims, works with law enforcement to rescue victims, and runs an aftercare program to protect survivors from re-victimization. 

By getting 1% of the world population, i.e., 8 billion people, to care and do something about human trafficking, the amount of advocates would be twice as many people enslaved. 80 million advocates and 2.3 million businesses, or 1% of corporations, could end human trafficking together. Right now, there are probably 2 or 3 million people fighting against it.

To reach 80 million people and inform them about human trafficking, employers must engage every employee as they have networks of connections. If companies engage customers from various areas of the world, then working through networks will allow them to quickly reach many people.

A21 created a safe relationship guide teaching folks to avoid relational tricks. They also made guides for parents teaching them to protect their children from online trafficking by explaining the dangers to them.

This organization has an hour-long global broadcast giving lessons on human trafficking. They also have an event taking place in 500 communities in 50 countries called Walk For Freedom where volunteers give out flyers and warn people that human trafficking is happening in their communities.

There was no organized work to fight human trafficking, until probably the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. The people currently making progress are pioneers, not replicators, of something done before. Groups like Dell Technologies’ Interfaith ERG are the innovators making a difference!

Dell Technologies Interfaith ERG received the A21 Catalyst Award for leading the charge in combatting human trafficking. The Award was presented in Washington DC by A21 on the opening day of Dare to Overcome, the religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s annual faith-and-belief national employee resource group (ERG) conference. The conference is held in partnership with the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America.

Dell Technologies’ Initiative for Freedom to End Human Trafficking

13 Jul, 2022

Summary by Alessio Atria

The fight against human trafficking, being spearheaded by DELL Technologies’ Interfaith ERG, is fight that touches everyone because human traffickers target the vulnerable, regardless of faith, creed, orientation, ability or any other identity. The candid discussion at the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s 2022 Dare to Overcome shows the progress Dell Technologies’ “Initiative for Freedom” has made in effectively combatting human trafficking, inspiring other companies at the conference to start a similar initiative.

The candid discussion focusing on the origins of Dell Technologies’ Initiative for Freedom was led by Alicia Malboef, the Chief of Staff of Enterprise Architecture at Dell Technologies and Glenda Cameron, the Escalation Manager at Dell Technologies. Shawn Trotter, Vice President of the North America Commercial Channel for Dell Technologies, Josh Gamboa, the Channel Sales Senior Consultant of Dell Technologies, and Steve Helms, the Alliances Account Executive for Dell Technologies also led this discussion. It occurred during the opening plenary of Dare to Overcome, the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s annual faith@work conference, May 23-25, 2022.

This initiative focused on spreading awareness of human trafficking in order to combat it. The Initiative did so by equipping Dell employees and helping them understand the risk, identify the risk, and reduce the risk of it ever happening again. 

They aligned with the NGO A21 because their goal is to end slavery everywhere forever.

The Initiative is led by Dell’s Interfaith employee resource group (ERG). They have multi-faith events several times a year around loving one’s neighbor, community involvement, and ways to give back to others. They feel it is important to show that if people from different faiths can come together for a common cause, then so can everyone else.

The Dell employees starting the Initiative for Freedom knew that because they were new and small, their voice was also small. The Initiative’s leaders talked to friends in different employee resource groups and asked them to join the Initiative as they should all be one voice.

A21 helped out by sharing videos and talking about the fact that human trafficking is happening closer than people think. Whenever A21 shows up to the Initiative for Freedom’s events and shares their story and their collateral about human trafficking, Dell’s Interfaith ERG reports that it motivates everyone wants to join the fight.

By working with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation at Dare to Overcome, the Initiative amplified their message about combatting human trafficking, including building connections with other companies also interested in getting involved, such as the Ford Motor Company.

Employee resource groups usually each have one specific group of people as members, but this initiative included everybody from across all Dell’s ERGs. Pan-employee resource groups are a big deal for those in the faith community as they want to be light and want people to see the love they are bringing to the table.


  • — The A21 videos showing how human trafficking is happening everywhere were so emotionally impactful that Dell technologies employees teared up as they watched them.
  • — One does not need to be an expert on human trafficking in order to successfully fight against it, especially since, thanks to social media, warning people online that human trafficking can happen anywhere keeps thousands of people informed.

Why Should Companies Acknowledge the Faiths of Their Employees?

9 Jul, 2022

Summary by Alessio Atria

Problem: Employees are quitting their jobs due to feeling undervalued, possibly since the companies they work for do not consider how important faith is to them.

Solution: The Intel Corporation’s Craig Carter shows (in the “Love Works” video below) that when companies have cross-faith groups that offer love, excitement, equality, and commonality, employees feel valued and companies benefit. Presented at the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s 2022 Dare to Overcome conference at The Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business in Washington DC.

According to Pew Research, 84% of Americans either claim to have a religious background or identify as atheists or agnostics. Faith does not matter to the other 16%.

Pew Research determined that the amount of people from all around the world affiliated with faiths, except for atheism or agnosticism, may increase from 83% in 2010 to 87% in 2050.

84% of black people, according to Pew Research, view their faiths as significant. The same goes for 70% of women, 68% of hispanic people, 62% of white people, and 60% of men.

By respecting the faith of employees, leaders could create an authentic culture within their companies and, according to a Harvard Business Review, receive 50% higher performance from their teams. Employees could express 76% higher engagement, 106% more energy, 74% less stress, and 29% higher life satisfaction.

One reason why roughly 20% of companies have faith groups and 80% do not is because the creation of faith groups is something they have never done before and, therefore, they probably should not do it. Some might worry that creating faith groups involves proselytizing, i.e., aggressively forcing one’s own religious views onto others. Company leaders may also be unable to identify with people who take faith seriously since they either do not really care about faith or they had a bad experience with it.

It is hard for some companies to recruit people, so they need to become the companies that people want to work for by allowing their employees to be in a more inclusive working environment.

One of the reasons companies retain employees is because of faith-based groups. The faith-based groups at Intel are known to save people from suicide by talking to them.

The factories where Intel’s server chips are built cost between 10 and 20 billion dollars. Intel makes very complex products that require all employees actively to brainstorm and debate to achieve the best solution. By encouraging employees to bring their whole selves to work, this helps Intel succeed.

Hope in humility: The next frontier for freedom

6 Jul, 2022

The guiding philosophy of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is captured most beautifully in The Humble Approach: Scientists Discover God by Sir John Templeton. A humble approach not only allows us to open new doors for discovery, but it also builds bridges of “religious freedom for all” into new sectors, such as business.

Here are a few quotes from Sir John’s book. Although originally published in 1981, they are as hopeful and relevant today as they were then.

“The future lies before us like a vast wilderness of unexplored reality. The God who created and sustained His evolving universe through eons of progress and development has not placed our generation at the tag end of the creative process. He has placed us at a new beginning. We are here for the future.”

“In fact, humility is the key to progress. Without it we will be too self-satisfied with past glories to launch boldly into the challenges ahead. Without humility we will not be wide-eyed and open-minded enough to discover new areas for research. If we are not as humble as children, we may be unable to admit mistakes, seek advice, and try again. The humble approach is for all of us who are concerned about the future of our civilization and the role we are to play in it. It is an approach for all of us who are not satisfied to let things drift and who want to channel our creative restlessness toward helping to build the kingdom of God.”

“It is also in humility that we learn from each other, for it makes us open to each other and ready to see things from the other’s point of view and share ours with him freely. It is by humility that we avoid the sins of pride and intolerance and avoid all religious strife.”

“This book explores the possibility that humility in man’s understanding of God may be more fruitful than the formal systems of thought which we have inherited, whether they be theistic, pantheistic, or panentheistic. Gradually we may learn to love every one of God’s children and be grateful for an increasingly rich diversity of thought emanating from research and worship in every land. One of the purposes of this book is to examine and foster the idea that through a humble approach in knowledge in which we are open-minded and willing to experiment, theology may produce positive results even more amazing than the discoveries of scientists which have electrified the world in this last century.”

“Things are not what they seem. Sometimes phenomena which appear real to us are actually hoaxes perpetrated by our lack of knowledge and limited senses. For example, until five hundred years ago it was assumed that lying in bed was a relatively motionless experience. This seemed an obvious fact to anyone who had ever done it. But Copernicus’ discovery that the earth and the planets move around the sun implied that because the earth rotates, a person sleeping in bed moves eastward at one thousand miles an hour. The sleeper also flies one thousand and eighty miles a minute in another direction due to the earth’s revolution around the sun. Just a few years ago the rotation of the Milky Way was measured, indicating that our solar system is moving at one hundred and sixty-two miles per second in yet a third direction. Also, in 1977, Ames Research Center in California computed that our galaxy is speeding away from the original point of the big bang at four hundred miles per second toward a spot in the sky near the Constellation Hydra. So a sleeper may seem to be motionless, but in reality he or she has traveled a distance greater than that to the farthest point on earth, in more than four directions at once, and in less time than it took to read this page.”

“This is the Humble Approach: to assume a realistic attitude before the Creator and admit that we are not the center of the universe. The sun does not revolve around us. Our five human senses are able to comprehend only a small portion of the mysteries, forces, and spiritual realities surrounding us. Egotism has been a major cause of many mistaken notions in the past. Egotism caused men to think that the stars and the sun revolved around them. Egotism caused men to think that mankind was as old as the universe. Egotism is still our worst enemy. In fact, things are still not what they seem. Only by becoming humble can we learn more. Forces still undreamed of are probably present around us and in us. And more revelations about God’s universe will probably be discovered in the next century than in all the millenniums before. Those who believe only what they see are hopelessly self-centered and lacking in humility.”

Source: Templeton, John Marks. The Humble Approach Rev Ed . Templeton Press. Kindle Edition.