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National Day of Prayer 2021

15 Apr, 2021

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation invites members of employee resource groups  (ERGs) from corporations across America to come together for the 2021 National Day of Prayer.

Prayers and meditations for our nation will be offered by members of faith-and-belief  ERGs from multiple faiths, including the major faiths in America as well as aiming to include a variety of faiths ranging from Native American prayers to Humanist reflections.

People from each faith tradition represented will pray in their fully authentic way, i.e., this is a multi-faith event bringing the richness of each faith’s identity for the common aim of praying for our nation.

To participate, register here

Corporate Partners for this event are welcome! Email with your company’s interest.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance on the first Thursday of May designated by the U.S. Congress, when people are asked to turn to God in prayer and meditation. On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a Congressional bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer be declared by each president at a date of his choice. On June 17, 1952, Pres. Truman issued a proclamation for the first Day of Prayer to be held on July 4, 1952. The law was later amended so the day would be on the first Thursday in May as it still continues.

Why Set Up Faith-Oriented Employee Resource Groups?

13 Apr, 2021

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

Part of the blog series, Authenticity & Connection


Faith-oriented ERGs provide terrific avenues for employees to connect with, to pray and worship with, and to draw inspiration and encouragement from people of like faith. By officially acknowledging faith as an integral part of diversity, a company sends a powerful message: That people of various faiths are valued for who they truly are. Employees need not go “under cover” with their particular faith. They can truly “be themselves” at work.

If this was all that faith-oriented ERGs accomplished, it’d be worth the effort. But there’s more. In nearly all companies, these ERGs also serve as significant bridge-builders — channels of connection and collaboration across faiths. They accomplish this unifying and reconciling role in ways that do not dilute or compromise participants’ personal commitments.

Both roles can be positively transformative.

One of the many terrific panels at the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s 2021 Faith@Work ERG Conference was entitled “Why set up an ERG? Because my colleagues’ beliefs matter to me.” Diverse speakers from SAP, PayPal and Dell Technologies shared how connections across religious traditions have enriched their work lives and helped them live out their respective faiths more authentically. Their personal stories and experience 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
  • — Reaching significant depth of mutual understanding
  • — Strengthening mutual respect, without compromising their own faith
  • — Transcending polarization
  • — Becoming better colleagues and better friends
  • — NOT feeling weird

Below you can watch the speakers speak firsthand about how it’s playing out in their companies.

Near the end of this panel discussion, it’s noted that the societal impact of these ERGs extends far beyond the companies’ walls. It reaches worldwide. This really MATTERS.

If your company hasn’t yet embraced faith as part of its diversity focus, consider prompting it. Those who have done this can help. The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is also a wealth of knowledge and experience. We hope you’ll consider it.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brian Grim named to Board of Advisors of Notre Dame Law School’s new Religious Liberty Initiative

13 Apr, 2021

Dr. Brian Grim, president and founder of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, has been named as a member of the Board of Advisors of the University of Notre Dame Law School’s new Religious Liberty Initiative. Grim will serve for a four-year term, through 2025, with the possibility of renewal.

G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School, invited Grim to join the Board of Advisors “as one of the foremost leaders on religious freedom and economics.”

As a Board of Advisors member, Grim will participate in the inaugural Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit, scheduled for June 28th-29th, 2021, at Notre Dame in Indiana. In 2022, the plan is for this Summit to be held in Rome, Italy, July 19th through 22nd, at the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway near the Colosseum. The following year, the aim is to hold the Summit in Jerusalem, at the Notre Dame Tantur Ecumenical Institute.

Notre Dame Law School launched the Religious Liberty Initiative in June 2020. The Initiative seeks to address threats to religious liberty in the United States and abroad, by promoting more religious liberty scholarship, coordinating events for thought leaders in this space, and launching a new Religious Liberty Clinic.

Stephanie Barclay, Associate Professor of Law, directs Notre Dame’s Religious Liberty Initiative. Through this program, students defend religious freedom for individuals of all faiths. Students advise clients outside of the courtroom, as well as pursue their claims in the trial courts and appeals up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brian Grim named to CVS Health Faith-based and Business Leaders Advisory Council

13 Apr, 2021

Dr. Brian Grim, president and founder of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, has been named as a member of the CVS Health Faith-based and Business Leaders Advisory Council. He will serve for a two-year term, through 2022.

The Advisory Council emerged as a CVS Health strategic priority to build a strong alliance of faith and business leaders to help advance the mission of their social justice and equity initiative. The Council will support vital actions that are needed to address social justice and equity issues related to health, workforce and education. CVS Health believes that a collaboration of diverse talents, shared values and purpose will revitalize and strengthen communities for the greater good of all.

The Advisory Council is comprised of faith and business leaders that represent the following key strategic areas:

• CVS Health Business Leaders • National Faith-based/Business Associations • National Religious Organizations • Local Congregations • Local Ecumenical or Interfaith Agencies • Charitable Aid Organizations • Seminaries and Higher Education • Hospitals and Health Foundations • Diverse Community Ministries

The role of the Advisory Board consists of information sharing and providing strategy, advocacy, problem-solving and feedback. CVS Health will undertake groundbreaking opportunities within the faith-based sector to reach underserved communities, train returning citizens and reduce health care disparities, with the assistance of this team’s guidance.

Faith-based Stakeholder Advisory Council Responsibilities include:

  • • Assist with building broad support and participation for the CVS Health Faith-based and Second Chance (SJE) Initiative.
  • • Build upon new directions and opportunities for Workforce, Education and Health programs within the underserved and disenfranchised communities.
  • • Address critical issues and help bridge the gap in services and support for vulnerable communities.
  • • Offer advice, counsel and insights into customizing programs to serve local congregations and Second Chance populations.
  • • Assist with collecting data through surveys, questionnaires and focus groups, etc., to define present needs in determining new opportunities. Respond to data and make recommendations.

A History of Faith Engagement

CVS Health has had faith partnerships through the years. For more on the rationale, watch the discussion by Olivia Lang, Director of Workforce Initiatives for CVS Health, who spoke as part of the panel discussion “Business Success in a Religiously Diverse World.” Mrs. Lang discussed how attention to religious diversity and inclusion within the company is also reflected in community business opportunities. The event was cosponsored by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), the Freedom Forum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center, and Tanenbaum (see video).

Danger! Danger! And HOPE!

10 Apr, 2021
by Kent Johnson, J.D., Senior Corporate Advisor, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation

Part of the blog series, Authenticity & Connection


Regardless of where you stand on the ideological or spiritual spectrum, “DANGER!” is the message you hear from your friends, your social media and your news outlets. And if you suggest that a particular danger is overstated, you risk being labeled “naïve,” or a “denier,” or a “traitor,” a “hater,” or something worse… and you risk getting cut off from your group. If your company speaks up on a particular social issue, it draws flak from the other side. If your company fails to take a public stand on the issue, it’s criticized for enabling an evil power structure by its silence. And what will happen to you if you express reservations about your company’s public stand? It all feels very dangerous.

But there’s hope.

Want a quick, simple answer that will yield harmony in every case? Sorry; not this week. But I will offer some hope. Kindly bear with me and extend to me the benefit of doubt for a few moments as you read this.

First, let’s talk about common ground. We at the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation have seen the following five core principles working well and harmoniously to unite diverse employees throughout the world. One might argue about the implications of these principles in given situations, but their core message is embraced by people across the spectrum of faith and belief. The following five basic principles form a solid starting point:

Digging deeper, in previous blog posts I’ve reflected on the following issues that relate to the fear of DANGER:

Let’s go a bit further today.

Many doubt that heartfelt connection can be achieved across ideological, racial, religious, and political divides in our workplaces. It seems that people on “the other side” only pretend to listen to our concerns; that they don’t really care about “people like us.” Having grown cynical about the possibility of warm, sincere connection in a diverse workforce, many have concluded that the only way to guard against infringement of their rights is by exercising power over those who are different.

Perhaps we’ve been egged on by our respective interest groups to distrust one another. Perhaps we’ve grown too arrogant and self-righteous to acknowledge that others’ concerns about us might have some merit. Perhaps those other people are really evil (though I hope we’ll be especially careful about making that judgment). In any case, these doubts and fears present a big problem in our workplaces.

Consider the implications of these doubts and fears going forward. Fact is, we’ll always have differences and diversity. Today’s trends point to greater workplace diversity going forward. Whenever we force others – against their will and beliefs – to behave and speak the way we want them to behave and speak, we multiply these doubts and fears. Unless we find ways to connect without forcing conformity, we’re headed for endless, bitter power struggles. We need to find a way to escape this downward spiral.

I suggest we approach this problem through pathways that are often sidestepped in the workplace.

Many people of diverse faiths, and atheists, affirm and welcome the possibility of heart transformation. They acknowledge not just that others might come to believe what they believe, but also that they themselves can be enlightened and transformed further so as to better worship their god, to better love their colleagues, and to better conform their own hearts and actions to divine will and to reality. They believe that a movement of the spirit can replace bias and hatred with genuine warmth; even that their own hearts may need turning. They see that a movement impelled by external force has the undesirable effect of stirring resentment and fortifying the walls that separate us.

Steps to Strengthen Culture

This belief in the possibility and preferability of heart transformation spurs some to take culture-strengthening steps:

Every day, our workplaces – including our virtual workplaces – provide a terrific platform for constructing community and connection. Every day, we can resist the many swirling currents of culture that would divide and influence us to fear one another. We can overcome these destructive currents, provided that we don’t require that our coworkers agree with us as a precondition to building a deeper relationship. This can happen step by step. It can be instigated unilaterally. It needs to happen every day. Person to person.

There’s common ground here. Step out in faith, take the risk of crossing over to connect with others, and stand amazed as your corporate culture is transformed for the better, not by force, but willingly, and by love. This is a profoundly spiritual movement. It’s happening all across the world even as you read this blog. We’ve seen it.

So do not fear. There is danger… but there is hope. Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

We all have something to say — so why don’t we allow each other to say it?

1 Apr, 2021

How do we improve our dialogue? Rethinking is a start

By Steven A. Hitz

Originally appeared in Deseret News on March 29, 2021. Steve Hitz is a co-founder of Launching Leaders Worldwide. Launching Leaders, a partner of Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, has engaged participants in 43 countries on six continents through a faith-based personal leadership curriculum which empowers participants everywhere.

In a world of many voices, many of them on high octane, it seems the silent space between dialogue no longer exists. You know, that space where you actually ponder to consider another’s opinion before defending your own? That space.

We live in a precarious culture, with a cry for diversity of opinion and a hope for union diametrically opposed, but both yearned for. Conversations of give-and-take, back-and-forth, much like a tennis match, have become a game of aces only. If you can’t serve an ace, you pack up your racket and go home. Or if your opponent serves an ace, you pack your racket and go home. What kind of a game would it be without all of the plays between aces? So much of the game is left on the court.

In regard to this culture of limiting voices, we ought to rethink a few truths. Let me explain using this analogy of painting. We need to be able to put paint on the canvas of our choosing, while everyone else observing our canvas waits to offer their opinion until our painting is complete. We can’t color our lives with just three colors and enjoy the diversity of opinion and life we all seek. If we don’t mix colors, we don’t get it right.

Imagine if we could all have a full pallet of colors to choose from, mix them up in our conversations, and not have others take away our brushes or paint mid-way through the rendering. How many masterpieces are left on the painter’s easel, never to be viewed in their full expression or intended outcome?

I recently observed two very prominent figures debate over Britain’s Royal Family—one an American and one a Brit—considering Prince Harry’s and Duchess Megan’s decision to move forward in a different direction. The debate was immediately after their interview on national television with Oprah Winfrey. One voice was espousing privilege, and another racism and political suppression. One argued royal norms of protocol should have been accepted while another sided with their choice to not be subject to those norms.

What fascinated me was not so much the content of the debate—-but the style of the debate. No screaming or abrupt ending to the conversation if it wasn’t going their way. In fact, the most impressive thing of all was at the conclusion of the debate when one of the parties said something like “I respect your view—in fact, I am siding with you after hearing you articulate the topic. I could never have understood my own opinions clearly without you helping to shape the narrative in a different way. You have won me over. Thank you for that.”

Wow! My wife and I had the same opportunity to debate the same topic. I totally changed my view after listening to her respectful disagreement with my opinion and offer her respectfully articulated differing opinion.

We all have something to say—so why don’t we allow each other to say it? Whether you believe Dr. Suess was a communist racist or a defender of anything but those things, we ought to be able to digest the argument and make our own opinions. This is a crucial element of freedom that is being threatened in our current lack of respectful dialogue—wherever we stand on the topics.

I wonder if most of us don’t yearn for the same objectives; safe shelter, provisions for our needs, belonging and purpose, and a sense of identity?

In order for us to achieve these objectives (assuming we all desire these same basic things), and since we are at a point of not considering the space of differing opinions, I suggest we learn how to “rethink.” Obviously, this is harder than one might assume. Otherwise, why would we have protests that turn into riots and folks pushing to cancel lived history as if it never happened?

In his great book titled Think Again, author Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at The Wharton School, offered three steps to consider:

(1) Develop the habit of rethinking

“Most of us take pride in our knowledge and expertise, and in staying true to our beliefs and opinions,” observes Grant. That makes sense in a stable world, where we get rewarded for having conviction in our ideas. The problem is that we live in a rapidly changing world, where we need to spend as much time rethinking as we do thinking.”

When we are challenged in our thinking, Grant says we slip into one of three modes: Preacher mode—you marshal arguments and deliver sermons to prove the other party wrong; Prosecutor mode—you try to highlight the flaws in the other person’s reasoning; or Politician mode—you attempt to win people over to your way of thinking (sometimes irrespective of the facts).

Grant emphasizes the fourth and most productive mode is to enter the Rethink mode – where you allow the facts to drive your conclusions, not your personal preferences. Not unlike scientific studies, which test a hypothesis to conclusive results, our rethinking mode can allow this type of free and unbiased thinking, though over time it may change.

(2) Always calibrate your confidence levels

Sometimes we can become blind to our blindness and not recognize we do have blind spots in our opinions. Sometimes its pride, or tradition, or “that’s just how it has always been” type of thinking that limits our opportunity to leave our perceived confidence levels to move to higher ground. In allowing ourselves to calibrate our confidence levels, we leave the armchair quarterback behind (where we second guess everyone else’s performance) and stop suffering from imposter syndrome (where we present our confidence as if reflected by everyone else). Most importantly, Grant says, our recalibration of our confidence allows us to foster humble confidence, which is key to rethinking our opinions.

(3) Actively invite others to question your ideas

I’m an author, and asking my editing team to sift through every word I write is painful. While the editing process is painful, it has caused me to bury my pride and to realize that rethinking what I have written will eventually allow my true opinions to be further developed and articulated in a much better way. It allows readers to rethink also and to imagine differently. Rethinking allowed the Wright brothers to move from bicycle makers to flying the first airplane. It was painful for them to confront each other and question each other’s ideas. We need to remember that those who challenge our ideas are not our enemies and invite others to question our ideas and assumptions.

I believe we can shine light on our shared desires by embracing the opinions of others in a healthy way. We can play the entire game of life, and not walk away when either receiving or giving served “aces.” We can create masterpieces, allowing all colors to mix and bless the pictures we see. We can reestablish the sacred “silent space,” pondering before reacting. We can hone the skills of rethinking which allow others to either change our opinions or use this process to allow our original opinions to settle upon us. We can thank those who have challenged us for fostering the environment which allows us to either change or stay the same—with dignity.

The Destructiveness of Distrust – And How Religious Freedom Can Help

31 Mar, 2021

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

Part of the blog series, Authenticity & Connection


Distrust eviscerates our companies’ efficiency and profitability; but its most damaging effects are in the way it tears at the hearts and souls of people. Faith and belief has much to offer to address the destructiveness of distrust.

We worry:

  • — Did our suppliers exaggerate the capabilities of their offerings? Will they cheat us when it seems they can get away with it?

  • — Did our coworkers cut corners when nobody was looking? Will they unfairly criticize our work or grab unwarranted credit for our labor in order to advance their own standing?

  • — Are our leaders and colleagues influenced more by their biases and self-interest than by facts and principles of fairness?

To be sure, distrust is sometimes founded on concerns about facts such as a company’s lack of knowledge or ability to perform. But, very often, distrust relates to matters of the heart… (indeed – bear with me – matters that are profoundly spiritual). Distrust is often founded on a fear or presumption that “they” don’t really care about “me.” They don’t care that their missteps might cause trouble for others. Consequently, I can’t count on them to fix things that may go wrong, and I worry that they may renege on their commitments, or that they’ll take unfair advantage of my dependence on them when they can get away with doing so.

The tenets of our employees’ faiths and core beliefs provide a rich trove of wisdom and motivation for earning and recovering trust. This blog installment provides just a cursory sampling of some of that wisdom. Much, much more can be said.

Princeton’s David W. Miller, PhD and Michael J. Thate, PhD recently published a thought-provoking and practical piece – “Towards a Restoration of Trust” – which spotlights 11 themes from the “Abrahamic” faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. [I’d submit that similar themes can be found in nearly all religions.] They wrestled with the question: “Can a company restore trust with its customers, regulators, and other stakeholders— especially if the organization has a product that has caused damage and a checkered history that is etched in people’s minds and experiences?”

Five of the faith-related themes Miller and Thate identified are bolded below. (I’ve added emphasis and a few concise reflections for our purposes). Their entire article is worth reading.

  1. (1) “Practices of transparency which enact and communicate system-wide contrition while also inviting offended parties back into relationship.” Humble, sincere and open acknowledgement of mistakes and wrongdoing is a strong step toward reconciliation and trust. This envisions a corporate culture that encourages both corporate and personal turning from past errant behavior, and commitment going forward to act differently and to be different in the future.

  2. (2) “Practices of care for self and other.” This theme echoes the principle, shared by nearly all faiths, that it is “right” to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated.

  3. (3) “… a move away from a contractual mindset toward a covenantal mindset.” This theme highlights the benefits when trustworthy behaviors are motivated by heartfelt values and beliefs, and not motivated solely by pressure to conform to externally-imposed rules.

  4. (4) “Honesty about an institution’s ideals.” In this, the writers advocate a purposeful effort to shape corporate culture so that it transparently articulates its core ideals, consistently seeks to conform their behaviors to those ideals, and rejects hypocrisy of all kinds.

  5. (5) “…account[ing] for institutional and personal fallibility. This point reflects on the need – acknowledged by many faiths – for deep institutional and personal humility; and for means of accountability and appropriate forgiveness.

As a compliance lawyer, I often reflect on what it would take for an organization to earn and keep trust after a “fall,” whether it takes the form of fraud, or neglect, or any other act or omission involving moral turpitude. Clearly, a reputation for trustworthiness is not achieved merely by managing an organization’s public “image.” It’s more than making the company look good. In the short term, perhaps a reputation can be buffed up by a public relations campaign… but without something deeper, the “image fix” inevitably falters. True trustworthiness is a profoundly personal and spiritual matter.

The world yearns for business relationships characterized by deep trust; for employees and leaders who can be relied upon to do the right thing when nobody’s looking; for business partners they can count on when difficulties arise; for organizations and people who truly care about the needs of their customers and other stakeholders.

No organization is perfect. We all need a way to recover lost trust. Our diverse faith traditions – and the core values of atheists – have much to offer on this topic, if only we will open the door for them to speak… and if only we will listen to one another. We at the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation hope you will open that door to dialogue about faith and belief; and in so doing, that you will help address the world’s dire need for authenticity, connection and trustworthiness.

It’s possible to overcome distrust. It’s happening. Come on board.

Can women succeed where men cannot?

31 Mar, 2021

Yes, women are simultaneously advancing religious freedom and women’s empowerment

The power women bring to advancing freedom of religion, belief and conscience worldwide is part of the game-changing initiatives that RFBF supports. This ranges from the new women-led campaign to address modern-day genocide and religion-related crimes against humanity, to our ongoing partnership with Empower Women Media.

For a glimpse into this power, check out CT’s latest article featuring the work of Shirin Taber and colleagues at Empower Women Media. Also, check out the piece RFBF’s Brian Grim co-authored with Jo Anne Lyons for the World Economic Forum on how Religious Freedom Empowers Women.

Also see award-winning film Long Road to Freedom by Mariya Dostzadah Goodbrake (Afghanistan and US), which took the grand prize in our 2020 Empower Women Film Competition for the best live action short film. District 18 by Maral Karee (Iran and Canada) claimed grand prize for the best animated short film.

 

Dare to Overcome award from American Airlines goes to Justin Greene, Accenture Federal Services

25 Mar, 2021

IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Washington DC, Dallas TX)

American Airlines awards two round trip business class American Airlines tickets to attend Dare to Overcome, Tokyo, Japan, to Justin Greene, Accenture’s Membership Lead for their U.S. Persons with Disability (PwD) Employee Resource Group (ERG).

At the 2021 Faith@Work Conference, Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at American Airlines, announced two business class American Airlines tickets to Dare to Overcome in Tokyo would be given to a person at one of the conference companies based on a nomination of a colleague from the company with a disability.


American Airlines is the official airline of Dare to Overcome, a Global Faith-and-Belief Oriented ERG festival in support of peace and people with disabilities, held in tandem with the Paralympic Games. At American Airlines, their purpose is to care for people on life’s journey – a mission that extends beyond the airline and into the communities they serve.


Dacia Cross, the head of Accenture Federal Services’ Interfaith ERG in San Antonio, TX, nominated her colleague, Justin Greene, for the award.

“I cannot be more proud at this moment, on the behalf of 100,000 American Airlines Employees, to present this to you … truly a model of someone who lives out what it looks like to dare to overcome,” said Fr. Greg McBrayer, Chief Flight Controller for American Airlines, who also serves as a Corporate Chaplain and the Global Lead of the Christian Employees Business Resource Group (CEBRG) at American Airlines.

Justin epitomizes the spirit the global event that celebrates how people with disabilities are not disabled, but instead have different, unique abilities, as Justin so powerfully shares in his acceptance speech.

“We are looking forward to Justin sharing his experiences with the Abilities communities in Japan during Dare to Overcome to be held this August on the eve of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo,” said Brian Grim, Global Chairman of Dare to Overcome and president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. The event will be in-person and virtual so that people and employee resource groups worldwide can participate.

Awards Ceremony for Justin Greene

Dare To Overcome: Accenture Federal Services (AFS) Nominee, Justin Greene

Nominated by Dacia D. Cross, AFS Proposal Resource Center | PRC Lead

Justin is a member of my team who has several disabilities: narcolepsy, dyslexia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and suffers from Peripheral Neuropathy.

He has been a major advocate in the inclusion and diversity community at Accenture. He began the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) Employee Resource Group (ERG) for the Accenture office in Washington DC in 2012. He currently leads membership efforts for the national PwD ERG, growing the group from 400 to close to 2,000 members across the U.S. today. He has spoken as a panelist, representing the Narcolepsy community, at the FDA in 2012. He was also a speaker at the Association of Proposal Management Professionals’ (APMP) annual conference in 2016, speaking to businesses and encouraging them to hire people with disabilities.

Justin is also one of the most inclusive and caring managers on my team. He understands that people matter, and he is the servant leader that I can depend on when I have an employee that needs additional supports and careful coaching.

The most compelling thing about Justin is his life journey. He was abandoned by his single mother at age 15 and stayed with friends to finish high school. He went to college, but then symptoms of narcolepsy began to interfere with his education. He had to drop out to join the U.S. Army and was medically discharged three years later because of his disabilities. At each point, he could have given in or given up, but he didn’t. Even today, he is back in school to finish the degree that he started 15 years ago.

Back in May of 2009, Justin joined Accenture as he was learning to cope with his conditions and learning disabilities. Over time, he learned what worked, he spoke up for others like him, he started support groups, and even last week he spoke to our COO about using the pandemic as an opportunity to justify remote work for people with disabilities because he sees the silver lining that can make a real difference in the world.

I would like to nominate Justin Greene because “Dare to Overcome” is what he is great at, not only for himself, but for those around him too. Thank you for your consideration of this incredible employee!

Call for businesses to raise awareness of modern-day genocide

24 Mar, 2021

The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is launching a new campaign to address modern-day genocide and religion-related crimes against humanity, focusing on ways that business can help in recovery and prevention.

To begin, take a minute to hear Hewan Omer, the Free Yezidi Foundation’s Iraq country director, summarize the ongoing humanitarian crisis resulting from the 2014 ISIS genocidal atrocities, which included openly selling young Yezidi women in markets as sex slaves.

RFBF is responding in two ways:

First, we are calling on businesses to raise awareness of modern-day genocide by hosting a virtual conversation with Hewan Omer and Ms. Pari Ibrahim, the Free Yezidi Foundation’s founder and executive director, to learn about their Enterprise Training Center for women to be opened this summer.

Second, RFBF will auction Yezidi Spring, an original oil-on-canvas painting by Melissa-Malika*, with 100% of proceeds going to support the Free Yezidi Foundation’s Enterprise Training Center in Khanke, Iraq. We already have an opening bid of $1000.

If you, your business or organization is interested in either of these opportunities, please let me know ASAP by email.

Brian Grim, Ph.D.
RFBF President


* Melissa-Malika aka Melissa Grim, J.D., is an RFBF senior research fellow and artist. Malika is her Uyghur name which she received when growing up in Xinjiang, China, as well as in Kazakhstan, shortly before and after the fall of the former U.S.S.R.

Yezidi Spring

Learn more about the Free Yezidi Foundation here. You can also download the Free Yezidi Foundation Major Gifts Brochure, visit their website, or email Jason Osequeda, partnership director.


Genocide, UN Definition