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Launch of new resources to help companies embrace religious diversity

Executive trainings and new index prepare executives for next D&I challenge

WASHINGTON — The Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute (Religious Freedom Center) and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (Tanenbaum) today jointly launched a cutting-edge executive training for mid-level corporate executives by RFBF and the Religious Freedom Center, and a groundbreaking Corporate Religious Diversity Assessment by Tanenbaum and RFBF. Both resources are designed to help companies improve the bottom line by addressing religion at work, and both were piloted with major corporations before being made available to companies across the nation and world today.

“Studies show that the most successful businesses enable employees to bring their full self to work,” RFBF’s president Brian Grim notes. “When employees are comfortable, willing, and able to talk about what is important to them, including their religious beliefs and practices, employers’ benefit.”

In-House Executive Education

RFBF and the Religious Freedom Center are unveiling full and half-day executive seminars and trainings to educate mid-level business leaders on how religion at work impacts the bottom line. Developed by expert faculty, the seminars train participants to understand the positive relationship between religious diversity, inclusion and liberty, and business strategy, talent retention and economic growth.

Kristen Farrington, executive director of the Religious Freedom Center, explains: “Businesses thrive when they’re inclusive and their employees have diverse backgrounds and life experiences, but religious diversity is often undervalued. Our executive training prepares business leaders to navigate these issues so they can create religiously inclusive policies and workplaces where religious diversity is respected.”

Real Measurement Using Corporate Religious Diversity Assessment (CRDA)

To provide clear guidelines and measures of success for global corporations to take action, Tanenbaum and RFBF today launched the Corporate Religious Diversity Assessment (CRDA). The CRDA was inspired by RFBF’s 2016 global Corporate Pledge on Religious Diversity & Inclusion and reflects Tanenbaum’s two decades of work on religion in companies.

It offers global companies a framework for self-evaluation of their current and ongoing religious diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The CRDA evaluation covers four overarching criteria: religious discrimination and harassment; religious accommodation; promoting business goals with freedom of religion and belief; and accommodating religious or belief freedom in society.

Mark Fowler, Tanenbaum’s Deputy CEO and leader of its global Corporate Membership program, explains how the CRDA breaks new ground. “Though more and more companies are addressing religion, the subject is often still taboo. The CRDA provides an answer, with a hands-on approach for tackling religion. By self-assessing, corporate leaders will be able to identify realistic action steps and then reap the benefits.”

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For more information regarding the trainings, please contact Erin Shellenberger (202-292-6372 or [email protected]) of Religious Freedom Center.

For more information or to request a review of the CRDA, please contact Dasha Tanner (212-967-7707 or [email protected]) of Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding.

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