Future of Religion and Diplomacy

Events

Feb
13
Wed
Business Success in a Religiously Diverse World @ Knight TV Studio
Feb 13 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Corporate Religious Diversity & Inclusion Training

Studies demonstrate that employees who can bring their "whole selves" to the workplace perform better in many bottom line key indicator areas. Bringing one’s whole self includes religious identity. Many companies, however, are struggling to navigate religion and beliefs at work.

In fact, 36 percent of American workers — approximately 50 million people — have experienced or witnessed religious discrimination in the workplace, with religious majorities, minorities and non-religious employees all reporting this experience. This has direct impact on employee and company performance. Additionally, while companies have rightly paid significant attention to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, workplace religious discrimination complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) outnumber sexual orientation complaints two-to-one.

Addressing religion and belief in the workplace is the next big focus. Join us Wednesday, Feb. 13 for an in-depth discussion of workplace religion and beliefs and an introduction to resources to help organizations large and small design successful policies and procedures for honoring religion in the workplace.

Panelists:

  • Sumreen Ahmad, global change management lead and interfaith lead, Accenture;
  • Mark E. Fowler, deputy CEO, Tanenbaum;
  • Kent Johnson, senior corporate adviser of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) and former senior counsel at Texas Instruments;
  • Paul Lambert, assistant dean, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University;
  • Olivia Lang, director of workforce initiatives, CVS Health;
  • Moderator – Dr. Brian Grim, president, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

This panel discussion will include top business leaders speaking in support of workplace religious diversity and inclusion (RDI). Leaders will provide a business case for why RDI helps bottom lines and outline best practices being implemented in workplaces to facilitate religious expression and engagement at work.

The program will also feature the soft launch of the Corporate Religious Diversity Assessment, an internal, qualitative assessment tool created in partnership by Tanenbaum and the RFBF. Until now, there has been no public tool for companies to specifically measure the success of their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as they relate to religion. Inspired by the framework of the RFBF’s Corporate Pledge, the CRDA provides a solid framework for businesses and organizations to evaluate their religious DEI efforts on a global scale, and then identify and initiate next steps in their DEI journey.

 

Mar
29
Fri
Religious Literacy in Public Schools: What to Teach and How (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center
Mar 29 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am
This program has been cancelled.

The Religious Freedom Center and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) invite you to join a panel of experts for a timely discussion about the role of religious studies in the public school curriculum. What is religious literacy and why is it essential for citizenship in a religiously diverse society and world? The event celebrates the publication of “Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom,” an invaluable new resource from NCSS.

Book description

The study of religion is essential for understanding the past and present, and critical for global citizenship in a religiously diverse country and world. This book provides advice, recommendations, and resources to help social studies educators know what to teach about religion and how to do it.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that teaching about religion is constitutional in public schools, as long as the approach is academic, not devotional. The contributors to this book offer guidelines for classroom instruction that is both constitutionally and academically sound. They clarify the First Amendment issues that impact teachers and schools, and emphasize that the study of religion in schools is an essential part of a good education.

The authors explore the diversity of religious traditions and suggest ways of teaching about them objectively, especially through creative pedagogies that engage students actively and offer them a more profound understanding of these traditions than many textbooks provide. This invaluable book will help teachers promote knowledge and understanding in the place of stereotypes as they advance religious literacy among their students.

Panelists

  • Ben Marcus, religious literacy specialist of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Charles Haynes, founding director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Kristen Farrington, executive director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Scott Abbott, director of social studies, D.C. Public Schools
  • Susan Douglas, education outreach coordinator at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University
 
Ben Marcus Charles C. Haynes Kristen Looney Scott Abbott Susan Douglas
Benjamin P. Marcus Charles C. Haynes Kristen Farrington Scott Abbott Susan Douglas
 

Jun
1
Sat
Religious Literacy and Civil Dialogue Workshops (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
Jun 1 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Religious Literacy and Civil Dialogue Workshops (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
These workshops have been cancelled.

Schedule

8:15 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Registration/Check-in


9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Workshop: Religious Literacy Workshop Aims to Understand Growing Diversity

We are now a nation of religious minorities: according to a major study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, no one sect or denomination accounts for more than 50 percent of the population. At the same time, FBI data indicates that growing religious diversity has been accompanied by an increase in religion-related hate crimes. Religious education can enhance recognition of the fundamental rights of people of all religions and none.

Join us for an interactive religious literacy workshop to gain essential knowledge and skills that promote understanding of increasingly religiously diverse communities. We will apply these essentials to real-world case studies on religion and race, immigration and sexuality. Recent cases such as arson attacks on three African-American churches in Louisiana and a California mosque will be part of the conversation.

Facilitated by Benjamin P. Marcus


12 – 1 p.m.

Lunch Break (on your own)


1 – 4 p.m.

Workshop: “Civil Dialogue: Antidote to the Zero Sum Game”

Our country is more polarized than ever around significant issues that impact the everyday lives of Americans. A pluralistic democracy depends on a marketplace of ideas, but in our current highly charged climate many Americans find themselves fostering a binary view of the world – us vs. them. The complexity of the issues facing our nation require leaders to be able to engage with people who are different from themselves and have the skills to find common ground with those they fundamentally disagree.

To be effective leaders we need to become civil dialogue practitioners, who can help our communities effectively navigate deep differences. This workshop will focus on the difference between dialogue and other kinds of engagement, the essential skills of dialogue, how to create an environment that promotes civil dialogue, and tips for turning down the ‘heat’ when dialogue gets tough.

Facilitated by Kristen Farrington


The registration cost is $50 per person for these workshops. Seats are limited. Registration is required. For more information, please contact Blair Forlaw at bforlaw@newseum.org

Jun
7
Fri
Disrupt the Narrative: Centering African American Perspectives on Religious Freedom @ Knight Conference Center
Jun 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

This public conversation will explore the ethics and complex politics of race and religious freedom by centering the issues, narratives and experiences of African Americans in the United States.

This program is the second in a series of public events exploring the politics of religious freedom through our “Religious Freedom: African American Perspectives” project. During this program, participants will hear from scholars, practitioners and community leaders who are making invaluable contributions to this critical discussion. This program is also designed to encourage participants to think through practical ways to take action around religious freedom issues in their community. Participants will engage in small group discussions, a community talkback session and explore opportunities to think through next steps together.

Presenters

Keynote Speaker
Tisa Joy Wenger, Ph.D.

Tisa Joy Wenger, Ph.D., is associate professor of American Religious History at Yale Divinity School as well as of American Studies and Religious Studies at Yale University. She is the author of “Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal” (University of North Carolina Press, 2017).

Scholars Panel
Corey D. B. Walker

Corey D.B. Walker, Ph.D. (moderator), visiting professor at the University of Richmond and senior fellow, Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute.

Teresa Smallwood, J.D., Ph.D.

Teresa Smallwood, J.D., Ph.D., associate director for Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative at Vanderbilt University.

Alphonso F. Saville IV, Ph.D.,

Alphonso F. Saville IV, Ph.D., Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow for the Study of American Religion and Slavery at Georgetown University.

Practitioners Panel
Faith Harris, D.Min.

Faith Harris, D.Min. (moderator), assistant professor of Theology and director, Johnson A. Edosomwan Center for Faith, Leadership, and Public Life at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology.

Itihari Toure, Ed.D.

Itihari Toure, Ed.D., director of the Sankofa Center for Data Evaluation and Quality Enhancement at Interdenominational Theological Center.

Charles Watson Jr., M.Div.

Charles Watson Jr., M.Div., director of education for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.

Mandisa L. Thomas

Mandisa L. Thomas, founder and president, Black Nonbelievers, Inc.

Iva Carruthers, Ph.D.

Iva Carruthers, Ph.D., general secretary of Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a social justice network that engages progressive African-American faith leaders.

Community Talkback Panel
The Rev. Thomas Bowen

The Rev. Thomas Bowen (moderator), director of the Office of Religious Affairs in the Executive Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C., and interim director of the Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs and the Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys.

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem, Esq.

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem, Esq., executive director, KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights.

Charity L. Woods

Charity L. Woods, co-founder and managing director, Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice.

Shavon Arline-Bradley, M.Div.

Shavon Arline-Bradley, MPH, M.Div., founding principal of R.E.A.C.H. Beyond Solutions LLC, a public health, policy/advocacy, faith and executive leadership firm.

William H. Lamar IV, M.Div.

The Rev. William H. Lamar IV, M.Div., pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington.

Henry Luce Foundation

This program was made possible by generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

 

Partners

Baptist Joint Committee
Hood Theological Seminary
Howard University School of Divinity
Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
NMAAHC
Payne Theological Seminary
Samuel Dewitt Proctor-Theology
Shaw University Divinity School

 

Jul
9
Tue
Religious Literacy in Public Schools: What to Teach and How @ Knight Studio
Jul 9 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

The Religious Freedom Center and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) will host a celebration of the publication of “Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom,” an invaluable new resource from NCSS.

About the Book: The study of religion is essential for understanding the past and present, and critical for global citizenship in a religiously diverse country and world. This book provides advice, recommendations and resources to help social studies educators know what to teach about religion and how to do it.

Panelists:

  • Charles Haynes, founding director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute and editor of “Teaching about Religion in the Social Studies Classroom”
  • Ben Marcus, religious literacy specialist of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Kristen Farrington, executive director of Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
  • Susan Douglass, education outreach coordinator at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University
  • Donna Phillips, PhD, director of curriculum & assessment innovations, DC Public Schools
  • Emile Lester, associate professor at the University of Mary Washington
 
Charles C. Haynes Ben Marcus Kristen Looney Susan Douglas Donna Phillips
Charles C. Haynes Benjamin P. Marcus Kristen Farrington Susan Douglas Donna Phillips, PhD
 

National Council for the Social Studies

NCSS 2019 Summer Religious Studies Institute (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 9 @ 1:30 pm – Jul 11 @ 12:00 pm
NCSS 2019 Summer Religious Studies Institute (Cancelled) @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States
This event has been cancelled.

The Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute will host the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Summer Religious Studies Institute at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The program, to be held July 9 – 11, 2019, will convene K-12 public school educators in the nation’s capital to explore issues of religious freedom and diversity in the classroom. Educators will learn about religious studies as an academic discipline, and have the opportunity to develop working relationships with leading religious studies subject matter experts and curricular resource providers.

The NCSS Summer Religious Studies Institute is limited to 60 participants. For more information and to register, please visit socialstudies.org.

Jul
12
Fri
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 12 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Religious Liberty, Religious Literacy & Civil Dialogue

This three-session intensive will give local interns the opportunity to learn about the role of religion in public life while exploring our three areas of competency: religious liberty, religious literacy, and civil dialogue. We will host the interns on three Fridays during the month of July. Participants will be introduced to experts who are actively engaged in addressing these issues in their local and national context.

The registration period is now – July 7, 2019. The registration cost is $40 per person which covers all three training sessions. For questions, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent, director of programs and partnerships, at sdent@newseum.org.

Jul
15
Mon
Dare to Overcome: Women’s Media Strategy and Film Festival @ Documentary Theater
Jul 15 @ 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

The world is increasingly visual, story-driven and mobile dominated. It’s urgent we identify, equip and mobilize leaders to create short films to share empowering messages.

The Dare to Overcome film competition challenged women filmmakers from around the world to produce short films that showcase inclusivity and multi-faith living in the workplace and community.

In partnership with the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and Empower Women Media, we will showcase women’s short films that are compelling explorations of the impact of freedom of belief and how this helps empower women, religious minorities and the displaced. The screening will include a panel discussion with film makers and a reception.

Speakers Include

Shirin Taber

Iranian-American Shirin Taber directs the Middle East Women’s Leadership Network and Empower Women Media. She is passionate about helping leaders produce media for their missions.

Brian J. Grim

Brian Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and a leading scholar on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of religious freedom.

The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook

The Hon. Suzan Johnson Cook (Ambassador Sujay) is a distinguished lecturer at the Freedom Forum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center. Nominated by Secretary Hillary Clinton and appointed by President Barack Obama, she was the third U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, becoming the first woman, first African American and first faith leader to hold this post.

Empower Women Media

Religious Freedom & Business Foundation

Jul
19
Fri
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center
Jul 19 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2019 Summer Bootcamp for Interns @ Religious Freedom Center | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Religious Liberty, Religious Literacy & Civil Dialogue

This three-session intensive will give local interns the opportunity to learn about the role of religion in public life while exploring our three areas of competency: religious liberty, religious literacy, and civil dialogue. We will host the interns on three Fridays during the month of July. Participants will be introduced to experts who are actively engaged in addressing these issues in their local and national context.

The registration period is now – July 7, 2019. The registration cost is $40 per person which covers all three training sessions. For questions, please contact Dr. Sabrina Dent, director of programs and partnerships, at sdent@newseum.org.

Jul
21
Sun
Civil Dialogue Facilitator Training @ Newseum
Jul 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Civil Dialogue Facilitator Training @ Newseum

The Religious Freedom Center, as a nonpartisan and nonsectarian initiative, is committed to promoting dialogue and understanding among people of all religious traditions and none. We carry out this mission by providing civil dialogue training and workshops, hosting the Committee on Religious Liberty, and building partnerships with organizations that represent a broad spectrum of religious and ideological perspectives.

Religious and civic leaders, educators, and business leaders are uniquely positioned to help cultivate an informed and engaged citizenry. Having the ability to facilitate dialogue is a key leadership skill for the 21st century. As sharp ideological divisions continue to polarize our communities, we need leaders who have the skills to engage people and communities who hold a variety of legal, ideological, religious and nonreligious perspectives.

We invite you to join our full-day civil dialogue training session or to schedule one with your community. The workshop will be facilitated by Rev. Kristen Farrington, civil dialogue specialist and director of the Religious Freedom Center.

Training Features

  • Dialogue theory
  • Learning and practicing the skills of dialogue
  • Learning how to facilitate dialogue
  • Learning the practical steps to setting up dialogue sessions in your community.

The registration cost is $50 per person for these training sessions. Seats are limited. Registration is required. For more information, please contact Blair Forlaw at bforlaw@newseum.org.

Registration due date is July 15, 2019.