Business & Religious Freedom

Corp-pledge-249x300On Tuesday, January 12, 2016, national leaders gathered in anticipation of the President’s annual declaration of January 16th as Religious Freedom Day, calling upon Americans to observe this day through events and activities.

Research and experience tell us that the success of the U.S. economy and society is due in no small part to the success we have had promoting a strong and religiously diverse workplace, one that includes and protects people of all faiths and none. Recent research, however, finds that more than one-in-three American workers report experiencing or witnessing workplace religious discrimination.

The following program was designed to discuss how businesses can successfully negotiate religious freedom and workplace issues. In an era when millennials are especially concerned for fairness and equality for all, respecting the religion and beliefs of employees is not only fair and good policy, but is also good for business.

During this event, Dr. Brian J. Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, introduced a nonpartisan corporate pledge on religious nondiscrimination and inclusion in the workplace. This new resource and its associated resource documents aligned with core American values of religious freedom while creating a more inclusive work environment that leverages religious diversity.


This program was co-sponsored by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, and the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute and featured the following leaders:

Opening Words

  • Charles C. Haynes, Ph.D. (@hayneschaynes), Vice President, Freedom Forum Institute; Founding Director of the Religious Freedom Center (@NewseumReligion)
  • Joyce S. Dubensky, Esq., Chief Executive Officer, Tanenbaum (@TanenbaumCenter)
  • Brian J. Grim, Ph.D. (@brianjgrim), President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation


  • Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-Oregon), President & CEO, National Assoc. of Broadcasters


  • Dwayne Leslie, J.D. (@adventistchurch), Director, Legislative Affairs, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Associate Director, Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty
  • Richard T. Foltin, J.D. (@rfoltin), Director of National and Legislative Affairs (@AJCGlobal), AJC’s Office of Government and International Affairs
  • Daniel Mach, J.D. (@ACLU), Director, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Zainab Al-Suwaij (@Zainab17), Co-Founder and Executive Director (@aicongress) American Islamic Congress

Special Thanks

In addition to our distinguished speakers, we offer special thanks to Rev. Mark E. Fowler, Liz Joslin and Eliza Blanchard from Tenenbaum; to Melissa E. Grim from the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation; to the attorneys and reviewers who contributed to the RFBF’s corporate pledge; and to Ashlie Hampton for coordinating this event.