Religious Tolerance

The Religious Tolerance Workshop
Healing the Rift Between Religious Groups: Building Understanding and Allies

Cherie R. Brown, Founder and Executive Director of NCBI, recently participated in a live radio discussion on religious stereotyping and discrimination. The program was hosted by Interfaith Voices, an independent public radio show which examines current issues from an interfaith perspective. To listen to a recording of the discussion, aired May 5, 2007, and entitled “Conversation on the Common Ground,” click here. (Please use your browser’s “Back” button to return to the NCBI web site.)

The National Coalition Building Institute believes that people of diverse faiths can live together with religious differences when we can recognize our shared humanity. Based upon the award-winning NCBI Prejudice Reduction Training, the Religious Tolerance Workshop consists of a series of incremental, participatory activities that empower individuals of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to take leadership in building inclusive interfaith communities in their workplaces and neighborhoods.

The objectives of the Religious Tolerance Workshop are to:

  • Celebrate similarities and differences,
  • Discover the misinformation that we have learned about each other,
  • Identify and heal from internalized oppression: the disempowerment members of different religions target at themselves and each other,
  • Claim pride in religious/spiritual group identity,
  • Understand the personal impact of religious stereotyping through the telling and hearing of stories,
  • Learn new ways to become effective allies to each other across our religious diversity, and
  • Assist people from interfaith communities to build effective coalitions with each other on social justice issues.

Where we have done the work:

  • Chicago - Three day interfaith social justice institute brought together interfaith leaders from eight faith traditions.
  • Denver Colorado–NCBI brought together 80 people from diverse faith communities: Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Christians of all denominations, Jews, Mormons, people who are spiritual but not identified with a particular religious practice, to learn how to build bridges to one another and launch effective multi-faith coalitions.
  • Washington, DC - Muslim/Christian/Jewish Dialogue - The dialogue was filmed and included in Three Faiths One God, a PBS special aired nationally across the U.S.
  • Albany, New York — NCBI led two Interfaith Leadership Training Institutes at the State University of New York - Albany, N.Y.
  • England and Switzerland — NCBI chapters in England and Switzerland launched a national campaign to combat Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism in schools and workplaces.