Ep38: Brave Interfaith Conversations in the Workplace with Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani and Kyle Kooyers
Religion ranks right up there with politics, sex and money as a subject that is mostly off-limits in the workplace. Whether it’s obviously part of someone’s identity or completely invisible to others, our spiritual beliefs inform everything from what we wear or eat, what holidays we do or don’t celebrate, what we name our children, and how we live our lives in general. With it being so pervasive, it’s not reasonable to try to ignore it just because we’re uncomfortable with the topic. Our question this episode: how can we bring deeper understanding and respect for a wide range of faith-based beliefs and practices in our workplaces?
My guests today are Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani and Kyle Kooyers of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, and we’re going to talk about how to create a culture that is interfaith friendly and how to gracefully handle oops and ouch moments when we talk about faith.
Zahabia Ahmed-Usmani is a program coordinator for the Kaufman Interfaith Institute, which is a program of Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, based on Holland, Michigan.
Kyle Kooyers is a program manager for the Kaufman Interfaith Institute and is a Candidate for Ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA.