There’s a Staff Network Group where I work, called Faith & Well Being Group.
Late last year, I managed to get myself included in the committee, as a representative of Humanism.
Today, we had a meeting – it’s a 1-hour meeting at lunch time. I made it there as I wanted Humanists and Humanism to be included.
There were six others there – including reps from Hindu, Jewish, Christianity, Islam, as well as Well Being .
I was there more as an observer and I found it interesting, hearing what the other reps have to say about what they want the group to do and achieve.
Amongst the points raised were:
- Food at the staff canteen – not clearly labelled Kosher / Halal
- Staff using the same utensils to pick up non-Kosher, non-Halal, non-Vegetarian foods and salads.
- Food at staff event should just be vegetarian, as this is the food that is allowable by all religious groups. In the name of inclusivity.
- To produce a monthly newsletter highlighting religious events, personal reflections of religions to highlight the benefits of the religions.
- Someone mentioned that we should be mindful not to be proselytizing. A rep agrees but it could be that when reading the positive spin and reflections of religions, some readers might like to join and come back to it, and that would be a welcome effect.
- Should link up with other Staff Groups, such as OUTbound, the LGBTQ+ Staff Network. The Chair of OUTbound had been in conversation with the Christian rep from F&WB and they are both concerned that many LGBTQ+ Staff appear to have “misunderstood religions, thinking that religions are homophobic, and steer away from religions.” . My understanding is that the link up is in the hope to explain to LGBTQ+ staff that religions welcome diversity and not homophobic.
- I suggested that we can link up, but as people – as a social event, rather than with any agendas, and regardless of each individual person’s understanding of their religion’s views on this matter, we can still interact as human beings. Apart from the rep from the Well Being, my suggestion didn’t seem to attract much support.
- The Islam rep mentioned that the link up could be used to highlight issues of discrimination, giving example of a woman in a hijab being pushed off a platform. The Jewish rep suggested that this is a good example to link up with Women SNG as well.