Client Spotlight: Helping the Niagara Foundation turn a dream into reality with a new interfaith diversity curriculum.
The Niagara Foundation to launch new course – Building an Inclusive Business to Boost to your Bottom Line: The importance of intercultural and interfaith knowledge and agility.
The Niagara Foundation was founded in 2004 with the idea of creating an institution that could bring together people from all walks of life in order to celebrate diversity in a shared society. Today the Niagara Foundation is active in nine Midwestern states with 22 branches, and serves thousands of people with programs in the areas of public and global affairs, interfaith engagement and special events, including intercultural trips.
President Mevlüt “Hilmi” Çınar had a dream of integrating the Foundation’s expertise in intercultural understanding and fostering a global community, into a measurable curriculum that could help improve a company’s bottom line.
That’s when The Niagara Foundation turned to Intercultural Talk, Inc. The Niagara Foundation went into this project with ideas about what a program would look like and how and which companies might benefit. Intercultural Talk recommended a research phase to solicit opinions from potential stakeholders on what would make a good program in terms of content and design, what would complement what companies were already doing, and how Niagara Foundation might augment efforts and add value with a new program.
The research revealed a need for a diversity and inclusion program for smaller businesses and not-for-profit organizations with fewer than 200 employees. These companies’ values embraced diversity but they did not have a formal program in place.
“This was a great approach for us,” said Çınar. “We engaged stakeholders early on, identified a void in the market and are now offering a solution that is not available anywhere else.”
“Deanna has done an amazing job of working fluidly with our organization, staff and stakeholders, providing expertise and leadership but also drawing on our strengths,” said Çınar. “With Intercultural Talk we are getting a product that brings value to the community but also leverages and respects our deep knowledge and relationships.”
“Our reputation and community relationships allow us to offer first-hand cultural understanding and a safe zone for open dialogue and conversation. Our specially developed curriculum will draw from experts and best practices for practical applications to the workplace,” said Çınar.
Intercultural Talk is working with the Niagara Foundation to develop a solid curriculum for course participants to explore strategies for bridging intercultural and interfaith differences, with a focus on recognizing unconscious bias, self-identity, and how together they may impact ROI.
Course participants will engage in a combination of discussion, workshops, events and immersion experiences related to Diversity & Inclusion.
Course topics include:
- the evolution, breadth and definitions of language around diversity and inclusion;
- the business case for diversity and inclusion;
- the connection between culture and communication styles;
- how culture and religion are represented in the media;
- how that plays into the workplace.
“This has been a dream of our organization for a long-time,” said Çınar. “We are grateful to have found a partner in Intercultural Talk who has the expertise and know-how to make this happen.”
The pilot program for the new ten week course will begin this April. To find out how to register your employees email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 312-240-0707 x113.