DEARBORN - Dan Dunnigan, the chair of the Ford Interfaith Network (FIN) Employee Resource Group (ERG), is a recent recipient of Ford’s Diversity and Inclusion award.
Last May, he led the FIN group, an organization specifically designed to help people of various faiths understand one another, to host the National Day of Prayer event at Ford World Headquarters. Prayer Our Walk with God was the theme of the event that brought together over 100 men and women of diverse denominations. (This year’s National Day of Prayer observance will be held on May 1, 2014.)
Dunnigan helped organize and conduct the services, which were filled with inspirational thoughts, hymns and prayers from various faith groups. Local religious leaders and city officials also were in attendance. The event additionally was webcast to various remote Ford locations in North America.
In leading FIN, Dunnigan has coordinated several events throughout the year ranging from prayer services to scripture studies. Bi-monthly meetings and discussion groups were broadcast through WebEx so people throughout the Ford network could learn more about the other faiths and find common ground.
“I appreciate the focus Ford provides on building an inclusive environment. I think it is vital that employees are encouraged to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work. Doing so benefits both the employees and the company,” said Dunnigan.
Under his leadership, the FIN website was enhanced so that Ford employees now have straight-forward access to information about various faiths and a calendar of events that lists different religious holy days. FIN also provided monthly emails to thousands of Ford employees with inspiring or educational insights from different faiths.
Additionally, members of the FIN Board plan and execute various faith-related events. The organization has been instrumental in creating prayer services and dedicating certain conference rooms within Ford for religious reflection. Now employees are able to practice their religious commitments in a designated, quiet environment.
Dunnigan also was featured in the Detroit News and was interviewed, along with other FIN members, by various media outlets wanting to learn more about FIN’s success.
He recognizes that people’s faith can be a powerful force and believes this vital part of people’s lives can strengthen the team – acknowledging that active efforts to promote tolerance and mutual respect create an inclusive environment where employees feel self-assured and can contribute their best professional work.