DEARBORN - The Ford Interfaith Network (FIN) Muslim Group held its 13th Annual FIN EID Dinner at the Ford Motor Credit (FMCC) Cafeteria in Dearborn, Mich., Wednesday, Oct., 23.
“Building It Together. One Ford. One Community.,” was the theme of this year’s event that took place after the Islamic holiday Eid Ul-Adha, at the time of Hajj (the time of pilgrimage where more than three million Muslim’s from around the world gathered in Makkah to perform Hajj).
Around 200 Ford employees, guests and community leaders from various faiths were in attendance. Included among the guests were several members of the Ford executive team and the Henry Ford Community College Executives team in Dearborn.
The event gave attendees an opportunity to learn more about how the Ford’s One Ford, One Team message ties in to diversity and cooperation in Islam.
"We are delighted to welcome all our guests to this event. Also, we are thankful to Ford Motor Company which has always support diversity and Interfaith events like this event that reflects on the importance of diversity in corporate culture," said Dr. Kamal Shenaq, Ford engineer and primary representative of Islam faith on the FIN Board. Shenaq added that the presence of several Ford executives at this event, spoke volumes of our upper management's commitment to diversity and interfaith causes.
Through his welcoming statement, the audience heard inspiring and encouraging words from David McClelland, vice president, Sales, Ford Credit. Michael Wright, leader, Process Development and chairman of FIN, emphasized the best practices of the FIN and the significance of having a corporate culture which embraces diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Keynote speaker, Dawud Walid, executive director, Council of American-Islamic Relations, gave the keynote address. Walid discussed that people of all backgrounds, especially Muslims, need to strive to get passed tolerance and move on to cooperation. That is, cooperation in the betterment of each of us, our families, our community and even our workplace, as is demonstrated by Ford. In addition, Walid talked about the roots of diversity and inclusion inside Ford, which stretches as far back as the founder Henry Ford, who modeled diversity in corporate America. He was the first to treat African-Americans as equals in the workforce, providing equal salary at an amount that was double the norm at the time. This allowed employees to afford the cars they produced.
He explained how during the Friday sermon in the most important prayer of the week, Muslims are reminded that the go further mindset (Excellence) is an essential daily requirement. This mindset helps people bond together, strengthen family ties and demonstrate sincerity in each and every action that is carried out.
Having so many people with diverse backgrounds coming to events such as this, demonstrates the One Ford team spirit and FIN's commitment to support Ford management's desire to have the best work environment.
FIN, one of 11 organizations within the Ford Employee Resource Group, offers learning opportunities for discovering common elements among different faiths and cultures as well as recognizing and understanding the differences.