This paper explains creative approaches to religious diversity and tolerance based on the cultural anthropology theories of Claude Lévi-Strauss. My research was conducted through case studies beginning with a 1990 pilot project in a globalization context, Chicago’s suburban technical corridor. This first case study, the DuPage Interfaith Resource Network (DIRN), pioneered strategies for managing religious conflicts due to changing demographics.
DIRN developed religious literacy strategies and administrative policies within the public schools, a major conflict arena, and were adopted by community service organizations including law enforcement, healthcare, and nonprofit NGOs. The strategies were coupled with programs based on storytelling for greater impact.
The second case study took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, following the domestic terrorism of the Oklahoma City bombing. In this phase, Oklahoma’s Say No to Hate Coalition adapted the ground work of DIRN to an environment that included active hate groups.
The third case study was generated by the Women’s Council on Diversity in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A combined story-based communication, emotional intelligence, and problem solving system evolved and was field tested in leadership workshops. The resulting Matrix Model Management System emerged through my cross-cultural communication textbook and workbook.
Chattanooga’s final research phase was prompted by a domestic terrorism incident. The System became a cognitive technology built on the platform of combined coalition strategies and religious literacy. The emphasis underscored problem solving and the unconscious bias involved in decision making. The cognitive technology is codified in my Un-Bias Guide Series which has a broad applicability for corporations, NGOs, education institutions, and government agencies.