Interfaith at Now is one of the seven ServiceNow Employee Belonging Groups (EBGs) launched this year. Interfaith at Now co-chair and manager of content development management Katy C. says, “I seek to give members the tools they need to have courageous conversations about their faiths and to learn how we can come together and support each other. That’s what my co-chair Derek and I are working toward.”
Katy recently partnered with fellow belonging group Black at Now and ServiceNow’s Employee Communications team to develop a cultural holiday guide that provides employees with ways to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. “It's definitely not an exhaustive list but it's a great resource to start. If you want to learn more or get some ideas to try celebrating something that you haven't before.”
How does Interfaith at Now co-chair Katy spend the winter holidays with her family? “We start with Advent, which is the four weeks before Christmas. We focus on reflection, penance, and preparation. My daughter lights a new candle every week as we do special prayers. For Roman Catholics, Christmas starts on December 25th and goes to January 10th. We go to church on Christmas Eve, then put the kids to bed so Santa can work his magic.” intersectional.”
“I love holidays and want to celebrate them all. Kwanzaa is a holiday I heard about, but I didn't know anyone who celebrated it,” she says.
Black at Now contributed this information about Kwanzaa to our cultural holiday guide: Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966. The purpose of Kwanzaa is not to replace any other holiday but to give African people in the diaspora an opportunity to celebrate their heritage, reaffirm their connection with Africa and focus on the task of strengthening and repairing themselves, their families, and their communities.
Senior Director of Recruiting Darice B. has a deep love for Kwanzaa and “Observes and intentionally practices the principles year-round. I’m a proud Midwesterner, youngest daughter of two amazing parents that I lost entirely too soon, who grew up in the Baptist Church that my grandparents helped break ground on.”
Ujamaa is important to Darice because “Cooperative economics is critical in the African Diaspora to address years of financial injustices that have led to disparities in health, education, job creation, and generational wealth building. When communities of color are strong, every other community can’t help but to be strong,” she says passionately.
Global Impact Manager Marissa O. observes two holiday traditions. “My family has always celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. The holidays weren’t very religious for us, but rather a nice time to get together and carry-on family traditions. My dad’s side of the family is the ‘more’ Jewish side. My dad sees Hanukkah as a way to preserve the Jewish religion and our heritage,” says Marissa.
Marissa says Hanukkah is a celebration of the right to exist. “A Syrian king outlawed the Jewish religion and violently tried to drive Judaism out of Jerusalem, so a group known as the Maccabees rebelled and won. The celebration is a re-dedication of the Second Temple back to the Jews. It’s a way to say we have a right to be here. As the story goes, there was only enough untainted oil left in the temple to last for a day, but it miraculously burned for eight nights. Growing up I would make latkes with my mom to bring to school every year and I’d read a pop-up book to tell the story of Hanukkah. Oftentimes I was one of a few, if not the only Jewish kid in my classes in grade school, so it just became our thing every year.”
Marissa feels passionate about Employee Belonging groups. “With the belonging groups, it’s a similar way for people to say they have a right to show up and exist. When I think about why I celebrate Hanukkah - it’s for the same reasons we have belonging groups. It’s because it’s where I find peace and comfort in connecting with others who are ‘like me.’”
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