Over the course of the IGE-Assisi relationship, the Foundation has sponsored IGE ethics training in area schools including Southwest Tennessee Community College, St. George’s Independent School, St. Agnes School and St. Dominic’s Academy. The Foundation has also enlisted IGE trainers to educate its own staff in ethics training through “Ethical Fitness®” and “Moral Courage™” seminars and “Train-the-
On the institutional side of Assisi’s funding, the Foundation’s executive director points to Southwest Tennessee Community College where IGE-based ethics training is proving to be successful because the college has integrated the training into its overall strategic plan, making a full commitment to achieving an ethical culture. “Having provided SWTCC grant funding, we want to follow up and see how the process is playing out there,” says Young. “We want to capture lessons learned so we can provide more effective guidance to similar institutions who come to us in the future requesting a grant. Institutional support is different from the workshops we offer because it demands a whole different level of intensity and training. We want to better comprehend what kind of commitment is needed to make a true culture change.”
Jan Young first encountered the Institute for Global Ethics when she read IGE-founder Dr. Rushworth M. Kidder’s “How Good People Make Tough Choices,” while she was an active member of the Air National Guard in Memphis and had the opportunity to attend an Ethical Fitness® Seminar facilitated by Dr. Kidder. “A book on ethics was required reading for the military,” she says. “I’ve always felt connected to the work the Institute has been doing especially its idea that, despite living in a troubled world, we all have shared values. That principle stayed with me, and when Assisi itself was looking for ethics training, I suggested the model provided by IGE and that’s how they became our partner.” Although the Assisi Foundation takes its name from St. Francis Hospital in Memphis where it started, it is a non-sectarian, non-partisan organization, not affiliated with any religious institution or theology.
“What I mainly like about the IGE approach,” says Young, “is that it gives us a fundamental, common language with which to share the experiences and challenges we all face when confronted with competing ethical choices, competing values. It helps us understand the motivations for decisions that others make. Through our partnership with the Institute for Global Ethics, we are determined to continue this conversation about ethics in the Memphis community.”
About the IGE
Founded in 1990, with offices in Rockport, Maine, and New York City, the Institute for Global Ethics (http://www.globalethics.org) is an independent, nonsectarian, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ethical action in a global context. IGE’s challenge is to explore the global common ground of values, elevate awareness of ethics, provide practical tools for making ethical decisions, and encourage practical action based on those decisions.