Rochester, NY, November 28, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Robert Rosenfeld, Founder and CEO of Idea Connections Systems, Inc.® received the 2019 Race Amity Medal of Honor Award at the annual National Race Amity Conference in Boston on November 21, 2019.
The award is conferred on individuals “who have engaged in close cross racial/cross cultural collaboration to advance access, equity, and social justice in society.”
In addition to the honor, Rosenfeld has been appointed to the Race Amity National Advisory Board. The group will celebrate its 100th anniversary in Washington, DC in 2021.
Rosenfeld was recognized for his Mosaic Partnership Program that he created over 18 years ago. Originally named Bi-Racial Partnerships, it ran in Rochester then in Greensboro, NC Milwaukee, and in many different organizations throughout the years.
“People need a place to come together and then friendship can be built,” said Rosenfeld. “Mosaic is not just a one-time meeting. It’s a step-by-step process that has an emotional and spiritual dimension and there is science involved as well. We use proprietary psychometric instruments to match people in pairs who are ‘different on the outside, but similar on the inside.’ These similarities increase the partners’ comfort from the beginning and promote friendship formation. It’s an exciting and enriching process. I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience it.”
The year-long process brings together individuals from different racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds and pairs them. Then partner-pairs are guided through a process designed to create lasting friendships that ultimately evolve into increased social capital and reduced discriminatory policies in the community. Some partner pairs from the original Rochester program have remained close friends and have asked to re-instate the program.
Rosenfeld, whose 30 plus-year business focuses on the human dynamics of innovation within large organizations, said he found the keys to Mosaic Partnerships by watching what happens at his own kitchen table. Over the years, they have had over 150 houseguests from different parts of the world. While watching his family and guests interact, he noticed that as trust built, outward differences seemed to melt away. He and his wife, Debbie, have 7 children 5 of whom are adopted (multi-racial, multi-ethnic) and 10 grandchildren.
Three other medal winners included Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, Cherry Steinwender, Co-Founder, Center for the Healing of Racism, and Timothy J. Wise, author and host of Speak Out with Tim Wise.