Writing at the Wall Street Journal, two key leaders behind the Viewpoint Diversity Score and 2022 Business Index highlighted the initiative’s long-term goal of encouraging Corporate America to do their part in fostering a culture that values free speech, religious liberty, and free markets.

Titled, “Companies Flunk Free Speech,” the opinion piece marks the official launch of the initiative, which brings together leaders from business, civil society, and academia who are committed to preserving the freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief in the market, workplace, and public square.

The column was written by Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel and senior vice president of corporate engagement for Alliance Defending Freedom, and Robert Netzly, CEO of Inspire Investing.

As Tedesco and Netzly write, the Index scores 50 Fortune 1000 companies from industries that have the greatest potential to impact free speech and religious freedom. These include industries that provide essential banking, payment processing, and cloud services, or that serve as platforms for third-party expression in the digital space.  

“The idea behind the Business Index is at the foundation of any healthy and free society: People of different faiths, philosophies, and persuasions must be free to speak their minds and honor their beliefs without fear of punishment and retaliation,” they write.

After summarizing the main findings of the Business Index, Tedesco and Netzly end by reinforcing the initiative’s primary objective:

The Business Index aims to be a check against … threats to liberty. It also offers companies a roadmap of best practices for cultivating a culture that respects customers and others’ freedom of expression and belief, fosters viewpoint diversity in the workplace, and reflects a commitment to the principles of American democracy.

Businesses can choose to build up or tear down the foundations of our pluralistic society. We hope they make the right choice.

Read the article in full here.