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Diversity, equity and inclusion appear to be a one-way street at Broadlawns Medical Center, where leadership has decided to sever its agreement with Freedom Blend Coffee over the ministry’s “Statement of Faith.”

Broadlawns Medical Center CEO Anthony Coleman sent an email to staff letting them know the partnership has been severed.


Freedom Blend Cofee works to empower young adults with work training and life skills that produce “development, restoration and hope.” It was founded in 2011.

“Employment training is at the heart of our mission at Freedom Blend Coffee,” according to the group’s website. “We teach young adults, age 18-25, valuable customer service, food safety and hospitality skills along with life and career skills that empower them to enter the workplace more confident and more prepared for the challenges before them.”

According to Freedom for Youth’s statement of faith, it is imperative all persons employed agree to and abide by its statement of faith. However, that does not include those who are youth participants in their programs.

Included in the Statement of Faith is a line that states Freedom for Youth Ministries will work to “love all people unconditionally as Christ did without regard to race, history or current condition.”

It also includes a statement on marriage and sexuality:

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as either male or female. These two distinct, complementary sexes together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25).

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4).

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, or use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).

We recognize that we all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God. However, we believe that God offers restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; John 1:8).

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Freedom for Youth Ministries.

Broadlawns became aware of the Statement of Faith and isn’t quite diverse enough to have a partnership with a ministry that holds to basic Christian teachings, it seems.

“Since entering this agreement we have become aware of the organization’s ‘Statement of Faith’ which governs Freedom for Youth and the divisions within, including Freedom Blend Coffee,” Coleman wrote. “While we recognize and support every organization’s liberty and freedom to promote their value system, we must continually re-access new and/or emerging information that may be contrary to our own values and alignment.

“We believe that every person should be tretaed with total inclusivity regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.”

The letter states that after a “comprehensive review,” the statements in Freedom for Youth’s “Statement of Faith” do not align with Broadlawns’ “diversity, equity and inclusion philosophies.”

“We respect their mission of serving the community and providing career opportunities to young people, and wish Freedom Blend all the best,” the letter states.

Broadlawns entered into the agreement with the intent to “strengthen our local economy by supporting a local business that worked with both the youth and the underserved.”

The Iowa Standard reached out to both Broadlawns and Freedom Blend Coffee. If we hear from either organization we will publish an update.

Author: Jacob Hall

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