True Diversity: Celebrating the Rich Identities that Make Us Each Unique

This week, the Philanthropy Roundtable is launching a new campaign in response to growing concern among our donor community about the divisive debate around “identity-based justice” across the country.

With our True Diversity campaign, we are joining a growing number of Americans who believe we should celebrate the rich identities and characteristics of every unique individual. We hope to help support a culture where people are judged by the content of their character and actions, and not reduced to solely their race, gender, sexual orientation or other group identity qualities.

As our national conversation has focused on complex questions about race, history and the future, philanthropists have faced tremendous pressures to shift their missions and favor some struggling communities over others. At the Roundtable, we believe philanthropy as a sector should encourage creating pathways to opportunity for people of all backgrounds who need them.

We believe that True Diversity is encouraged when we:

  • Value each individual
  • Advance the mission
  • Seek diverse perspectives
  • Embrace conversation
  • Cultivate empowerment

Our True Diversity page offers more about why we view each of these five principles to be important. 

As a sector, I’m encouraged that some in the philanthropic community are eager to have courageous and respectful discussions about identity-based giving agendas and their impact short- and long-term on the communities we care about. It’s not going to be easy to lean into our discomfort, ask the tough questions, think independently and truly engage in honest conversation about the problems we are trying to solve, what is working and not working and the unintended consequences of our giving strategies. We may not always agree—and we don’t have to, but we should be able to talk about it. 

Philanthropy is a powerful tool with a long and successful track record of bringing Americans together to strengthen our communities. At the Roundtable, our mission remains the same, and we will continue to identify and invest in innovative efforts that promote and ensure equality of opportunity for all people and uplift struggling communities from the biggest urban areas to the smallest rural towns. We hope these are areas where the sector can work together, and that others will join us in this effort.

America past and present is complicated. The future of philanthropy will be brighter if we allow a diversity of ideas and causes to be pursued. The best solutions are found when we bring diverse viewpoints and experiences together. Let’s embrace True Diversity, and let’s get stronger together.

To learn more about the Roundtable’s True Diversity campaign, please click here.

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