True Diversity: How Organizations are Prioritizing People Over Politics

One of the goals of the Philanthropy Roundtable’s True Diversity initiative is to provide charitable organizations with tools and resources to help them thoughtfully broaden and leverage diversity within their organization in a way that honors and advances their missions.  

True Diversity celebrates the rich identities and characteristics that make each person unique and special. We believe philanthropic and nonprofit groups should bring together people with diverse experiences, skills, knowledge and backgrounds to develop the most effective ideas and solutions for helping those in need. You can learn more about our True Diversity initiative here.  

As the Roundtable continues its work on this issue, we are highlighting organizations and leaders who are providing new approaches to uplifting and uniting people. Read on to learn about some encouraging efforts that represent a changing tide in the effort toward embracing depolarization, removing politics from organizational decision making and more. 

Agency: Helping All Children Discover Their Pathway to Power 

In a new book released in May, “Agency,” American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Ian Rowe tackles the message that “systemic forces” control the destinies of disadvantaged children and discusses how personal behaviors and support systems make an important difference in helping young people thrive. Rowe examines the common factors that allow Black people to obtain success in America and identifies four pillars to uplift every child: family, religion, education and entrepreneurship. He also points to the “success sequence,” which posits that people who complete high school, get a job and get married before having children are less likely to fall into or remain in poverty. Rowe notes the poverty rate for those who complete the “success sequence” is 2%. His ideas present an alternative to prevailing political narratives and instead offers guidance on pathways to success for every child in America … no matter the circumstances. Read his latest on why all students need agency instead of “equity” in the New York Post.  

Strive: A Focus on “Excellence Capitalism”  

In the private sector, Philanthropy Roundtable board member Vivek Ramaswamy, along with entrepreneurs and investors, including PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and fund manager Bill Ackman, recently launched Strive Asset Management, a firm that aims to “advance excellence capitalism over stakeholder capitalism.” Strive will urge corporations to return to their core missions of creating shareholder value – instead of wading into politics.  

“Over the last two years, I have traveled the country and listened to the concerns of everyday Americans who want to be heard in the places where they shop, work and invest,” said Ramaswamy. “We want iconic American brands … to deliver high-quality products that improve our lives, not controversial political ideologies that divide us.”  

Strive leaders believe the firm “will help revive true diversity of thought and restore true competition in American capital markets, a prerequisite for a well-functioning economy and democracy.” 

Diversity Without Division 

One partnership of note is the May news of collaboration between Moral Courage College and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on an innovative program called Diversity Without Division. The project is “informed by the science of how to unify people in tense times” and emphasizes trust and common ground rather than division.  

“This program doesn’t tell anybody what to think or believe,” said Moral Courage College Founder Irshad Manji. “It teaches everybody to lower their emotional defenses so that contentious issues can be turned into constructive conversations and healthy teamwork.”  

In an effort to heal divides, Diversity Without Division will arm participants with the skills to build trust with others of differing opinions, reduce anxiety during disagreements, ask sincere questions, create common ground and listen to truly understand instead of to win an argument.  

Philanthropy Roundtable has highlighted Manji’s work in the past, including during this podcast

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