True Diversity

True Diversity

True Diversity is an equality-based, holistic framework for embracing diversity. It values every person as a unique individual and empowers charitable organizations with the freedom and flexibility to advance their missions and help those in need.

What is True Diversity?

By embracing the richest possible diversity of unique traits, backgrounds, perspectives and experiences within each individual, True Diversity offers a way for organizations to most effectively advance their missions, help communities in need and make every person feel they truly belong—and matter.

This framework represents a powerful way for charitable organizations to honor the things that make us all human and harness their power to develop individualized pathways to opportunity that serve the whole person. True Diversity provides the freedom and flexibility these organizations need to pursue ideas and strategies that empower those on the ground and achieve better outcomes. In short, it’s the best way to both advance the most effective solutions and fully achieve the benefits of diversity in a complex world.

Philanthropy Roundtable will release additional research and resources to help charitable organizations embrace and practice True Diversity.

Meet Patrice Onwuka

Patrice Onwuka is a proud American, immigrant, mom, wife and so much more. She shares her inspiring life story to illustrate why she believes True Diversity is one of the best frameworks for empowering individuals, promoting equality and improving lives. 

Five Principles of True Diversity

  1. Value each individual. Each person is a unique individual worthy of dignity and respect. It is only by taking the time to know and understand them, their challenges and their circumstances, rather than simply making assumptions based on how they look, that we can best support them.
  2. Advance the mission. Excellent results are best achieved by bringing together people with diverse skill sets, backgrounds and perspectives to further a common mission. Each organization is in the best position to know what types of diversity in leadership and staffing will best support its mission—and thus strengthen the communities it serves.
  3. Seek diverse perspectives. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and there are many ways to address social challenges. Bringing together people with diverse views is the key to encouraging a robust competition of ideas, experimentation with different approaches and ultimately better answers and outcomes.
  4. Embrace conversation. Discussion and debate open the door to progress. Direct, honest and respectful conversation may take courage, but it is the antidote to division, resentment and stagnation.
  5. Cultivate empowerment. The best way to uplift individuals and strengthen communities is to foster the sense of agency that only comes when everyone is empowered to reach their full potential.

True Diversity Statement of Principles

“There is a yearning in the charitable community for a new paradigm with a more inclusive outlook—an approach that expands diversity beyond physical and biological characteristics alone to fully embrace the multifaceted characteristics that make each individual special and unique.”

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    • September 2, 2022

    Mapping the Path from DEI Efforts to Mission Stagnation

    • August 25, 2022

    From the Experts: Five Holistic Approaches to Embracing Diversity

    • August 11, 2022

    Patrice Onwuka: Why I Support True Diversity

    • August 4, 2022

    Caroline Mehl: Helping People Communicate Across Divides

    Caroline Mehl
    • July 26, 2022

    Philanthropy Roundtable Offers Holistic Framework for Embracing Diversity

    • July 26, 2022

    Philanthropy Roundtable Launches Expanded True Diversity Initiative