Our founding ideals of liberty, equality, and justice have always held out the promise of pluralism, though it has remained out of reach.
Since the earliest days of our nation’s founding, the seeds of racial and social injustice were sown by slavery, displacement, and genocide. Ever since, the work of living up to our founding ideals has been unfinished, with hopeful steps forward alongside profound failures.
Today, the promise of pluralism remains, yet we the people are more divided than ever. Many forces exploit our differences, stoke anxiety, and fuel our worst impulses. Americans too often distrust, disrespect, and dehumanize each other — undermining our ability to tackle challenges large and small, and enabling hate, extremism, and violence to take root.
America is on a precipice, but this is also a moment of possibility. Most of us are exhausted by the prevailing culture of “us versus them” and long for a better way forward. There are countless examples of people and communities working together across divides to tackle hard issues and to imagine a new future. Will we seize this moment of possibility or will we squander it?
To realize the vision of a politically vibrant, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, we must renew the promise of America by ushering in a new pluralism.
New pluralism is a way of being and acting in community together. Listening from a place of mutual respect. Upholding the individual dignity, worth, and potential of every person. Confronting our past, reckoning with our present, and taking responsibility for repairing and healing our communities.
New pluralism invites us to bring curiosity and goodwill to our engagement with one another. To invoke our highest ideals while confronting the painful parts of our past with courage and moral clarity. To admit when we're wrong and to repair relationships when we hurt one another or fall short of who we mean to be.
New pluralism is not about passively accepting diversity, merely tolerating differences, skirting uncomfortable topics, or preserving the status quo. It doesn't require sacrificing deeply held beliefs or compromising to meet in some gray, featureless middle. Neither is it an underhanded attempt to change each other's minds.
New pluralism is an active commitment anchored in a recognition that our differences can tear us apart or they can be an asset we draw on to make progress — in our everyday lives and as a society. It’s up to us.
New Pluralists is a funder collaborative focused on supporting the growing field of practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators working to foster a culture of pluralism in America.
We are committed to the vital work of healing our divisions by helping Americans recognize our shared humanity, embrace our differences, and solve challenges together. We believe that humanizing our neighbors and making room for diverse values and viewpoints are steps along the path to a healthier democracy and a more just society in which each of us feels we belong.
Recognizing that a hallmark of a strong field is a group of leaders who share a sense of identity and purpose, New Pluralists is working in deep partnership with a community of Field Builders who are helping to shape our shared aspirations and strategy and learn alongside us.
Through grantmaking, convening, and other activities, New Pluralists will also engage and support a much broader group of leaders across this growing field.
The funders who have joined forces to launch this collaborative have each supported work toward this vision.
We have distinct priorities and divergent ideological views, and we see our differences as an essential feature of a healthy democracy and effective philanthropy. We share a belief in the urgency of fostering new pluralism in America, and we are committed to embracing pluralist values and behaviors in our work with each other and with the field.
Interested in becoming a funder? Join Us