Cross-Ideological Startup Commits $10 Million to Supporting Community Leaders Solving Division

New funder collaborative launches first, public RFP for grants funding local innovations bringing Americans together across difference

New York City, NY – Today the New Pluralists collaborative launched its first, public request for proposals (RFP), Healing Starts Here: Local Solutions to America’s Divisions. The $10 million RFP will provide grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000 to organizations in local communities taking innovative approaches to transforming divisive dynamics and building belonging.

We’re living in a time of heightened conflict. The pandemic has taken more than 1 million lives in our country. Dramatic economic change has left families struggling to make ends meet. And many have spent the last two years in different types of isolation, which is feeding a sense of mistrust and hostility towards one another. We’re seeing horrific violence erupt in our schools and communities, feeding our sense of loss and despair. Facing these challenges, it’s easy to look for someone to blame, to deeply mistrust those “on the other side”, and to hold in contempt those who disagree on how to move forward.

But there’s reason to be hopeful. Across the country, practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators are working to foster a culture of pluralism in America. The Healing Starts Here RFP is one of the many ways New Pluralists is building the resources and capacity needed to realize the vision of a politically vibrant, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy.

“The urgency to address and act on reversing divisiveness is more critical than ever. It’s affecting us all in real and local ways. This is why we’re making a big bet on communities,” shared New Pluralists Executive Director Uma Viswanathan. “There are people and groups who are resisting division in their own towns and counties across the country. These grants will resource the local leaders positioned to meet the moment, to foster trust among their diverse neighbors and develop new ways to collaborate across difference.”

Potential applicants are focused on:

  • Supporting Local Leaders: Initiatives that support the leadership and resilience of people who are building trust across divisions in communities and who play an important role in keeping those communities connected, whole, and peaceful. In many cases, these leaders are under significant strain and are at risk of burning out.
  • Reclaiming Stories: Initiatives that bring together diverse residents to tell their stories rooted in shared traditions, make meaning together of the changes they’re experiencing, and challenge local events or circumstances that are feeding a sense of fear, distrust, and dislike of their neighbors.
  • Taking Action Across Differences: Initiatives where residents in a community are coming together to develop solutions and respond to divisive forces, in a way that reflects the values and desires of the many people who live there.

Additional details are available in the application and the request for proposals. Proposals are due July 15th and August 31st. Sign up for an optional information session on June 7 or June 22, 1:00 - 1:50pm ET.

New Pluralists

New Pluralists is a cross-ideological funder collaborative focused on supporting the growing field of practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators working to foster a culture of pluralism in America.

Acton Family Giving, Einhorn Collaborative, Fetzer Institute, Klarman Family Foundation, Lubetzky Family Foundation, Stand Together Trust (formerly Charles Koch Institute), John Templeton Foundation, and William & Flora Hewlett Foundation founded the project along with support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Schultz Family Foundation, Aronson Family Foundation, and Walmart Foundation.

The diversity of views is a hallmark of New Pluralists. It’s modeled in the rest of the community too. The collaborative works in deep partnership with a diverse community of field leaders, grantees, and other partners who are tackling these challenges from different fields and perspectives.

In order to realize the vision of a politically vibrant, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, we’re working together to invest at least $100 million in the next decade to renew the promise of America by ushering in a new pluralism.

To learn more, meet our Field Builders, check out our funders, and share with us how you want to get involved.