New York City — Philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett awarded $4 million to New Pluralists, a new cross-ideological funder collaborative that launched in 2021 to support the growing field of practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators working to foster a culture of pluralism in America.
Our country faces rising polarization, declining trust, and a sense that the social fabric that binds us is stretched to a breaking point. But Americans are more united than we think, and an overwhelming majority of people are hungry to collaborate across our differences. As Scott highlights in her announcement:
The increasing stridency of opinions in the news can be divisive. But lately I’ve heard something different in it. Turned up so loud, all I can notice is how similar it all sounds. The universal tendency to shout is an ironic reminder of how much we all have in common, as well as encouraging evidence that we have what we need to solve our shared problems. It’s as if the antidote is right there waiting in all that venom. We are all human. And we all have enormous energy to devote to helping and protecting those we love.
Pluralism can help, in ways that are more real, practical and immediate than the word may sound. Pluralism invites us all to honor each other's dignity and expand our sense of who we care about. Practicing pluralism does not require us to sacrifice our deeply held beliefs or patch over the harms we've caused each other. It's about learning how to navigate our conflicts well, so we can move forward together, and can see our differences as an asset we draw on to make progress. And it is crucial to strengthening our democracy and to creating communities in which everyone can thrive.
New Pluralists Executive Director Uma Viswanathan issued the following statement:
This generous support recognizes how crucial it is that philanthropy invest in ways to heal, build bridges, and move together across our nation’s differences to solve our shared challenges. At this early stage of our initiative, we’re grateful for those who see and support this critical work at such a pivotal time.
The new grant enables New Pluralists to power up our efforts to invest in and catalyze the impact of a growing and diverse network of practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators - people committed to pluralism who are working together to satisfy the deep hunger we have to heal our social divisions. And it will allow us to invite many more people and leaders across the nation to contribute and join us. We’re excited to elevate, connect, and support the growing field of practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators who are working together to satisfy the deep hunger we have to heal our social divisions in these ways.
Everyone involved with New Pluralists approaches our common purpose from differing perspectives. That’s intentional. The diversity of our community allows us to practice what we hope to see in the world and better support those in the growing field of pluralism – leaders bringing the lessons of their work in depolarization, social healing, civic skill-building, racial reconciliation, and more to bear on the collaborative’s strategy and impact.
New Pluralists is a funder collaborative working to foster a culture of pluralism in America. It aims to invest at least $100 million in the next decade.
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.
We work in deep partnership with a diverse community of Field Builders, 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 must work together across our differences to renew the promise of America by ushering in a new pluralism.