The foundation seeks to promote the values and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion in its workforce, its culture, and its grantmaking.

The foundation embraces the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally, in our hiring process and organizational culture, and externally, in our grantmaking and related practices. We care about and hold these values essential both because this is the right thing to do and because it is the smart thing to do.

It is right because, as an endowed institution with significant resources, our choices about how we use our assets have important consequences. In hiring staff and supporting partners to help address critical social problems, we also empower the individuals and organizations we choose. We have a duty to exercise this privilege—for it is a privilege—thoughtfully, mindful of the larger society of which we are part, and of the historical, economic, and cultural forces that shape it. We believe this duty includes a responsibility, in hiring staff and choosing grantees and other partners, to recognize that certain groups have been historically disadvantaged, whether by virtue of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, ideology, religion, or other characteristics that reflect significant social categories or fractures.

Pursuing diversity, equity, and inclusion is not just right, moreover. It is also smart, because the work of our departments and programs is enhanced and improved by including a diverse range of voices and perspectives.

We want people to feel safe introducing outlooks and perspectives that matter to them and seem relevant to what they and we do. Equally important, we want people to not just listen, but to actually hear others when they do so. We do not limit ourselves to perspectives drawn from the divides that dominate public discourse. When we speak of diversity and inclusion, we mean the whole range of attitudes, outlooks, and perceptions that matter to the people who work with us—whether coming from familiar sources of personal identity, like race, gender, or religion; from less common sources that are particular to our institution, like place in the foundation’s hierarchy; or from sources that are idiosyncratic and individual in nature.

We don’t want to reduce ourselves or our partners to labels or turn each other into anything less than the complex, multifaceted individuals we all are. We seek, rather, to develop enough awareness of difference—enough mutual understanding and cultural sensitivity—that people can raise what matters to them, and we can learn from the enriched dialogue and relationships that result. We value the diverse perspectives our present staff already bring to the foundation’s work, but we are conscious that we have more to do and more to learn, and we look for ways to understand better how to engage and meaningfully include diverse voices in all of our work. Doing so will, we believe, improve the outcomes we and our grantees and partners achieve in our work.

Illustrative Practices:

  • When hiring and recruiting staff, looking for candidates from a broad pool of qualified applicants with different backgrounds and experiences
  • Paying attention to diversity when setting up search committees
  • Striving to build a diverse staff and board by searching for candidates outside traditional and familiar networks
  • Incorporating questions about the inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives in the OFP guidance for strategy development and implementation
  • Supporting sector efforts to increase diversity
  • Providing organizational effectiveness grants to help grantees with their own efforts to enhance the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of their organizations
  • Encouraging internal conversations in which varying viewpoints can be expressed
  • Making training in cultural competency and in having difficult conversations available to all staff

 

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