Americans feel more divided than ever. Polarization is on the rise. We’re experiencing radical economic and social change. And our trust in institutions and in each other is dropping.
Yet most Americans are tired of the divisiveness. We’re looking for ways to collaborate with people who share different views and come from different backgrounds. But how? Pluralism. It’s an academic term with real-world impact. That’s why the cross-ideological funder collaborative New Pluralists is investing $10 million in community projects that will bridge divides in local communities.
Why bet on community leaders and initiatives? Executive Director Uma Viswanathan and Program Director Alison Grubbs share why in a new blog post:
At New Pluralists, we believe that practicing pluralism in our culture starts at home, in our communities.
This choice reflects our beliefs and values:
Pluralism is already happening. Rather than seeing communities as something to be fixed, we strive to feed the strengths that already exist. We know there are people in communities across the country who are already upholding pluralism in their everyday choices and bringing others along with them in the face of the divisive forces we are all facing.
Culture is built everyday, in a localized way. Culture isn’t something imposed from above; it is created by people and communities acting and speaking for themselves. Culture is built every day through the choices we make in our own lives, workplaces, and communities. We strive to learn from and support community-driven cultural work, as we discover how to enable pluralism to grow and take root across our country.
Context matters. Challenges are different from community to community, which means the practice of pluralism will also look different. We want to identify and learn from a diversity of people and approaches that are rooted in their own contexts and use their own histories and local cultures to problem solve.
Additional details are available from New Pluralists in the request for proposals and the application. 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 focuses on supporting the growing field of practitioners, storytellers, researchers, and innovators working to foster a culture of pluralism in America.
The project was founded by 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 with support from Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Schultz Family Foundation, Aronson Family Foundation, and Walmart Foundation.