We believe everyone deserves access to a good education, quality health care, opportunities to build wealth and communities that are safe from environmental pollution. These basic tenets are critical to fostering a sense of belonging for members of any community.

With that conviction, we take seriously our responsibility and opportunity to help lift up the members of our society who have historically been prevented from accessing those basic opportunities. And we are committed to eliminating structural and systemic barriers that stand in their way. Sometimes that means providing different or additional support to individuals and communities, and we work with our partner organizations to provide that support in ways that are mindful of the culture, history and heritage of those they serve.

We are committed to overlaying these beliefs and commitments—our “equity lens”—on every grant we fund, every partnership we enter and every investment we make.

What does this look like in practice? In addition to the overall objective of reducing barriers and creating opportunity for historically excluded populations, our commitment to equity includes specific objectives related to the types of organizations we partner with:

For Educational Institutions

  • Increasing retention and/or graduation rates of first-generation and low-income students at private and public universities
  • Providing low-income and first-generation youth and their families with practical college access tools that lead to college enrollment
  • Increasing the diversity of board members at private educational institutions, and the diversity of faculty members at all educational institutions

For Nonprofit Organizations

  • Increasing the diversity of board members and staff at nonprofit organizations
  • Assisting organizations in eliminating unconscious bias by conducting internal audits of policies, procedures and practices and supporting the implementation of recommended changes

For Cultural & Religious Institutions

  • Providing opportunities for the artistic works and stories of diverse populations to be shared in traditional art, cultural and historic preservation spaces
  • Supporting programming and other efforts to make traditional arts and culture spaces welcoming to entire communities
  • Utilizing spaces that are unused during the week as gathering spaces that meet a community need

Here To Help

Barbara Roole
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