Just and Inclusive Society

Protecting the Civil Rights of Communities Targeted by Hate and Discrimination

When diverse groups come together to support and defend communities under threat, our democracy grows more resilient, people are safer, and we cultivate our shared American identity.

For Human Dignity and Civil Rights

In a time of rising polarization, Americans are divided — not just on the issues but also along lines of identity. Political and civic figures are actively stoking othering around race, religion, gender, sexuality, and more. By targeting minority communities, they hope to gain political advantage, consolidate power, and justify damage to our democracy.

The fallout from this is that communities — particularly immigrants, refugees, and Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians — are targeted by aggression, hate speech, hate crimes, and public policy that violates civil rights and democratic norms. This climate also erodes the cohesion and function of American society as a whole.

Together we can build a moral, just, and inclusive society that prevents violence and protects Constitutional rights. The Just and Inclusive Society project partners with community-based organizations and funding collaboratives to learn, invest in and advocate for efforts that: 

  • Build resilience by supporting the leadership of targeted communities and strengthening networks of diverse allies
  • Support coordinated communications efforts to respond to hate and violence and shape group norms by amplifying voices across communities 
  • Fund impact litigation, direct legal services, and legal education to challenge infringements to civil rights and civil liberties

We also work with peer foundations and philanthropists interested in moving toward values-based giving that prioritizes civil rights, human dignity, and the targeted communities at the vanguard of democracy.

Other Areas of Focus

Democracy Fund strengthens and defends democracy through three core programs and a number of term-limited special projects.

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Free and Fair Elections

Voting is the single most significant way Americans exercise our political power. Every eligible citizen should have an equal opportunity to participate in elections that are free and fair, as well as efficient and secure. Implementing accessible and trustworthy elections is an immense undertaking, but the American election system is also challenged by persistent barriers to voting for historically excluded communities and beset by unprecedented new threats. Our Elections program works toward a strong and modern voting system that increases voter confidence and engagement.

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Effective, Representative, and Accountable Governance

American democracy depends on a government that represents the interests of the people in all of our diversity — one that is prepared to act on our behalf and that is held accountable when it does not. However, extreme polarization limits our ability to achieve shared priorities. Partisan politics and significant institutional decline have led to government dysfunction and gridlock. Our Governance program promotes the principled leadership and strong institutions our governing system needs to act in the interests of the American people.

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A Vibrant and Diverse Public Square

No matter where they live or who they are, Americans should be able to get the news and information they need to engage in civic life and to use their voices without fear of being harassed or silenced. The rapidly evolving media landscape presents new challenges and opportunities for our communities. Our Public Square program responds by supporting trustworthy local news and investigative reporting, more equitable newsrooms, press freedom, community engagement, and digital spaces that advance democracy, not hate.

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