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Philanthropy’s Necessary Role in Advancing an Inclusive, Multiracial Democracy

Georgetown University

This essay focuses on several areas where contemporary American democracy can deliver on its promises, and philanthropy’s necessary role in advancing this vision for an inclusive, multiracial democracy. We profess no cure-alls to what ails us. Many projects that build our democracy are worthy of philanthropic engagement and support. We argue that more funders need to understand how the threats to inclusive, multiracial democracy are connected to the increased challenges we face in advancing our causes and changing systems. We suggest a starter course of actions funders can take if they have not yet devoted energy and resources to strengthening our democracy. We recognize that funders further along in this work will offer other ways to expand participation, build power, and nurture public institutions free from domination, responsive to modern challenges, and protective of populations in the minority. Philanthropy is no substitute for a healthy democracy, but the sector has a necessary role to play in facilitating tangible progress.

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Published March 2022, by Georgetown University

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