Our mission is a world that is more just, verdant, and peaceful. The world is more just when actions are moral, rational, equitable, and fair; more verdant, when the planet and its people flourish; and more peaceful, when people are free from fear, conflict, violence, and war.
Our mission leads with justice because we believe that justice is the essential condition for universal human dignity, equitable opportunity, and shared prosperity.
Living Our Mission: The Just Imperative
Justice is reflected in fairness, equity, impartiality, respect, and humanity, and characterized by the promotion of, and elimination of the past and present barriers to, equitable access, treatment, consideration, and opportunity.
The Just Imperative requires that we interrogate our decisions and actions to ensure that they enhance the conditions in which justice can thrive; rejecting and challenging the structures, systems, and practices that reinforce an unjust status quo, or produce unjust outcomes.
The Just Imperative is grounded in the values of inclusion, diversity, and equity, which embrace the full range of human characteristics; including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identify, status, experience, ability and disability, age, religion, geography or national origin, ideology, class, perspective, and more. The richness of individuals’ lives is reflected in the intersection of multiple characteristics. At the same time, multiple systems of oppression or constraint based on these characteristics may also intersect in the lives of individuals.
Diversity includes all the ways that people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another.
Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while also striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented full participation of some individuals and groups.
Inclusion is the act of creating authentic environments in which all individuals and groups can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate.
Interrogating our decisions and actions requires that, in pursuit of inclusion and equity across the full array of human characteristics as they play out in different ways locally, nationally, and globally, we acknowledge a responsibility to tackle the pernicious effects of historic and present-day racism in the U.S. and the structures, systems, power dynamics, and practices that perpetuate it.
Areas of Focus
We commit to applying the values and the approach of the Just Imperative in: recruiting and hiring; purchasing goods and services; engaging consultants and managers; internal voice and decisionmaking; public representation; Foundation culture; Foundation policies; Board composition; external outreach, access, and input; civil society leadership; program strategy; and grantee relationships.
Departments, programs, and teams will identify ways to implement the Just Imperative; determine what the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion mean in the context of their work; what they have done; what they are doing; what they will do to more fully incorporate them into their work; and what success would look like, including changes in any internal systems, structures, and practices within their power to influence that hinder equity and inclusion.
Individuals will challenge themselves to identify ways to implement the Just Imperative in their own work and interactions with others.
We will implement feedback loops, periodic surveys, reflections, examinations, audits, and assessments; adjust strategies and tactics; and challenge ourselves to increase our commitment and efforts.
We understand this is a high standard, hard work, and a journey that does not end; we will not get it right every time; but what is important is the commitment and consistent efforts to incorporate the Just Imperative into our work and our lives.