Our founder Henry R. Luce believed that we build new worlds every day1. At the Henry Luce Foundation, we work to keep building a world that is more equitable, diverse, and inclusive than the one we inherited.
We believe that the purposeful support of varied perspectives and voices contributes to enriched public discourse; that the brightest ideas are born of diverse scholarship and inquiry; and that the best way to solve complex challenges is to empower a generation of leaders that represents the richly varied experiences, talents, and passions of this world.
Throughout more than 80 years of mission-directed grantmaking, the foundation has centered human dignity, public service, and the transformative potential of higher learning and international understanding for the greater good. These enduring core principles continue to inform our sense of purpose and anchor our commitment to support those advancing more just and equitable futures.
Our Guiding Principles
We promote equity by striving to support fair and inclusive access to resources, opportunity, and networks; and through strategies that actively address preexisting inequities across structures and institutions. In all of our work, we seek to deploy equitable processes and strive for equitable outcomes because we believe that how we get there is as important as where we’re going.
We champion diversity by embracing a wide range of identities and differences. In our grantmaking, internal organization, and partnerships we strive to recognize, value, and support knowledge producers with a variety of lived experiences, intersectional identities, and multiple perspectives. We are proud to support work that challenges structural biases and injustices, that disrupts exclusionary institutions and practices, and that promotes more equitable, diverse, and inclusive systems that empower all people to reach their full potential. We are dedicated to learning with and growing alongside the lived experiences of all those with whom we share this world.
In the projects and institutions we support, as well as in our own organization and the approaches we utilize in our work, we commit to prioritizing practices that amplify, reinforce, and sustain a true sense of belonging and seek deep, system-wide change. We aim to pursue strategies that take an innovative, expansive, and structural view of inclusion, understanding that this work goes well beyond numerical diversity.
Transformation requires action. Based on these guiding principles, we prioritize grantmaking and partnership with organizations that clearly and robustly champion equity, diversity, and inclusion in their practices, leadership, staffing, and missions. The successful advancement of these priorities will be key measures of our success as grantmakers. We will seek always to improve our own practices, internally and externally, and we commit to using our own voice, as well as the power of our philanthropy, to advance these values.
We understand our work and commitments to be, as ever, both an opportunity and a responsibility to imagine, enact, and embody futures that are more equitable, more inclusive, and more just.
1 Henry R. Luce as quoted in the 1969 Annual Report of the Henry Luce Foundation
A Timeline of Philanthropic Initiatives Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
For more than eight decades, the Henry Luce Foundation has advanced purposeful, mission-driven work that centers human dignity, public service, international understanding, and higher learning in service of the greater good. These values continue to shape our sense of common purpose, bridging the past with what we stand for in the present, guiding our work towards building more just and equitable futures.
The timeline below is a historical survey of the Foundation's grantmaking, capturing the early work and pioneering efforts that have informed our present commitments to advance the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It demonstrates our long-standing engagement with what would today be recognized as the core principles and concerns of EDI efforts.