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Fund for an OPEN Society (OPEN) is America's only national nonprofit whose sole purpose is working to promote thriving racially and ethnically inclusive communities. We believe that inclusive communities create equity, breaking down the structures which have created and sustained inequality for people of color. Furthermore, we believe that inclusive communities benefit everyone: by living in community together, we take full advantage of the power inherent in America's rich diversity. At OPEN, we are committed to enabling our nation to break from its past of racial and ethnic separation as an organizing principle of our economy, politics and social circles. We envision a better America, where equality is created and sustained in community through equal access to good schools, housing, and economic opportunity.
While the United States is the world's most diverse nation, it is also extraordinarily segregated. Our racial and ethnic divide has been described as "American apartheid." Segregation has denied many Americans the benefits of equal access to good schools, economic opportunity, and safe communities to live and to raise their families. It has also denied all of our children the opportunity to prepare for diverse workplaces in our globalized economy.
Inclusive communities offer the best antidote to segregation. Our vision for our nation is that people will live in communities which are stable, inclusive and where political and civic power is shared by people of different races and ethnicities. Furthermore, these are communities where people share their lives well beyond the workplace or public space. At OPEN, we envision people of different racial and ethnic groups not only living near one another but living in open communities where people interact and form friendships, support and/or become elected officials, participate in schools and religious congregations, and generally have a wide range of experiences across racial and ethnic lines.
At OPEN, we understand that separate can never be equal.
- Barbara Heisler Williams
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