Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

(updated December 22, 2020)


The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) is committed to becoming an anti-racist, anti-sexist institution where each person, in their uniqueness, knows they are valued and belong. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are critical to our mission of advancing a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

The RBF strives to model the change we seek in the world; therefore, we are engaging in continuous learning to inform the transformation of our organizational practices, policies, and norms. We are dedicated to achieving internal racial and gender equity through an organizational culture that seeks to identify and undo any vestiges of white supremacy and patriarchy while honoring each person’s lived experiences.

We define diversity as including, but not limited to, individual and group differences based on race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender expression, sexual orientation, class, religious belief, political perspective, and mental and physical ability. The RBF cannot realize the true value of diversity without genuine inclusion in which all members of our community feel they belong. When people know they belong, we advance on the path of equity: the continuous pursuit of impartial and fair conditions for human fulfillment.

As our learning continues, RBF trustees and staff are committed to the following actions, centering our efforts on Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people, women, and people who are gender-nonconforming:

  • Recruiting, supporting, and retaining a diverse and inclusive board of trustees and staff
  • Investing in the professional development of our staff
  • Maintaining pay equity for all employees
  • Actively redressing patterns of microaggressions, implicit bias, and discrimination at the RBF
  • Fostering open and effective cooperation among the board and staff, including on issues of gender and racial justice
  • Investing in grantee organizations with diverse leadership and supporting their leadership and organizational development
  • Increasing the percentage of our endowment invested in firms that reflect majority ownership by women and/or people of color and seeking to advance meaningful leadership and pipeline opportunities for women and/or people of color by all our asset managers
  • Engaging with other diverse partners (vendors, Pocantico Center conferees and resident artists, contractors, consultants, etc.)
  • Tracking and annually reporting on our progress with qualitative and quantitative indicators
  • Advocating public policy that advances social inclusion
  • Promoting intercultural understanding

As a global philanthropy, we seek to advance justice and equity in the places where we work, recognizing that the barriers differ in each place. As an American foundation, we accept particular responsibility to address racial and gender inequity and injustice in the United States while also being attentive to the racial and neo-colonial implications of certain historic and current U.S. global policies.

The RBF acknowledges the tensions embedded in the privileges and inequities inherent in the history of philanthropy—we owe our existence to massive concentrations of wealth. We understand that, during our 80-year history, the RBF may have contributed to the perpetuation of injustice even while accomplishing much good in the world.

We believe the RBF has a moral obligation to do our part to address past and current injustices to groups that have been historically oppressed and excluded socially, politically, and economically. This includes confronting the history of white supremacy, racism, and misogyny and addressing the ways that this history shapes the field of philanthropy and the RBF.

Advancing racial, gender, and social justice is a moral imperative of the RBF and central to our institutional effectiveness and impact. It is a continuous transformational process that must occur on the personal, organizational, and societal levels. It is not work that is ever fully complete. Achieving fundamental change requires deep introspection, active listening, and focused learning about the lived experiences of people who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, women, gender-nonconforming, and otherwise underrepresented.

We acknowledge that we have much work to do to achieve our goals and we welcome lessons learned by others who are making the journey alongside us. In the end, we all need to belong.

Diversity Project Reports

Download the 2010 report detailing the Fund’s work on diversity and inclusion.

Download the 2012 report summarizing the Fund’s progress in collecting and analyzing data on human resources, operations, grantmaking, public programs, and conference activities.

Related Links

The Fund's annual review includes diversity data for its trustees and staff.

D5 Coalition Co-Chairs Address Myths Surrounding Diversity in Philanthropy