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The McKnight Foundation Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion



Imagine a world where every child recognizes the sacredness of their humanity. And every family has enough to eat, and a place to call home, no matter the color of their skin or the zip code of their birth.

Imagine how much higher we could soar in our arts and sciences if we realized that ingenuity comes from all quarters, and we sought out hidden assets.

Imagine if everyone could enjoy the bounty of the land that has sustained us for generations, and we could come together to preserve our one and only Earth.


Guided by this vision, The McKnight Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values.

Diversity: We appreciate and leverage our differences, and we involve and reflect the communities we serve.

Equity: We align our policies, practices, and resources so that people of all races, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses have genuine opportunities to thrive.

Inclusion: We create an environment in which everyone feels valued and respected.

This commitment is critical to deepening our relevance, credibility, and effectiveness, and it will strengthen our mission to improve the lives of present and future generations. The civic and economic vitality of our home state of Minnesota, known as Mni Sota Makoce to the Dakota, depends on inclusive and equitable opportunities for everyone.

We see many ways to realize this vision as a funder, convenor, thought leader, and as an employer, economic entity, and institutional investor.

In all we do, we seek to be conscious of and address the deeply entrenched practices, cultural norms, and decisionmaking structures that perpetuate inequities. Racial discrimination is a legacy of our nation’s painful history, and institutional racism and unconscious bias persist. Equity means receiving what one needs to succeed, as we are not all born with the same opportunities.

We approach our work on diversity, equity, and inclusion with courage and optimism—knowing it requires a sustained commitment. When we make mistakes along the way, we will adapt and continue to learn.

This work is our shared responsibility—and our shared opportunity —because what is at stake is nothing less than our shared fate.

Read the contextual notes for further background on McKnight’s DEI statement.