The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity

Our Commitment to Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

The Sillerman Center draws upon scholarship and practitioner experience to inform and advance philanthropic practice that aspires to achieve racial justice, remedy social and economic inequality and support true democracy. 

We believe that philanthropy should seek to reform and repair inequitable systems and systems of oppression.

EID at the Sillerman Center


The practice of social justice philanthropy requires not only the application of a structural analysis and an understanding of pressing social challenges. Social justice philanthropists are also concerned with making the sector itself more democratic, more racially and culturally diverse, more inclusive, and better informed by the people affected by the social problems philanthropy aims to solve. The Sillerman Center is committed to these goals. We believe equity, diversity and inclusion — whether in terms of race, culture, ethnicity, disability status, socioeconomic background, LGBTQI identity or any other dimension of human variation — enriches our work at Heller and the philanthropic sector. Our fellowship program supports students interested in working to achieve these goals. 


Through our courses on Social Justice & Philanthropy, students learn about contemporary questions related to philanthropy’s appropriate role, its inherent power, and which critique its effectiveness in ameliorating social problems and advancing social justice on many fronts. We believe that students hold the power to make strong, equitable grant decisions. Therefore, students in our courses engage in social justice grantmaking practices that culminate in the distribution of funds to local nonprofits.

Projects & Publications 

Our projects & publications inform grantmaking in numerous social justice areas, illuminate equitable and inclusive philanthropic practice, and explore some of the most vexing challenges and exciting opportunities for contemporary philanthropy in the United States. Currently, our projects and publications focus on Civil Rights & Civil Repair, including school and housing desegregation and integration, as well as Participatory Grantmaking, including youth philanthropy and community-centric grantmaking.


The Sillerman Center designs, coordinates and hosts a variety of events, both here at the Heller School and beyond. We work with our partners to organize events, ranging from lectures to panel discussions to convenings, which feature practitioners of social justice philanthropy. Through these events, grantmakers learn from subject-matter experts, community-based leaders, and each other. We also co-sponsor and collaborate on events organized and hosted by nonprofit organizations and grantmakers across the country.