December 6, 2013

22 Years, So Many Reasons: Support the Pluralism Project Today

Dear Friends,

In 2012, ACT! for America, one of the most vitriolic anti-Muslim organizations in the country, was the top earner on iGive, a well-known online giving website. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists ACT! for America among the “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.” In a letter to supporters early this year, ACT! for America’s Executive Director called the campaign to support their work a “no-brainer.”

At the Pluralism Project we offer a strong alternative: we think it is a “no-brainer” to support religious literacy and to affirm America’s common ground. It’s hard to believe we’ve been documenting America’s changing religious landscape for over two decades. But 22 years ago, when the Pluralism Project was born in a Harvard classroom, there was a strong need to understand how new neighbors were establishing themselves in relation to each other and the public sphere. At the time, there was no organized anti-Muslim movement. In fact, the development of such efforts to divide and disparage many religious minority groups is one of the issues we have studied over the years. Today, as we continue to document the changing landscape, we confront ever more urgently the serious challenges that face us all.

To honor the 22 years of the Pluralism Project and the countless collaborations of which we are a part, we’ve put together a slideshow highlighting 22 of the many reasons to support our work. Click here to check it out. We hope you enjoy and learn more about what we do and the many resources we have to offer.

From the beginning, education and engagement have been critical to our mission. This year in August we launched an online and updated version of On Common Ground: World Religions in America, a groundbreaking resource for understanding America’s many religions as lived experience. Since its founding, the Pluralism Project has been—and remains—a collaborative enterprise; I’m always humbled by the level of support for our work. Evidence of this support is the list of credits for On Common Ground (there were 100+ people directly involved in the researching and creation of this resource); our growing list of affiliates (with nearly 80 professors at colleges and universities here and abroad); and our alumni who, to date, include over 360 former research associates, interns, and fellows. Wow!

We here at the Pluralism Project are excited to continue these collaborations and forge new ones. We want to build on the momentum and success of On Common Ground and our other resources like the Case Study Initiative. But the truth is, friends, to continue this work, we need your support. To date, all support for staff and programming comes from grants and individual donors like you. That means your financial support is vital for keeping our research and resources available to an ever-widening audience. And we need that support this year more than ever.

Friends of the Pluralism Project understand the key role our work plays in both promoting quality research about religious diversity in the United States and in fostering religious literacy. Because one generous donor recognizes the importance of this work, she has agreed to match any gifts we receive up to a total of $50,000. Will you join her? Can you give $50, $100, $1,000, or more to support our work?

Please help us continue our efforts of promoting religious literacy and understanding. We hope that this decision is for you a “no-brainer,” and all the more so this year with the anonymous matching gift of up to $50,000. It’s just 50,000 more reasons to give to help the Pluralism Project continue its critical work.

There are two ways to give:

1. Visit our giving page, and make a donation online.

2. Send a check (made payable to “Harvard University”) to:
The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, 2 Arrow Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138

Thank you, friends, for your ongoing support.

Best wishes,

Diana L. Eck

Founder and Director, The Pluralism Project