Our founder, Agnes E. Meyer, was a tireless advocate for shared humanity whose constant call to action was the need to change our nation and region’s systems to achieve racial justice. Today, the work of the Meyer Foundation is about answering Agnes’ call.
More about our founders
The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation was established in 1944 under the direction and leadership of Agnes, an author, investigative journalist, and staunch advocate for civil rights and strong public institutions; and her husband Eugene, a prominent business leader, public servant, and then-publisher of The Washington Post.
The Foundation was built out of a responsibility the Meyers felt to the nation and place they called home and was inspired by a vision to strengthen the social and economic well-being of all. Six years later, the Meyers appointed an independent five-member board of business and civic leaders to guide the Foundation’s work, establishing the Foundation as an independent, private philanthropic institution.
Whether through philanthropic interests or by regularly using her platform as a journalist to call out societal ills, Agnes remained a tireless advocate for those most impacted by inequity and injustice. She had a strong belief that our nation’s public institutions must undergo significant change to uproot drivers of inequality and to truly deliver on the American promise of “liberty and justice for all.” That spirit of activism deeply resonates with us today.
The words she delivered in her keynote speech to the National Council of Negro Women at their annual meeting in DC over sixty years ago still ring true: “…the world revolution that now swirls around us, is a struggle to preserve humanitarian concepts against the resurgence of primitive tribalism. We are faced by one of two possibilities, whether to succumb under stress to tribalism or to go bravely forward to establish the fundamental concept of a free democratic civilization—the acceptance of every individual as having unique qualities and therefore of being an end in himself… accept equality not in a few but in all of our human relationships. It implies a willingness to make over all of our institutions—not merely our schools—that now prevent equality of opportunity.”
Today, the work of the Meyer Foundation is about answering Agnes’ call to action.
As our region and nation continue to grapple with persistent poverty and gaps in quality education and economic well-being, we seek to partner with and support those movements and organizations in our region that aim to go bravely forward in reimagining and recreating the institutions and systems that perpetuate inequitable access to the “American Dream.”For seventy-five years, the Meyer Foundation has continually evolved to support solutions to the most pressing issues communities in the Greater Washington region face. The motivation at the root of our work remains constant – a belief in the shared humanity of all our neighbors.
We envision a just, connected, and inclusive Greater Washington community in which systemic racism and its consequences no longer exist.
The Meyer Foundation pursues and invests in solutions that build an equitable Greater Washington community in which economically disadvantaged people thrive.
RACIAL JUSTICE AND SHARED HUMANITY
We believe racial equity is a moral and justice imperative that benefits all humanity. We are committed to advancing racial equity in all our spheres of influence in the interest of building a just, connected, inclusive future in which everyone thrives.
We recognize solutions to racial injustice are built through the collective efforts of diverse people, perspectives and sectors; and by shifting power and voice to our community members who have been most directly affected by racial injustice.
We use our resources and relationships to create opportunities, build capacity, and contribute to the strength, resiliency, and equity of the Greater Washington region.
We manage the long-term financial well-being of the foundation consistent with our beliefs, mission, and vision while acting boldly to achieve racial equity.
Learn more about What We Do.
- Equity is the just, fair inclusion into a society in which ALL can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
- The challenges our region faces are interconnected and the link between poverty and racial equity is not incidental, but structural and causal.
- Measurable progress can only be accomplished by changing systems that perpetuate inequities.
- Systemic racism is historic and persistent. It is embedded in the policies, practices, institutions, and systems found at the root of many of our region’s (and our nation’s) greatest challenges, including those facing immigrant communities.
- Unchecked biases and assumptions combine to create inequitable policies and practices.
- All communities have assets on which they can draw as they face challenges and opportunities, and have the knowledge, wisdom, and ideas to shape their futures. Diverse experiences and perspectives are essential to our work.
- Meaningful progress on challenges will require multiple organizations and institutions across all sectors working in partnership.
Our Ethical Standards
The Meyer Foundation is committed to an environment where open, honest communications are the expectation, not the exception. From our grantmaking to our relationships with vendors and partners, we place a heavy emphasis on ethical behavior. That’s why we launched a whistleblower hotline and online reporting system through EthicsPoint.
What is EthicsPoint?
EthicsPoint is a confidential third-party whistleblower tool created by NAVEX Global. This tool aids management, employees, grantees, vendors, and the general public in helping us address fraud, abuse, and other misconduct within the Foundation. With EthicsPoint, you have the ability to file an anonymous report, either through our online portal or the telephone.
Who should use EthicsPoint?
The EthicsPoint system is designed for employees, board members, grantees, vendors, or the general public to report violations of our Conflict of Interest Policy and other concerns. Your reporting helps us to maintain our ethical standards and resolve potential risks.
Click here to visit EthicsPoint and to learn more about our commitment to ethics. Access the toll-free whistleblower hotline by dialing: 844-215-9049