Omidyar Network
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Omidyar Network

Announcing Omidyar Network’s Newest Focus Area: Building Cultures of Belonging

Illustration created by Studio J Lorne (Jason Lorne Giles)

Our Newest Area of Focus

“We will invest in the people and institutions equipping our increasingly diverse society to turn toward one another rather than against each other.”

The Heart of Belonging

“When we surveyed Americans of every stripe to learn what guides them, three stars shone brightest: Equality. Connection. Respect.”

Meet The Innovators

  • Through stories, songs, and sermons. Love and imagination widen the path from where we’ve been to where we’re going. It is storytellers, artists, and faith leaders who speak powerfully to the deepest parts of our hearts and minds. Pop Culture Collaborative connects the emotional arc of entertainment with social change movements to stir our yearning to belong in a just society. Repairers of the Breach fuses moral analysis with advocacy and music to inspire coalitions across color and creed. Mia Birdsong is curating a new story about freedom rooted in kinship and community.
  • Through new leaders, networks, and relationships. Strong hubs for connection and collaboration play a pivotal role in the portfolio. Building Belonging weaves cohorts of belonging practitioners working in the U.S. and globally. New Pluralists brings together funders and field innovators and has launched an initiative called Healing Starts Here to support the leaders building trust across local divides. Welcoming America organizes a network of cities and counties that seek to enshrine their commitment to immigrant belonging in all areas of civic, social, and economic life. Liberation Ventures serves America’s Black-led racial repair movement and strengthens narratives that uphold its promise for all. Liberated Capital moves resources for liberation and racial healing to community initiatives led by Indigenous, Black, and other people of color. Resonance Network creates spaces to practice old and new forms of collective governance. Citizen University’s Youth Collaboratory connects and elevates students who are exercising civic power around the country. Civic Nation is equipping the next generation of leaders to solve problems across community divides. Equity and Transformation fights to put Black Chicagoans engaged in the informal economy at the center of decisions affecting their lives.
  • Through new ideas, evidence, and institutions. Our work under Responsible Technology and Reimagining Capitalism extends to rules and policies. Building Cultures of Belonging is no exception; this portfolio sees cultural and structural transformation as intertwined. The Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, is a vibrant hub for researchers, organizers, stakeholders, communicators, and policymakers working to achieve a world where all people belong. PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity, incorporating an all-of-government approach. Flowing from a report on what it will take to reinvent American democracy for the 21st century, Trust for Civic Infrastructure seeks to reimagine how we invest in the spaces, programs, and events that help people develop a stronger sense of common purpose.

Meet Our Team

  • Nicole Allred is a cultural straddler — a woman of faith, a British Jamaican who married into a rural farming family, a trail runner, and a mother. She’s often considering our multiple identities and the narratives that connect them.
  • Michelle Barsa was raised by her Arab immigrant parents, her queer community, the Catholic Worker Movement, a network of women advocating for peace, and scientists who helped her explore the psychology behind what unites and divides us.
  • Andrew Brennen lived in five states before his family settled in Kentucky, where he found his voice as a Queer, Black, southern student by helping other students raise theirs.
  • Fanta Condé has a heart for community healing and the power of storytelling that she traces to her West African heritage, her griot ancestry, and being a seeker in the Sufi Muslim tradition.
  • David Hsu grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles where Chinese and American traditions mixed, in Southern Baptist congregations, in the closet, and immersed in the us-versus-them wars before and after 9/11.
  • Vanessa Mason began imagining the future of belonging as a child in Houston, Texas with Black parents from LA and Miami via the Caribbean, informed by her spiritual evolution from Catholicism to spiritual questioning and grounded in love for people’s complexity.

“While we trace our DNA to Silicon Valley and to markets, our newest focus area reconnects to the soul of who we are at Omidyar Network and the why behind it all.” — Michele Jawando, Senior Vice President, Omidyar Network

Co-Creating The Path Ahead

It’s Raining in Honolulu



A social change venture investing in the creation of more inclusive and equitable societies.

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Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a social change venture that reimagines critical systems, and the ideas that govern them, to build more inclusive and equitable societies.