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Equality and Antidiscrimination

The Open Society Foundations view equal treatment for all—regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual identity—as a fundamental part of healthy democracies.

$137.1M 2020 expenditures for Equality and Antidiscrimination
13.7% Percentage of global expenditures
11.5% Average annual change in expenditures since 2016

2020 Equality and Antidiscrimination Expenditures by Region

      Explore our full expenditures by theme and region

      Our Work

      On a range of issues, affecting diverse populations, we support groups that speak out and litigate on behalf of communities who face discrimination—at work, on the street, in access to health care and other public services, or before the law.

      Disability Rights

      The Open Society Foundations supports efforts to change discriminatory laws, practices, and attitudes that hinder full equality and inclusion of persons with disabilities in their communities.

      A group of people sit in a circle
      In a rural village in Fiji, local persons with disabilities participate in a training on disability rights. © Andy Isaacson/Disability Rights Fund


      George Soros and the Open Society Foundations are the leading private funder of efforts to support Europe’s estimated 10 to 12 million Roma people.

      A father and daughter stand next to one another on a snow covered street.
      A grade school-aged girl stands with her father outside her school, which educates Roma and non-Roma children together, in Ostrava, Czech Republic. © Bjoern Steinz/Panos for the Open Society Foundations

      Today our Roma Initiatives Office focuses on building the capacity of an emerging generation of young men and women to take a leadership role in their communities, providing training and educational opportunities to be a force for social change. We support local grassroots organizations that work to secure better access for Roma to health care, education, and other public services.

      A group of people hold a sign featuring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and former U.S. President Barack Obama and raise their fists in the air.
      Demonstrators gather after marching at the Louisiana Capitol to protest the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 9, 2016. © Mark Wallheiser/Getty

      Racial Justice in the United States

      Open Society-U.S. support groups that work on a range of issues affecting communities of color, including the racial wealth gap, a justice system that disproportionately incarcerates African Americans, and overly punitive school discipline policies. We have also focused on efforts to improve opportunities for Black men and boys in the United States, and to support the development of the next generation of minority communities across the country.    


      A woman holding an id card in her hands while facing the camera.
      A woman holds her ID card, which shows that she is a citizen, in Kailali, Nepal. © Kishor Sharma/Majority World for the Open Society Foundations

      An estimated 14 million people around the world are stateless—often lacking the identity documents they need to secure access to public services such as health care and education. The Open Society Justice Initiative has taken a global lead in pursuing legal action to address statelessness, which can fuel conflict and exclude entire communities from access to their rights.

      LGBTI Rights

      A young woman holds a rainbow flag above her head.
      A demonstrator holds the rainbow flag during the first LGBTI pride event ever held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2010. © Charles Meacham/Redux

      Our Human Rights Initiative funds a range of LGBTI advocacy organizations, and supports groups that are advancing rights in areas such as the legal recognition of gender fluidity. 

      Fighting Prejudice and Hate

      A group of Muslim people walk down a street, past a wall with a racial slur painted on it.
      Muslim residents walk past a wall which has a racial slur painted on it in Saint-Etienne, France on February 8, 2010. © Laurent Cipriani/AP

      Concerns over terrorism and a rise in ethnic nationalism have fueled intolerance and sometimes violence toward both migrants and minorities in Western Europe and the United States. In the United States, we have responded by funding efforts to better document and track hate crimes, while in Europe we promote the successful integration of new migrants into host communities. 

      Open Society’s Human Rights Initiative is working with our African regional foundations to end discrimination and violence targeting people with albinism, which affects an estimated one in five thousand people in sub-Saharan Africa.

      A woman in a conference room with colleagues stands while speaking.
      A human rights lawyer who is also a person with albinism stands up during a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in June, 2018. © Sven Torfinn/Panos for the Open Society Foundations

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