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Following the foundational journey documented in Divided by Design, E Pluribus Unum (EPU) continues working for a more just and equitable South: a “New South” that fulfills America’s promise for all and that always pushes for progress with purpose. Dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic caused us to change our plans, but it did not slow us down. The pandemic, the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, unprecedented natural disasters, and ever-growing political divisions further magnified our nation’s persistent inequities, especially in the South.

E Pluribus Unum’s work is critical in the face of our country’s path forward. In fact, the fight for racial and economic equity is more vital than ever.

“When historians look back they will remember how we… at this moment, in this time, came together to do what was hard for the sake of doing what was right, and gave light and freedom, and goodness and life, to those generations we do not yet know.”

— Mitch Landrieu, Founder E Pluribus Unum

E Pluribus Unum was founded in 2018 with a mission to break down the barriers that were designed to purposefully divide the American South by race and class. After 18 months of intimate conversations in 13 southern states, EPU created programming around leadership, policy, and narrative change. In 2020, we hit the ground running to implement plans and activate this work directly in communities. But soon thereafter, a global pandemic entered the scene and changed the world.

Like every other organization, business, school, place of worship, and community, EPU had to quickly pivot. We assessed the new landscape and created a different approach to keep our critical work moving forward. Our Unum Fellows transformed into a virtual community of elected leaders focused on creating equity in their communities. Our narrative change work evolved into a robust web series that brought more people into the conversation than we would have been able to convene in person. Our policy toolkits provided deep and diverse knowledge banks on key issues and initiatives. Though physically limited in 2020 and 2021, the virtual world allowed EPU to reach further and deeper than we initially designed. Our extensive work during this timeframe is outlined here in Progress with Purpose: Building an Equitable South.

Join us on the journey as EPU’s work continues!

Leadership Accelerators

Having leaders on the ground who are informed, committed, and resourced is essential to create meaningful change. With the development of unique Leadership Accelerators, EPU empowers courageous leaders who are focused on building a more equitable and inclusive South.

Policy & Research

EPU’s Policy & Research work is centered on developing actionable tools and resources for policymakers on ideas that can accelerate change to create equal access to opportunity, justice, and democracy at the federal, state, and local levels.

Narrative Change

EPU’s Narrative Change work continues to leverage behavioral science and human-centered design techniques to understand and change perceptions and beliefs around the issues of race and equity.

Moving Forward

EPU Founder Mitch Landrieu often says that the South is America’s laboratory of democracy. With this core belief as our foundation, we work uniquely and complementarily with fellow social justice organizations to achieve the greatest impact. No single entity will dismantle racist and oppressive systems. From the cities to the mountains and the bayous to the farmlands, it will take collective power to fulfill America’s promise.

As EPU continues forward, we carry the lessons of the past two years with us. Most importantly, we know that the redesigning of generational systems of racism and oppression must be as purposeful as the creation of those systems. The stories we tell, the policies we promote, and the leaders who guide us must all articulate a clear vision and pathway for an equitable South and ultimately an equitable America. Our Progress with Purpose continues right here in America’s laboratory of Democracy.