Recent years have been marked by a rise in “populism” and frenzied identity-based politics, and the continued exclusion of minority groups from meaningful participation in addressing problems faced by society. In this article, I assert that the only pragmatic way to address these issues is to guarantee the genuine social inclusion of all people, and to ensure that those seeking to build inclusive societies understand the role that human rights, minority rights, and identity should play in this process. Building upon these assertions, I identify the roots of minority rights protection, as well as the importance placed on identity in generating egalitarian societies. I also examine the UN human rights approach to minority protection, and highlight the backlash to identity-based politics. Finally, I advocate for the use of pragmatism in working to build inclusive societies, and offer a number of starting points towards such an approach.