Nissan Foundation Supports Diversity with Awards

The Nissan Foundation has awarded $680,000 in grants to 27 nonprofit organizations for its 2020 grant cycle. The recipients are located where Nissan has an operational presence, including in Southern California, Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Eastern Michigan and the New York and Atlanta metro areas.

“The Nissan Foundation’s singular focus from day one has been to stimulate dialogue around race relations and cultural diversity and to support organizations celebrating our differences while reminding us of our similarities,” said Travis Parman, Nissan Foundation president. “Our 2020 grantees have been engaging in this important, difficult and often uncomfortable work for many years. It’s our honor and privilege to recognize and amplify their efforts.”

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The foundation began in 1992, formed in response to the civil unrest that occurred in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $12 million to approximately 150 organizations that offer educational programs that inform, inspire and celebrate diversity.

“Despite the limitations of stay-at-home orders resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, our 2020 grantees have found creative ways to continue their important work,” said Parul Bajaj, executive director of the Nissan Foundation. “Many of them have taken their programs virtual with great success by providing multimedia resources to educate community members during a watershed moment in our history.”

Among the 2020 grantees is the Nashville Public Library Foundation, whose Civil Rights and Civil Society program is a four-time Nissan Foundation grantee. The library leverages its rich Civil Rights Collection and programming to invite community organizations to learn about past injustices to better serve the diverse public they encounter in their work every day. For 2020, the library’s grant award was $50,000.

“The Nissan Foundation has long admired this program where participants gather to discuss race relations and community dynamics with the goal of fostering empathy,” Bajaj said. “It’s our hope that the Nissan Foundation grant helps the Nashville Public Library Foundation continue evolving the program and bring it to even more audiences.”

Other 2020 grant recipients in Tennessee are: Discovery Center – $60,000; Global Education Center – $25,000; Nashville Public Television – $75,000; Native American Indian Association of Tennessee – $15,000; Oasis Center Inc. – $50,000; Stars Nashville – $20,000 and Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition – $15,000.

In Mississippi, 2020 grant recipients are: Cleveland Music Foundation dba GRAMMY Museum Mississippi – $25,000 and Jobs for Mississippi Graduates – $25,000.

In Georgia, 2020 grant recipients are: Atlanta Historical Society Inc. – $25,000; Catholic Charities Atlanta – $10,000 and Fernbank Museum of Natural History – $25,000.

In California, the 2020 grant recipients are: Autry Museum of the American West – $15,000; Japanese American National Museum – $30,000; San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum – $10,000 and San Diego Museum of Man – $15,000.

In Michigan, the 2020 grant recipients are: Arab American National Museum – $10,000; Detroit Educational Television Foundation – $30,000; Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus – $20,000; The Community House – $10,000 and The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metro Detroit – $10,000.

In New York, the 2020 grant recipients are: Brooklyn Historical Society – $10,000; Jewish Children’s Museum – $25,000; The Jewish Museum – $25,000; One to World – $20,000 and Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding – $30,000.

The Nissan Foundation will begin accepting letters of intent for the 2021 grant cycle in mid-October with a submission deadline of November 16. Applicants must be based in California, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee or Texas.

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