Established in 1992, the mission of the Nissan Foundation is to build community through valuing cultural diversity. The Nissan Foundation is part of Nissan North America's commitment to "enrich people's lives" by helping to meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S. through philanthropic investments, corporate outreach sponsorships, in-kind donations and other charitable contributions.
The Nissan Foundation is awarding $730,000 in grants to 29 nonprofit organizations for its 2018 grant cycle. The nonprofit recipients are located in Southern California, North Central Texas, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Eastern Michigan and the New York and Atlanta metro areas.
Over its 26-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $10 million to approximately 120 organizations promoting respect and understanding among cultural and ethnic groups.
In 1992, Nissan North America formed the Nissan Foundation in response to the civil unrest that occurred near Nissan’s then U.S. headquarters in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict. Every year since, the Nissan Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that offer educational programs that inform, inspire and celebrate diversity among the various cultural and ethnic groups that make up society.
Among the organizations receiving a 2018 Nissan Foundation grant is the Nashville Public Library Foundation, which is receiving its third grant from the Nissan Foundation this year. The Nashville Public Library was named the 2017 Library of the Year by Library Journal Magazine, recognizing its profound service to the community, creativity, leadership and innovation in developing community programs. The library started the “Civil Rights and a Civil Society” program as a training experience for law enforcement officials, a platform for discussing complex community dynamics through a historical framework. Over the past year the program has expanded to include community organizations, schools, corporate groups and delegations from other cities. The Nashville Public Library will use its 2018 Nissan Foundation grant to support continued expansion of the program.
Another Nissan Foundation 2018 grantee is the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a secularnonprofit that promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religious difference and combat prejudice in schools, workplaces, health care settings and combat zones. Through a public education program called “Combating Extremism,” Tanenbaum disseminates education materials that address fear, misinformation and prejudice. The resources include fact sheets on current issues such as white supremacy and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. Materials include targeted questions for use by teachers, religious leaders, community organizers and parents. Tanenbaum will use its 2018 Nissan Foundation grant to further its outreach efforts, including the creation of six new resources.
The Nissan Foundation initially reviewed 101 letters of intent and 39 proposals from nonprofits in seven U.S. states where Nissan operates before awarding grants for 2018.