• Grants awarded to 29 nonprofit organizations that promote understanding and respect among cultural/ethnic groups
  • Since 1992, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $10 million to more than 120 nonprofit organizations
  • Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Nissan Foundation annually awards grants to nonprofits in California, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee and Texas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nissan Foundation will award more than $700,000 in grants to 29 U.S. nonprofit organizations that work to further cultural awareness and understanding. The grant recipients are located in Southern California, North Central Texas, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Southeastern Michigan and the New York and Atlanta metro areas.

Nissan Foundation President Scott Becker is recognizing the 2017 grantees at the annual convention of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in Washington D.C.

"I am honored to announce the Nissan Foundation's 2017 grant recipients, all of which are committed to a world where racial, ethnic and cultural diversity is genuinely valued," said Becker, who also is senior vice president of Administration for Nissan North America, Inc. 

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Nissan Foundation, which was formed in response to the civil unrest that occurred near Nissan's then U.S. sales and marketing headquarters in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict. Since that time, the Foundation has annually awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations celebrating cultural diversity through arts, education and social and public programs.

"Our mission is to support local organizations offering educational programs that foster greater understanding and respect among the groups of people who live within that community," said Nissan Foundation Executive Director Vicki Smith.

How the grantee organizations meet that objective is as varied as the organizations themselves.

The Nashville Public Library Foundation, a 2016 Nissan Foundation grant recipient, has used its grant to fund its program titled, "Civil Rights and a Civil Society: Civil Rights Training for Nashville Enforcement Agencies and Beyond." Through archival images, oral histories and films, this civil rights program series connects history with today's prevailing issues affecting law enforcement and minority communities.

"With funding from the Nissan Foundation, we provided training sessions to more than 900 law enforcement officers around the state and to more than 1,500 members of the community, including students, senior citizens and civic group members," said Andrea Blackman, division head for Education Outreach and Special Collections at the Nashville Public Library.

Another Nissan Foundation grantee is the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) based in Los Angeles, which used its grant to help fund its School Visits program. The program centers around docent-led tours of the museum's permanent exhibition "Common Ground: The Heart of Community," with focus on the Japanese American experience during World War II. The program serves approximately 12,000 K-12 students from primarily Title I schools each year.

"The Japanese American National Museum has been able to serve thousands of ethnically diverse young people thanks to support from the Nissan Foundation," said Ann Burroughs, president and CEO of JANM. "When schoolchildren visit, they are given the opportunity to draw parallels, examine differences and explore intersections between the Japanese American experience and their own. Our tours and educational activities foster empathy and inspire students to value diversity, heritage, and history, which is at the very core of our institutional mission."

Over the past 25 years, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $10 million to more than 120 nonprofit organizations. The Nissan Foundation board reviewed 34 proposals from nonprofits in seven U.S. communities where Nissan operates before awarding its 2017 grants to the following organizations.

2017 Grant Recipients





New York



The Nissan Foundation will begin accepting Letters of Intent from 2018 grant applicants in October 2017.

A new look
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Nissan Foundation unveiled a new logo at the NNPA luncheon. The logo's geometric patterns, which represent inclusion and movement, are connected in the middle, creating a unified whole. The many colors represent the celebration of cultural diversity inherent in the foundation's mission.

"The new logo aligns well with the Nissan Foundation's mission," said Smith. "Its timeless design should hold up well over the next 25 years."

About the Nissan Foundation
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. During its 25th anniversary year, the Nissan Foundation is sharing the powerful stories of the nonprofits it supports in a shared commitment to promoting cultural diversity. Follow along at #NissanCommunity.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.INFINITIUSA.com, or visit the U.S. media sites NissanNews.com and INFINITInews.com.


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Vicki Smith
Nissan Foundation

Darla Turner
Nissan Corporate Communications

Issued by Nissan


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