Nissan Foundation Donates to Diverse Communities

The Nissan Foundation today announced it is awarding $697,000 in grants to 28 nonprofit organizations for its 2021 grant cycle. The nonprofit recipients are located in Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, Central Mississippi, Southeast Michigan and the New York and Atlanta metro areas – all locations where Nissan has an operational presence.

Over its 29-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded approximately $13 million to more than 150 organizations offering educational programs that bring diverse cultural perspectives, experiences and voices to communities across the country.

“For nearly 30 years, the Nissan Foundation has been committed to amplifying the efforts of nonprofit organizations doing the important work of sharing diverse cultural perspectives and experiences with communities across the country,” said Andrew Tavi, president of the Nissan Foundation. “At perhaps no other time in recent history has the work of these organizations been so critical. We are proud to support their efforts to inspire people to embrace the value of our differences.”

The mission of the Nissan Foundation – to build community by valuing culture diversity – is as relevant today as it was in 1992, when it was founded. Formed in response to the civil unrest that occurred near Nissan’s then North American headquarters in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict, the Nissan Foundation has annually awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations that support the Foundation’s mission.

Among the 2021 Nissan Foundation grantees are many with a focus on inspiring young people to see the world through multiple perspectives. This includes the Foundation for Mississippi History which will use its grant dollars to ensure all students in the state have the opportunity to visit the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History at least once during their K-12 education – regardless of their ability to pay.

The InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit will use its 2021 grant to grow its Religious Diversity Journeys program. Through this program, students attend a series of field trips to a Hindu temple and Sikh gurdwaras as well as Jewish, Christian and Muslim houses of worship. On each field trip, students learn about that religion’s specific culture, practices and beliefs.

The Japanese American National Museum will use its 2021 grant to fund its School Visits program, which enables school groups from throughout Southern California to visit the museum and witness the experiences of Japanese Americans from early immigration in the 19th century through the present. Annually, 15,000 students in grades one through 12 participate in the School Visits program, more than 70 percent from Title I schools.

“The Nissan Foundation is thrilled to continue supporting the many organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to imparting the value of culture and the expansion of cultural knowledge on communities across the United States,” said Parul Bajaj, Executive Director of the Nissan Foundation. “We’re also honored to provide grants to a number of new applicants whose programming aligns with the Foundation’s point of view that cultural and ethnic diversity are an enhancing factor of society.”

2021 Grant Recipients


Autry Museum of the American West, “Voices of Native America” ($15,000)

Japanese American National Museum, “School Visits Program and Family Festivals” ($30,000)

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, “Roots Series: Cultural Events, Educational Programs, and Exhibits for Children” ($10,000)

San Diego Museum of Us, “Race: Are We So Different? Virtual workshops” ($15,000)


Atlanta Historical Society, Inc., “Juneteenth 2022 Family Program and Free Admission Weekend,” ($25,000)

Catholic Charities Atlanta, “Refugee Education and Engagement Project” ($10,000)

Fernbank Museum of Natural History, “Winter Wonderland: Celebrations and Traditions Around the World” ($25,000)


Arab American National Museum (An Institution of ACCESS), “AANM Public Programming Series 2021-2022” ($20,000)

Detroit Educational Television Foundation, “Equitable Journalism” ($20,000)

Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus, “Using Literature to Provide Equitable Access to Holocaust Education” ($20,000)

The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metro Detroit, “Journeys in Religious Diversity: A Program Proven to Improve Faith-Based Relationships through Education” ($15,000)

U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants, Inc. “International Detroit” ($20,000)


Cleveland Music Foundation d/b/a GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, “Right to Write: Exploring Issues in Diversity & Inclusiveness Through Music” ($30,000)

Foundation for MS History, “School Visits Program to the Two MS Museums” ($30,000)

New York

Brooklyn Historical Society, “Muslims in Brooklyn 2021 – 2022 Educator Workshops & Curriculum Dissemination” ($10,000)

Jewish Children’s Museum, “Overcoming Obstacles: Reformatting Public School Initiative” ($15,000)

The Jewish Museum, “Movies That Matter” ($25,000)

One To World, “Cultural Understanding Programs: Intercultural Education and Exchange for NYC Youth” ($25,000)

Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, “World Olympics: Celebrating Each Other’s Differences in Schools” ($37,000)


Discovery Center, “Kids First” ($60,000)

Global Education Center, “Passport to Understanding” ($25,000)

Nashville Public Library Foundation, “Civil Rights and a Civil Society: Critical Dialogues in Equity, Race, and Identity” ($25,000)

Nashville Public Television, “Next Door Neighbors: 2021-2022” ($75,000)

Oasis Center, Inc., “Oasis Center’s Building Bridges” ($50,000)

Stars Nashville, “Understanding Bullying Prevention Through the Lens of Cultural Competence” ($20,000)

Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, “Building Support for Refugee Communities in Middle TN” ($10,000)

YWCA Nashville & Middle TN, “Stand Against Racism Lunch & Learn Series” ($20,000)


Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, “Crucial Conversations: Confronting Antisemitism” ($15,000)

Nissan Foundation grants are awarded annually; the next grants will be awarded in June 2022. For more information about the Nissan Foundation and its application process, visit the Nissan Foundation page.

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