Nissan Foundation to Award $1.2 Million in Grants 

Nissan Foundation to Award $1.2 Million in Grants 

The Nissan Foundation announced June 20 it is awarding $1.2 million to 39 nonprofits that share and celebrate diverse cultural perspectives, experiences and voices to communities across the country---the first time it is awarding more than $1 million during its annual grant cycle.

The grant recipients are based in communities surrounding Nissan facilities in Southern California, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Southeast Michigan, New York City and Atlanta.

Fresh off its 30th anniversary, the Nissan Foundation has awarded nearly $16 million to approximately 150 nonprofits since its founding in 1992. The Nissan Foundation was created as a direct response to the civil unrest that followed the Rodney King trial verdict. At that time, Nissan’s then U.S. sales headquarters was based just blocks from the riot’s epicenter.

“It was at this pivotal moment in time when Nissan resolved to create a foundation---one with a solitary mission to build community by valuing cultural diversity,” said Chandra Vasser, president of the Nissan Foundation and Nissan’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “Since then, the Nissan Foundation has maintained its commitment to supporting organizations that celebrate cultural diversity through arts, education, and social and public programs.”

The 2023 grantees include museums, public television stations, libraries and other nonprofits promoting the many benefits that diversity brings to society.

“The work our grantees do to educate their diverse audiences about different cultures, religions and ethnicities is truly inspiring,” said Ali Tonn, Nissan Foundation executive director. “We’re impressed continually by the creative and moving ways our grantees engage audiences through events, exhibits, performances and hands-on experiences.”

Among this year’s grantees is the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, a cultural destination and educational resource for families from New York City and beyond. The Nissan Foundation grant will support the museum’s Gateway to World Cultures program, which includes performances, interactive story times and hands-on projects that explore and celebrate a variety of cultures and cultural traditions.

Another 2023 grantee is the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee, a nonprofit agency established to help improve the quality of life for Native American people in the state. The Nissan Foundation grant supports the NAIA’s Annual Pow Wow, a cultural revitalization event for both Native and non-Native Tennesseans to promote and educate the public on Native American history.

A third grantee is the interconnected Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. These museums take visitors through the sweep of Mississippi history and the state’s role as ground zero in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. The Nissan Foundation grant supports the museums’ school visits program ensuring that every Mississippi student has an opportunity to visit the museums free of charge at least once during their K-12 education.

"The experiences our grantees provide remind us all of our shared humanity,” Tonn said. “There is so much to learn from and about each other. Our grantees provide those entry points for exploring and celebrating our differences.”

2023 Grant Recipients


  • Autry Museum of the American West, “Native Voices at the Autry and American Indian Arts Marketplace” ($15,000)
  • Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum, “Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum Program” ($20,000)
  • The Fowler Museum at UCLA, “Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora: Sacred Arts of the Yoruba Atlantic educational programs and digital resources” ($30,000)
  • Japanese American National Museum, “Family Festivals and School Visits Program” ($40,000)
  • USC Asia Pacific Museum, “School Tours and Distance Learning Programs” ($15,000)
  • San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, “Stories of Us Gathering Program Series” ($10,000)
  • The Museum of Us, “Race: Are We So Different? Workshops” ($15,000)


  • Atlanta History Center, “Juneteenth 2024 Community Day and Free Admission Weekend” ($50,000)
  • Catholic Charities of Atlanta, “Refugee Education and Engagement Project” ($10,000)
  • Fernbank, “Winter Wonderland: Celebrations and Traditions Around the World” ($25,000)


  • Arab American National Museum, “AANM 2023-24 Public and Educational Programming Series” ($30,000)
  • Detroit Educational Television Foundation, “Stronger Together: One Detroit, Many Voices” ($50,000)
  • The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, “Religious Diversity Journeys: An Interfaith Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education Program” ($40,000)
  • Zekelman Holocaust Center, “Holocaust Education Summer Academy Professional Development Series for Educators” ($30,000)


  • Foundation for Mississippi History, “Two Mississippi Museums School Visits Program” ($50,000)
  • GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, “Exploring the Soul of the Movement Education Workshops and Resources and Black History Month Free Admission Days” ($50,000)

New York

  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum, “Cultural Festivals” ($15,000)
  • Brooklyn Public Library, “Center for Brooklyn History School and Teacher Programs” ($10,000)
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan, “Gateway to World Cultures Program Series” ($25,000)
  • Jewish Children’s Museum, “Public School Initiative: Bridging Diversity through Respect Programming” ($30,000)
  • The Jewish Museum, “Movies That Matter: Film Screenings for Schools” ($25,000)
  • Narrative 4, “The Story Exchange: Building Empathy Among NYC Youth” ($15,000)
  • One to World Inc., “Cultural Understanding Programs” ($30,000)
  • Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, “Talking about Difference: Skills for Engaging Difficult Conversations about Respect, Inclusion and Justice for Educator Advisory Board” ($35,000)


  • American Association of State and Local History, “Making History Matter Tennessee Training Program” ($49,797)
  • Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville, “Celebrate Chinese New Year in Nashville with CAAN” ($9,000)
  • Discovery Center, “Kids First Free Cultural Days and Outreach Initiative” ($70,000)
  • Frist Art Museum, “Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage Exhibition and Related Education and Community Engagement Programs” ($30,000)
  • Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, “Reaching Underserved Girls – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative” ($75,000)
  • Global Education Center, “Passport to Understanding School Outreach” ($25,000)
  • Nashville Public Library Foundation, “Conversations @NPL Program Series” ($50,000)
  • Nashville Public Television, “2023-24 ‘Next Door Neighbors’ Documentary Series” ($75,000)
  • Native American Indian Association of Tennessee, “42nd Annual Tennessee Indian Education Pow Wow and Arts & Crafts Demonstration Village” ($20,000)
  • Oasis Center, “Building Bridges: Inclusion, Identity, and Leadership Program for Youth” ($50,000)
  • STARS Nashville, “Promoting Respect & Understanding to Support a Diverse & Inclusive Society Program for Youth” ($25,000)
  • Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, “InterNASHional Night Market: Celebrating Nashville’s Diverse Immigrant and Refugee Communities Through Culinary Traditions” ($25,000)
  • YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, “Stand Against Injustice Lunch & Learn Series” ($25,000)


  • Artes de la Rosa, “Celebración de Artes y Cultura Free Festivals” ($30,000)
  • Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow Special Exhibition and Education Programs” ($30,000)

How to Apply for a 2024 Grant

Nonprofits whose mission aligns with that of the Nissan Foundation and are based in one of the seven areas where Nissan has a significant operational presence (Atlanta, Central Mississippi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Middle Tennessee, New York City, Southeast Michigan, Southern California) are encouraged to apply for a 2024 grant.

The Nissan Foundation will begin accepting letters of intent for the 2024 grant cycle Oct. 9. All letters of intent must be received by 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT Nov. 3. The Nissan Foundation will announce 2024 grantees in June 2024. For more information about the Nissan Foundation and its application process, visit the Nissan Foundation page.

Source: Nissan Foundation

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