YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee awarded Nissan Foundation grant to fund unique cultural and racial diversity programming in Nashville

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YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee awarded Nissan Foundation grant to fund unique cultural and racial diversity programming in Nashville

Categories: Blog, News, Press Release

  • Nissan Foundation grant to fund Stand Against Injustice Lunch & Learn series aimed at examining and educating individuals about how race and the legacy of discrimination continue to affect our lives.
  • Community members can access this free monthly virtual lunch & learn program online and view past events on the YWCA’s YouTube page or website.
  • For 31 years, the Nissan Foundation has supported educational programs that promote a greater appreciation and understanding of America’s diverse cultural heritage.

(NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 20, 2023) The Nissan Foundation today named YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee as a 2023 grant recipient. The Nissan Foundation grant will help fund the Stand Against Injustice lunch and learn education series that seeks to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism and discrimination in our communities and illuminates the steps needed to increase equity and justice.

“This $25,000 grant from the Nissan Foundation is critical to YWCA moving our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women forward,” said YWCA President and CEO Sharon K. Roberson. “Thanks to Nissan Foundation’s generous support, we are able to engage and raise up the voices and perspectives of experts and leaders on important topics, including systemic racism, antisemitism, LGBTQ+ rights, voter discrimination, the school to prison pipeline, to name just a few.”

The Nissan Foundation was created in 1992 as a thoughtful response to the three weeks of violent civil unrest that occurred near Nissan North America’s then U.S. sales and marketing operations in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict. Nissan established a $5 million endowment to promote cultural diversity within southern Los Angeles neighborhoods.

In the more than 30 years since, the Nissan Foundation has awarded nearly $16 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations to support innovative programs that break down societal barriers and build inclusive communities through education and outreach. Grant recipients promote cultural diversity across a variety of arts, education, social and public programs in seven U.S. communities where Nissan operates.

“It’s an honor to award YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee a grant for the work it’s doing to promote, share and sustain cultural awareness and understanding in communities throughout our world,” said Chandra Vasser President of the Nissan Foundation and Nissan’s first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.

For 125 years, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee has helped women, girls and families in Nashville and Middle Tennessee build safer, more self-sufficient lives. YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Programs of YWCA include Domestic Violence Services, Girls Inc., AMEND Together, Social Justice & Advocacy, Dress for Success, and the Family Learning Center.

The Stand Against Injustice lunch and learn series began in 2019 to increase conversations on the complex racial and social injustices facing individuals and groups in Nashville and middle Tennessee. The educational forums moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic and have continued to be held virtually.

“The experts and leaders we bring together each month dig deep into some of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Roberson. “Hosting the conversations online has allowed us to reach even more community members with both the live events and the online recordings. We are truly grateful the Nissan Foundation sees value in the Stand series and has awarded us a grant for the third year in a row.”

The Nissan Foundation is awarding a total of $1.2 million in grants to 39 nonprofit organizations for its 2023 grant cycle. The nonprofit recipients are located in Atlanta, Central Mississippi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Middle Tennessee, New York City, Southeast Michigan, Southern California – all locations where Nissan has an operational presence. Learn more about all of the 2023 Nissan Foundation grantees at www.NissanFoundation.com.

Nissan Foundation grants are awarded annually. It will begin accepting Letters of Intent for the 2024 grant cycle on Monday, October 9, 2024. All Letters of Intent must be received by 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT on Friday, November 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.

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Michelle Mowery Johnson
Sr. Director of Communications & Advocacy, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee


Andrea Ewin Turner
Corporate Communications, Nissan U.S.