Foundation Watch

The Ford Foundation’s Ugly, Warped View of America:
Media and Climate Alarmism

The Ford Foundation’s Ugly, Warped View of America (full series)
Megaphones and Militancy | Funding for Politics
Big Labor, Big Government, Big Censorship | Media and Climate Alarmism
This Is Who They Are

Money for Media and Climate Alarmism

Influencing the content of all the media we consume has been the purpose of at least $14.3 million in Ford grants given since 2022.

According to a grant description provided by Ford, a $400,000 donation given to the University of Southern California was sent to support the “Charlotta Bass Journalism and Justice Lab which trains anti-racist journalists.” The phrase is from the mission statement of the Charlotta Bass program, which identifies their plan to “train the next generation of antiracist journalists.”

The meaning is left vague in both cases. A positive interpretation is that USC professors believe they have the special sauce to crank out reporters purpose-built to confront racism. The more unpleasant implication is that Ford Foundation staffers believe America is so profoundly racist that special funding is needed just to keep KKK donors off the CNN anchor desk.

It’s difficult to totally dismiss the uglier version, at least from Ford’s perspective, because the same grant officers were simultaneously forking over tens of millions of dollars just to support protest groups who seek to destroy capitalism because they believe it will save the supposedly endangered (or even nonexistent) multiracial democracy.

Everything Ford does can and probably should be understood from the perspective of well-paid would-be revolutionaries who sit atop a $16 billion mountain of money and believe most Americans are irredeemably awful. With that in mind, consider $5 million in media grants given to the lefty Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors since October 2022. According to Ford staffers, the loot was meant to support building a “bridge to a new paradigm of journalism by improving the health of media ecosystems and promoting equality, social justice, and civic participation.”

That word salad is easier to choke down if replaced by the known agenda of other Ford grantees. It’s a safe bet that a Latino-American entrepreneur who grew rich from capitalism, and maybe even votes Republican sometimes, will not make it across that “bridge to a new paradigm.” And a corporate media that ceases to censor whatever news Dr. Fauci or the FBI do not like won’t be one of the remedies from “improving the health of media ecosystems.”

Chalkbeat, a lefty news nonprofit, received $100,000 from Ford in April 2022 to put on a “Rebuild Local News Summit.” Then in March 2023 a new nonprofit named “Rebuild Local News” received $190,000. Online News Association received $450,000 in May 2022 to train journalists. And a total of $3.2 million has been given since 2022 to fund local news nonprofits in New Orleans, Chicago, “urban central Virginia,” West Virginia, Detroit, and New York.

A news partner of The Guardian, the United Kingdom tabloid, Foundation received $450,000 from Ford in 2022 to produce American news coverage. Examples of project names include “Broken Capitalism,” “Feminist Economics, Genderqueer Generation, and the State of men,” and “Climate Crimes.”

Climate alarmism and ESG (environmental, social and governance) programs have collectively received at least $18 million from Ford since 2022.

More than $3 million of the total went to Oil Change International to “expose the true costs of fossil fuels and hasten the transition to clean energy.”

Oil Change was one of 715 groups that co-signed a May 2021 letter to the U.S. Senate denouncing nuclear power as a “dirty” form of energy. In truth, nuclear is the largest source of zero-carbon power in the United States, France, and many other advanced nations. It has such functionally unlimited potential for providing more power that former NASA scientist and old guard climate alarmist James Hansen advocates for a massive buildout to replace hydrocarbon energy. He is joined in this intellectually honest approach to carbon reduction and nuclear power by the Nature Conservancy.

On the other side, Oil Change is one of several hundred nonprofits selling climate alarmism while opposing nuclear energy. This cabal of carbon hypocrites collectively collects more than $1 billion annually from Ford and many other of the nation’s richest left-wing foundations. Many of the carbon hypocrites—such as the Sunrise Movement, Demos, and the Center for Popular Democracy—have previously been mentioned in this report.

What Ford is getting isn’t carbon reduction, but instead welfare payments and political protection for land-gobbling, weather-dependent wind turbines and solar farms. Ford’s so-called environmentalism is a voracious consumer of the environment.

As You Sow received $325,000 from Ford in July 2022 to “promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.” ESG is the vehicle used to impose climate alarmism and other leftist policy goals on public corporations and the investments made by state and local governments.

Other examples of Ford ESG grants since 2022 include For The Long Term (more than $1 million), Majority Action ($800,000), the Just Capital Foundation ($750,000), the Bipartisan Policy Center ($250,000), and $200,000 each to the Council for Inclusive CapitalismChief Executives for Corporate Purpose, and American Affairs Foundation.

Identity Politics and Lawsuits

A large part of the “social” agenda in ESG involves identity politics—programs that encourage Americans to see themselves as socially endangered people because of their race, abortion, immigrant status, or disability. At least $46.4 million in Ford funding since 2022 has aided nonprofits with this agenda.

The previously mentioned Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors received additional grants of $5 million for its “Collaborative for Gender and Reproductive Equity”; $1.5 million for a “learning community transforming narratives about people of color, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, and indigenous peoples through pop culture”; $300,000 to “increase the inclusion of Black artists, perspectives, and narratives in U.S. museums and cultural institutions”; and $50,000 for a “U.S. Summit of Women Philanthropy Leaders.”

The Arabella network’s New Venture Fund received additional grants of $800,000 for “advocacy, civic engagement and strategic communications to increase and expand access to abortion,” $750,000 for a “pooled fund to equip LGBTQI, women’s rights and reproductive rights/justice movements to undertake strategic communications and narrative work to counter anti-gender movements,” and $400,000 for Health Care for America Now to expand its abortion advocacy.

Borealis Philanthropy, another major sponsor of left-wing identity politics projects, received at least $6.3 million in six grants for five different programs.

Other examples of large Ford grants to promote abortion advocacy and identity politics since 2022 included $3.9 million to NEO Philanthropy to “strengthen the capacity of the immigrant justice movement,” $1.6 million to the Groundswell Fund for strengthening of “trans and reproductive justice organizations that are led by women of color, low-income women, and transgender people,” and $1.6 million for Justice for Migrant Women.

Justice, defined as legal assistance for all of the Ford Foundation’s advocacy agenda or pressure groups to influence the literal selection of justices on federal courts, accounted for at least $27 million in Ford funding since 2022.

Alliance for Justice, a judicial advocacy group known for its criticism of judicial nominees sponsored by Republican presidents, received $4 million in December 2022.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU) has received $4 million from Ford since. In recent years, suppression by federal officials of social media discussions regarding the origin of the COVID virus and the Hunter Biden laptop are just part of an ongoing government war against free expression that is unrivaled since J. Edgar Hoover was alive. The ACLU has mostly sat shamefully on the sidelines in this fight, apparently right where Ford grant officers want it to sit.

The Brennan Center for Justice, another big picture player in left-leaning legal policy advocacy, has received $1.7 million since 2022. The Asian Law Caucus of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) received $6.5 million. AAAJ is a defender of affirmative action and other identity politics causes. Similarly, the National Women’s Law Center received $6.8 million.

In the next installment, the Ford Foundation and the Western States Center are fomenting the very insurrectionary behavior they claim to be resisting.

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
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