Western Justice Center/Encompass named 2018 Nissan Foundation grant recipient

  • Nissan Foundation grant to fund Compassion Plays aimed at developing compassion and understanding for someone whose experiences or identity is substantially different from our own.
  • In 26th year, Nissan Foundation maintains its singular focus on recognizing nonprofits promoting respect among racial and cultural groups.

The Nissan Foundation today named Western Justice Center/Encompass as a 2018 grant recipient. The Nissan Foundation grant will help fund presentations of the Compassion Plays programs at local schools who would otherwise not be able to afford the program. 

“Thanks to this Nissan Foundation grant, we will be able to bring this important program to more communities and address difficult issues in a moving, engaging, and thought provoking way. The Compassion Plays program initiates conversation, encouraging people to share their own perspectives, and learn from one another. It is through this process that understanding and empathy is able to grow.” – Lisa Blake, Compassion Plays Program Coordinator

The Nissan Foundation’s 2018 grantees include 29 nonprofit organizations located in Southern California, North Central Texas, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Eastern Michigan and the New York and Atlanta metro areas. In total, the Nissan Foundation is awarding grants amounting to $730,000. 

In 1992, Nissan North America formed the Nissan Foundation in response to the civil unrest that occurred near Nissan’s then U.S. headquarters in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict. Every year since, the Nissan Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that offer educational programs that inform, inspire and celebrate diversity among the various cultural and ethnic groups that make up society.

Over its 26-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $10 million to approximately 120 organizations promoting respect and understanding among cultural and ethnic groups. 

“It is a privilege to recognize Western Justice Center/Encompass with a Nissan Foundation grant for the work it is doing to promote the value of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity,” said Nissan Foundation President Scott Becker, who is also senior vice president, Administration, Nissan North America, Inc. “The Nissan Foundation has a proud history of recognizing and supporting organizations making a real impact in this regard.” 

Western Justice Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a more civil, peaceful society where differences are valued.

We design and implement creative programs that change the way people think about and respond to differences and conflict. Our programs raise awareness, build skills and increase the possibility of just communities and schools.

To learn more about the Compassion Plays program and to book a play for your school, please visit the Compassion Plays page

Call for 2019 grant applicants

The Nissan Foundation will begin accepting letters of intent for the 2019 grant cycle in October with a submission deadline of Friday, Oct. 26. Nissan Foundation grants are awarded annually; the next grants will be awarded in June 2019.

For more information about the Nissan Foundation and its application process, visit the Nissan Foundation page.

About Western Justice Center/Encompass

Western Justice Center (WJC) was founded in 1987 by a group of visionary judges, lawyers and civic leaders led by the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Housed in Pasadena’s historic Maxwell House, WJC was created to develop creative programs to teach students, teachers and members of the community ways to resolve conflict peacefully.

In 2014, WJC merged with Encompass, a non-profit youth development organization devoted to reducing prejudice and bias-related conflicts. Together, as WJC, we are working with students, teachers and community members to raise awareness, build skills and increase the possibility of just communities and schools.

For more information about our organization and programs, please visit the Western Justice Center/Encompass website.

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. 

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.