Western Justice Center named 2019 Nissan Foundation grant recipient

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June 27, 2019

The Nissan Foundation today named Western Justice Center as a 2019 grant recipient. The $15,000.00 grant from The Nissan Foundation will bring Compassion Plays to structurally disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles county.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission Anti Hate Crime Network reports an increase in bias related incidents on school campuses with a notable uptick since 2016. Our Compassion Plays program seeks to disarm this bias through meaningful mini-plays and discussions that touch on the issues that are gripping our country today. Compassion Plays seeks to create school environments that are safer and more inclusive for everyone, regardless of their background. Programs like this are needed to evoke empathy, respect for diversity and civic responsibility.

“We are so honored that Nissan is continuing to support the Compassion Plays Program. Last year, their funding supported the revamping of Horizon Line while also providing fourteen shows to local schools which have otherwise not have been able to afford it,” said Program Coordinator Lisa Blake. “The Compassion Plays Program has been successfully encouraging respect for diversity for fifteen years. Additional funding was necessary to improve and expand the program in order to meet the increased demand for safe, non-divisive, empathic dialogues about issues of identity and intergroup conflict.”

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

Over its 27-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded grants to 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 and public programs in seven U.S. states where Nissan has operations. Learn more about the thirty 2019 Nissan Foundation grantees.

“The Nissan Foundation is proud to support local nonprofit partners developing innovative and culturally diverse programs in the communities where Nissan operates,” said Nissan Foundation President Scott Becker, who is also senior vice president, Administration, Nissan North America, Inc. “We are excited to recognize our 2019 grantees for promoting the importance of racial equality and cultural diversity.”

About Western Justice Center

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.

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