Assets: $10,685,961,044 (2004)
Grants Awarded: $522,872,210 (2004)
The Ford Foundation was originally funded by Ford Motor Company stock from the estates of Henry and (his son) Edsel Ford in 1936. While there are hundreds of exceptionally wealthy foundations that finance leftist groups and causes, Ford leads the way in this regard. Its level of grant awarding is approximately fifteen times the amount of the three largest conservative foundations combined.
Henry Ford II was the son of Edsel and grandson of Henry Ford, and the head of the Ford Motor Company in the postwar era. When he resigned from the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees in 1977, he made a statement expressing his profound disgust with the Foundation’s drift to the political left. “In effect,” he wrote in his resignation letter, “the Foundation is a creature of capitalism, a statement that, I’m sure, would be shocking to many professional staff people in the field of philanthropy. It is hard to discern recognition of this fact in anything the Foundation does. It is even more difficult to find an understanding of this in many of the institutions, particularly the universities, that are the beneficiaries of the Foundation’s grant programs.” He lamented that Ford was rejecting the very economic system whose abundance made its existence, as well as that of all other philanthropic foundations, possible. Since that time, Ford grants have been directed even more generously towards the anti-capitalist, anti-business enterprises of the political left.
The Ford Foundation derives its income solely from investments in international securities and does not accept contributions from any other source. As of September 2004, the Foundation had assets valued at more than $10 billion and a grant budget of over $500 million per year. An examination of the list of Ford Foundation grant recipients reveals a great deal about the Foundation’s values and objectives.
Soon after the 9/11 attacks, for example, the Ford Foundation gave $150,000 to the pro-Castro Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) – a grant formally designated “for racial justice litigation, advocacy, and educational outreach activities related to the detention and racial profiling of Arab Americans and Muslims following the World Trade Center attack.” In March 2002, CCR president Michael Ratner placed the blame for anti-American terrorism squarely on the shoulders of the United States. “If the U.S. government truly wants its people to be safer and wants terrorist threats to diminish,” he said, “it must make fundamental changes in its foreign policies . . . particularly its unqualified support for Israel, and its embargo of Iraq, its bombing of Afghanistan, and its actions in Saudi Arabia. [These] continue to anger people throughout the region, and to fertilize the ground where terrorists of the future will take root.”
Such sentiments are consistent with those of Ford Foundation President Susan Berresford, who, in the wake of 9/11, exhorted Americans to “explore the issues behind the headlines and broaden [their] understanding about the countries from which the attacks came.” Characterizing the deadly hijackings as a wake-up call designed to make Americans see the responsibility they themselves bore for the horrors of that day, Berresford said, “For many living and working near ground zero, the 9/11 attacks had the same effect as any terrible shock. They forced us to think more deeply about what we do, how we live our lives, and whether we can do better.” Given its ideological compatibility with the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Ford Foundation also gave CCR $250,000 in 2000, and another $75,000 in 2004.In 2002 the Ford Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) “as core support for activities to ensure the human rights of non-citizens detained in the United States in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.” The NLG, which originated as a Soviet front group, stands in the vanguard of the Open Borders movement and is one of the chief organizations championing the rights of Taliban soldiers held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Also in 2002, Ford gave a $300,000 grant to Fenton Communications “to promote informed voices in response to the September 11th attacks, with an emphasis on the protection of civil liberties and prevention of discrimination.” These “informed voices” belonged to members of the leftist anti-war group September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, whose coordinator, David Fenton (the head of Fenton Communications and a longtime backer of anti-American causes), handled its media campaign. With the help of Ford’s philanthropy, this group has taken its message across the United States and around the world; it is a message that blames American policies for having spawned Islamist terrorism and hostilities in Iraq. Peaceful Tomorrows representatives have spoken at universities, participated in major antiwar marches, and taken to the airwaves to make their case against the Bush administration.Another noteworthy hallmark of the Ford Foundation’s grant philosophy is its pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel bent. For instance, Ford was a major funder of the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa. The conference, which concluded just two days before the 9/11 attacks, and which the United States boycotted in protest, was largely a forum for anti-Semitic and anti-American rhetoric, verbal and physical harassment of Jewish delegates, tirades against the United States and Israel, and declarations equating Zionism with racism.Ford has also funded the Palestinian Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, which maintains that Israel is a “racist, apartheid state.” Other recent Ford grants include: $350,000 (from 2001-2003) to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, which disrupts Israeli Defense Force (IDF) anti-terror activities and is associated with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a radical anti-American and anti-Israel group that similarly disrupts IDF missions and gives material support to Palestinian suicide bombers; $135,000 (in 2001-2002) to the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute, which advocates the boycotting of Israeli goods; $200,000 (in 2001) to Ittijah, a Haifa-based NGO which, at the aforementioned Durban Conference, played a prominent role in denouncing “Israeli-state racism towards Palestinian citizens” and “the apartheid [which] the State [of Israel] practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip”; $50,000 (in 2000) to LAW, a Jerusalem-based NGO that depicts Israel as an oppressive nation that inflicts human rights violations, “apartheid,” “war crimes,” and “crimes against humanity” on its Palestinian minority; $550,000 (from 2000-2002) to MIFTAH, a Jerusalem-based NGO whose priorities are to undermine Israel and defend the Palestinian Authority; $680,000 (in 2001-2002) to the New Israel Fund, a Washington-based group that funds numerous organizations which regularly make anti-Semitic comments and false, highly politicized charges against Israel; and $700,000 (from 2000-2002) to the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Network (PNGO), consisting of more than 90 Palestinian NGOs. It should be noted that shortly after 9/11, President Bush signed an order prohibiting tax-exempt American organizations (such as the Ford Foundation) from providing any further funding to Palestinian NGOs – because of their suspected links to terrorist groups.A 1968 Ford Foundation “seed grant” created the radical Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), now the most influential Hispanic advocacy group in the United States. During the past three and half decades, Ford has given more than $25 million to this organization; nearly half of this amount ($11,285,000) was given between 2000 and 2004. MALDEF is a major player in the open borders movement, which seeks to liquefy American borders and grant amnesty and full civil rights to all illegal immigrants already in the U.S.The Ford Foundation has been a longtime, loyal supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as evidenced by its $7 million grant to the ACLU in 1999. “The ACLU has no better partner and friend than the Ford Foundation,” said the ACLU’s then-executive director Ira Glasser. “It is fitting that the largest single gift . . . ever to the ACLU, should come from Ford.”
The Ford Foundation is a member organization of both the Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) and the the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG); the latter is a network of more than six-dozen grantmakers dedicated to funding leftwing groups and causes. (For a complete list of IHRFG grantmakers, click here.)Committed philosophically to the principles of racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender-based preferences, the Ford Foundation candidly celebrated its role in helping win the 1993 Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action, which upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s race-based admissions system. “These landmark decisions,” said the Ford website, “reaffirm the Ford Foundation’s values of social justice and bolster continuing work for racial, sexual and economic equality.”The Ford Foundation’s values and ideals are reflected unmistakably in its funding priorities. These ideals include the emasculation of homeland security and anti-terrorism measures; the dissolution of American borders; the promotion of mass, unchecked immigration to the United States; the redistribution of wealth; the blaming of America for virtually every conceivable international dispute; the false depiction of Israel as an oppressor state that routinely victimizes its Palestinian minority; the weakening of American military capabilities; and a devotion to the principle of preferences based on race, ethnicity, gender, and a host of other demographic attributes. By using its enormous wealth to fund organizations that promote these ideals, the Ford Foundation plays a major role in shaping American culture and public policy.A further sampling of the leftwing groups and programs funded by the Ford Foundation includes: the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; People for the American Way (PFAW); the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense & Education Fund (NAACP-LDEF); the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); the American Friends Service Committee; the National Council of La Raza; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF); the United States Student Association; the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR); the National Lawyers Guild (NLG); Fenton Communications; the United Nations World Conference Against Racism; the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights; LAW; Ittijah; MIFTAH; the New Israel Fund; the Alliance for Justice; the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund; the National Organization for Women; Save The Children Fund; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the Union for Palestinian Medical Relief Committee; the Rainforest Action Network; Public Citizen; the Earth Action Network; the Environmental Working Group; the Environmental Defense Fund; the Earth Island Institute; Friends of the Earth; Human Rights Watch; Human Rights First; the Cornell University Peace Studies Program; the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Institute for Public Accuracy; the Migration Policy Institute; the Brookings Institution; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the International Federation of Human Rights; the National Immigration Forum; Physicians for Human Rights; Physicians for Social Responsibility; the William J. Brennan Center for Justice; the Center for Community Change; the Neighborhood Funders Group; the Council on Foundations; the International Crisis Group; the World Wildlife Fund/Conservation Foundation; the National Wildlife Federation; the Urban Institute; the Trust for Public Land; the Political Research Associates; Oxfam International; the Pacifica Foundation; the National Womens Law Center; National Public Radio (NPR); the National Immigration Law Center; the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education; the National Alliance for Choice in Giving; the Feminist Majority Foundation; the Immigrant Workers Citizenship Project; Democracy Now Productions; the Center for Women’s Policy Studies; the USAction Education Fund; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Proteus Fund; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP); the Ploughshares Fund; Oxfam America; the Palestinian American Research Center; the Institute for Social Justice; EcoTrust; the Worldwatch Institute; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Womens Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) for Human Rights; the Drug Policy Alliance; the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO); the Constitutional Rights Foundation; the Democracy Matters Institute; the Womens Action for New Directions (WAND) Education Fund; the World Resources Institute; the Women of Color Resource Center; the Center for Reproductive Rights; the Women’s Foundation; the Woodstock Institute; the World Conference on Religion and Peace; the World Order Models Project; the United Nations; Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN); Planned Parenthood; Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health; the New America Foundation; the Native American Rights Fund; National Partnership for Women and Families; National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice; the Center for the Advancement of Women; the National Council of Negro Women; the International Forum on Globalization; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; the National Center for Human Rights Education; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center; the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force; the National Center for Fair and Open Testing; the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights; the Center for Voting and Democracy; American Council for Voluntary International Action; Global Rights; the Global Peace Congress; the Fund for Peace; the Environmental Health Coalition; the Environmental Law Institute; the Environmental Grantmakers Association; Earth House; EarthRights International; Earth Day Network; the Center for Public Policy Priorities; the Center for Public Integrity; the Center for Law and Social Policy; the Carter Center; the Border Network for Human Rights; the the International Peace Academy; the Aspen Institute; the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission; the Western Prison Project; We the People Media; Harvard University (black studies); Wayne State University (ethnic, black and poverty studies); University of Wisconsin (black and poverty studies); Clark Atlanta University (Environmental Justice Resource Center); the University of Virginia (black studies); the University of Texas (for the [Mexican] Border Philanthropy Project); the University of Southern California (Center for Urban Education); the University of North Carolina (black studies); the University of Notre Dame (Hispanic studies); the University of Minnesota (Institute of Race and Poverty); the University of Michigan (for the Environmental Justice Initiative); the University of Massachusetts (for the Center for Inclusive Teaching); the University of Maryland-College Park (for the Consortium for Gender Race and Ethnicity, African-American Studies Program and Women’s Studies Program); Barnard College (black and ethnic studies); the University of Kansas (School of Social Welfare); the University of Illinois at Chicago (for integrating diversity into its research, teaching and living environment); Cornell University (Africana studies); Tufts University (peace studies – Humanitarian and War Project); Temple University (labor and poverty studies); Swarthmore College (Islamic studies); Spelman College (Women’s Research and Resource Center); Smith College (for feminist studies); San Francisco State University (National Sexuality Resource Center); City University of New York (Hispanic, black, women’s and queer studies); Princeton University (diversity studies); Pace University (black and women’s studies); Arizona State University (to study affirmative action and diversity in wake of Grutter v. Bollinger); Ohio State University (to study affirmative action and diversity in wake of Grutter v. Bollinger); Oberlin College (Islamic studies); Brown University (Teaching and Research on Women-women’s studies; War and Peace Project); Northwestern University (Institute for Policy Research – urban studies); New York University (for civil rights advocacy, black and women’s studies); Duke University (Center for Study of Muslim Networks); Hamilton College (multicultural studies); Boston University (Islamic studies; peace and security studies; Johns Hopkins University (for the Institute for Policy Studies); Emory University (Islamic and black studies); Colorado State University (environmental advocacy); Columbia University (to study Brown v. Board of Ed.; black studies); Center for International Conflict Resolution; War and Peace Studies; Human Rights Justice Project; the United Nations Foundation; the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Educational Fund; Refugees International; the Rebecca Project for Human Rights; the Rainforest Alliance; the Public Citizen Foundation; the Public Agenda Foundation; Progressive, Inc.; the Progressive Jewish Alliance; the Poverty and Race Research Action Council; the Population Council; the Organization for a New Equality; the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers; the Nine to Five Working Women Education Fund; the Institute for Womens Policy Research; the Immigration and Refugee Services of America; the Humanitarian Project (social justice); the Human Family Educational and Cultural Institute; Friends of the Khalidi Library (Islamic Law); Freedom Inc.; Free Press; the Center for Economic and Social Rights; the Center for Economic and Policy Research; the Center for Defense Information; the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society; Arts of Peace; the Arms Control Association; the Tamer Institute for Community Education for Palestinians Living in the West Bank; the Arab Image Foundation in Lebanon; the Arab Studies Society; the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights; and the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights