Monday, February 6, 2012

The NEA Foundation Honors the Ford Foundation with its Award for Philanthropy in Public Education

National Awards Gala Salutes Excellence in Public Education on Feb. 10, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC (February 6, 2012) – The NEA Foundation will honor the Ford Foundation with its Award for Philanthropy in Public Education, one of public education’s most prestigious honors. The award recognizes Ford for its conviction that social, economic, and political equality requires that marginalized and disadvantaged people have access to high-quality education and for its work to strengthen educational systems around the globe toward that goal. The award will be presented on February 10, 2012 at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, DC.

The Ford Foundation believes that social, economic and political equality all require that marginalized and disadvantaged people have access to high-quality education. Toward that end, it focuses on strengthening educational systems to ensure all young people receive an education that enables them to engage in meaningful work and contribute as citizens in diverse societies. For this work, the organization will receive the NEA Foundation Award for Philanthropy in Public Education.

“The NEA Foundation Award for Philanthropy in Public Education recognizes the Ford Foundation’s significant commitment to public education, and its ongoing support of public schools, students, and educators,” said Elizabeth Oliver-Farrow, Chair of the NEA Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Ford Foundation’s visionary education programs are truly inspiring as is their 75 year history of advancing progressive social change around the globe. As one of world’s preeminent philanthropies, the Ford Foundation has improved the lives of many people.  From supporting the arts to advancing social and economic justice to endorsing sound environmental practices, the Ford Foundation’s impact is nothing less than extraordinary.”

“We are honored to receive this award from an organization that shares our commitment to public education,” said Jeannie Oakes, director of Ford Foundation’s Educational Opportunity and Scholarship Programs. “Like the NEA Foundation, we seek to make a difference by collaborating with and supporting organizations that work to create a system of public schools, so that the nation’s most vulnerable young people have equitable, high-quality schooling and the full range of post-secondary opportunities.” 

“When districts, teachers, unions and communities focus on student learning, their performances improve,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Our work shows that engaging all stakeholders increases shared accountability for and investment in student success. These awards are our way of celebrating and sharing the stories of those individuals and organizations that are making a difference in the lives of students across the country and around the world. We hope that this recognition will inspire others.

Oakes will accept the award on behalf of the Ford Foundation at the NEA Foundation’s awards gala. The Ford Foundation will be honored along with 35 recipients of the NEA Foundation’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and Will Allen, Founder and President of Growing Power.

About the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education

The NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is a national celebration of the men and women who work in America’s public schools. At this annual event, the Foundation recognizes, rewards, and promotes excellence in teaching and advocacy for the profession. The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from Bank of America, California Casualty, Horace Mann Educators Corporation, NEA Member Benefits, the Pearson Foundation, and Security Benefit Corporation.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Visit for more information.

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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