SOURCE: Nissan


September 28, 2016 09:01 ET

Nissan Foundation Grant Supports Unique Civil Rights Training for Nashville Law Enforcement Agencies

NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - September 28, 2016) -

  • Historical framework used as gateway to productive conversations with law enforcement and an increasingly diverse population
  • Nissan continues its 24-year long commitment to fostering cultural diversity
  • Nissan Foundation recently awarded $700,000 in grants to nonprofits supporting the breakdown of societal barriers and building inclusive communities

The Nissan Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the Nashville Public Library Foundation (NPLF) to support expansion of the Nashville Public Library's (NPL) unique civil rights training partnership with law enforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD). The NPL's "Civil Rights and a Civil Society: Civil Rights Training for Nashville Enforcement Agencies and Beyond" originated as a partnership between NPL and MNPD in 2015 for new officer trainees and has since expanded to include other entities, such as school groups.

"The Nissan Foundation is proud to support NPLF and NPL's mission to enrich lives and open doors to new ways of understanding our neighbors and the world we live in," says Scott Becker, Senior Vice President, Administration, Nissan North America and President, Nissan Foundation.

The library's civil rights program uses the NPL Civil Rights Room's archival images, oral histories and film footage from Nashville's civil rights history as a gateway to productive conversations about today's prevailing issues affecting law enforcement and the city's increasingly diverse population. Through this historical framework, participants discuss today's complex community dynamics in an environment that encourages open conversation and greater understanding. The NPL's civil rights programming would not be possible without generous gifts to the NPLF from community partners like the Nissan Foundation, indicates Tari Hughes, NPLF president.

"We thank Nissan for its support of Nashville Public Library's programming to cultivate a more inclusive and tolerant Nashville," says Hughes. "We are honored to be selected as one of the leading culturally diverse and relevant programs in a community that serves as a home to Nissan's U.S. operations."

MEDIA NOTE: The Nissan Foundation today released a video about the NPL's civil rights training program. It features interviews with Andrea Blackman, the NPL's Special Collections Division Manager; Tari Hughes, NPLF President; MNPD Chief Steve Anderson; and Vicki Smith, Nissan's Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility and Executive Director of the Nissan Foundation, about how the training came to be. It also features an interview with MNPD officer Nakia Reid, who shares the valuable learnings she took away from a recent training session.

Nissan: a long-time Civil Rights advocate

The very origins of the Nissan Foundation begin just after a period of violent civil unrest that occurred near Nissan's then sales operations headquarters in Southern California in 1992. Since that time, the Foundation has had a mission of supporting local organizations that promote the value of cultural diversity in American society and foster greater social and racial equality.

To that end, in June, the Nissan Foundation awarded $700,000 in grants to nonprofits in seven states to support innovative programs that break down societal barriers and build inclusive communities through education and outreach. The Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $9.3 million to date.

The grants will fund 27 projects, including, the Oasis Center "Building Bridges" program, which serves 300 Nashville youths annually with anti-discrimination/anti-violence programming at schools; Jobs for Mississippi Graduates, a drop-out prevention program, which helps support job attainment, job survival, leadership development, life survival skills, economic empowerment and cultural diversity; and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants "Neighbor-to-Neighbor Project," which provides school programs, employer training and workshops on social services for Iraqi immigrants in Detroit.

"The organizations and projects selected for 2016 represent those who provide culturally diverse and relevant programs in communities where Nissan operates," explains Becker. "We're proud to support their missions to enrich people's lives and open doors to new ways of understanding our neighbors and the world we live in."

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 and, or visit the U.S. media sites and

About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. Nissan LEAF is the best-selling EV in history.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

About Nashville Public Library

Nashville Public Library maintains a collection of 2 million items, including books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and downloadable books, movies and music. The Library also offers more than 800 public-use computers, free art exhibits, educational programs, events for all ages, 24/7 reference assistance, online databases, interlibrary loan and special collections. The Metro Archives, housed within NPL, owns 5 million historic documents. Equal access is provided by the Talking Library audio reading service for the print disabled and Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. For more information, call (615) 862-5800 or visit

About the Nashville Public Library Foundation

The Nashville Public Library Foundation is a committed community of leaders, learners and innovative achievers dedicated to supporting and empowering one of our city's greatest resources-Nashville Public Library. Founded in 1997 as a 501c3 organization, NPLF has raised more than $41 million to advance the impact and reach of NPL programs and initiatives. For more information on NPLF or to make a gift, visit

Please visit for additional video content.

Contact Information