Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Freedom of Expression

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The free flow of information and ideas is essential to healthy, progressive societies. Our work offers space for creative expression and supports efforts to ensure that media systems and policies are open and equitable.

Why It Matters

Free expression is central to all other freedoms. As change in our communities becomes more constant and as ideas, technologies and people are moving more rapidly within and among countries, our work promotes the right of all people to connect more deeply with others and find meaningful ways to participate. We do this by investing in creative and intellectual capital.

The Focus of Our Work

Our work supports policies that ensure equal access to all media platforms, promotes social justice content in media and fosters documentary films that explore the social justice issues on which the foundation focuses.

We also invest in the creative capital of underserved communities by supporting arts spaces that embrace marginalized voices and diverse audiences.

In the United States, we support religious leaders and institutions that engage in public efforts to promote justice and equity as well as media-based efforts to promote informed, diverse and necessary dialogue on the public role of religion.

All of this work focuses on developing a better-informed and engaged citizenry, and encouraging creative contributions to public participation in civic life.

Grants 2015
Initiative Approved* No. of Grants Avg. Grant*
Total $40,005,750 119 $336,183
Advancing Media Rights and Access 755 4 188,750
Advancing Public Service Media 1,462 17 86,000
JustFilms 5,750 17 338,235
Media and Justice 6,365 19 335,000
Religion in the Public Sphere 2,269 11 206,250
Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces 23,405 51 458,922
*US $ In Thousands



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