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America’s Voice Calls on Foundation for the Carolinas to Stop Funding Hate

 

Yesterday, America’s Voice sent a letter to the board members of the Foundation for the Carolinas regarding its funding of organizations deemed “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Per the Foundation’s financial statements from 2014 until 2017, the foundation has disbursed more than $11 million to groups like the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform ‒ both hate groups that have played a major role in normalizing bigotry and shaping inhumane and abusive immigration policy. Given the recent massacre in El Paso, state entities and leaders have a vital role to play in minimizing racism, not funding it.

As America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry noted, “Based on media reports, it appears that this funding is largely tied to a single foundation donor: billionaire Fred Stanback. Mr. Stanback has a long history of supporting groups and individuals who believe that immigrants are inherently inferior and that drastic steps are needed to control global population growth. He has reportedly gifted the Foundation for the Carolinas nearly $400 million dollars, or roughly one fourth of the Foundation’s last filed net assets.”

The letter calls on the board to:

  • Stop all funding to organizations that promote anti-immigrant policies;
  • Return to donors any funds designated to these groups in future years;
  • Launch a transparent, independent review of the Foundation for the Carolina’s management and internal controls to ensure this never happens again.

The full text of the letter is available below:

We all have a responsibility to come together to resolutely condemn the rise of racism, xenophobia and hate in America.

There can be no tolerance of anti-immigrant views. They are not only fueling violence, but also perpetuating policies that have left thousands of children jailed in awful conditions along our border and are undermining the fabric of American communities, including in the Carolinas.

Change starts from the ground up. Given your leadership position on the board of the Foundation for the Carolinas, we encourage you to make a difference – beginning at the Foundation for the Carolinas.

We are deeply disturbed by the Foundation for the Carolinas’ persistent funding of organizations deemed “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Per the Foundation’s financial statements from 2014 until 2017, more than $11 million has been disbursed to groups like the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform ‒ both hate groups that have played a major role in normalizing bigotry and shaping inhumane and abusive immigration policy. The groups were founded by white nationalist and eugenicist John Tanton. The Washington Post recently reported on the similarities in rhetoric used by these groups and the alleged shooter in El Paso who was targeting Latinos [link “‘It had nothing to do with us’: Restrictionist groups distance themselves from accused El Paso shooter, who shared similar views on immigrants,” Washington Post, August 10, 2019: http://bit.ly/2Ne6Q5j]. They ‒ and others you fund like US, Inc. and Wayne Lutton ‒ distribute content that cites Holocaust deniers, anti-Semitic ideas, and white nationalist ideology.

Funding by the Foundation for the Carolinas to these groups appears to have continued despite concerns raised by community members and the media several years ago [link: “The sponsors of hate must be held accountable for actions,” The Charlotte Post: April 9, 2017: http://bit.ly/2Zjjx54]. Since that time, these groups have only become more influential as more and more of their anti-immigrant policies have been implemented. To be clear, these groups oppose legal immigration and the presence of and legal status of foreign-born members of our communities and those in their families. Funding these anti-immigration groups does not seem compatible with the mission of a community foundation otherwise known for scholarship programs and assistance to churches, museums, and homeless shelters.

Based on media reports, it appears that this funding is largely tied to a single foundation donor: billionaire Fred Stanback. Mr. Stanback has a long history of supporting groups and individuals who believe that immigrants are inherently inferior and that drastic steps are needed to control global population growth. He has reportedly gifted the Foundation for the Carolinas nearly $400 million dollars, or roughly one fourth of the Foundation’s last filed net assets.

The Foundation for the Carolinas has said that it likes to remain “politically neutral” without passing “judgement” about your donors’ funding recommendations. But this goes against your own internal giving guide, and there should not be neutrality when these organizations are promoting extremist ideology.

In light of these facts, we urge you, as a board member of the Foundation for the Carolinas and a leader in your community, to ensure that the foundation:

  • Stops all funding to organizations that promote anti-immigrant policies;
  • Returns to donor any funds designated to these groups in future years;
  • Launches a transparent, independent review of the Foundation for the Carolina’s management and internal controls to ensure this never happens again.

The Foundation for the Carolinas is one of the nation’s largest community foundations and, as such, has an obligation to carefully consider the impact of every grant it makes.

As a community leader and a member of the Foundation for the Carolinas board of directors, you have a critical role to play in this process. Decisive action is needed now to disavow the Foundation’s association with these hate groups and ensure they don’t receive another dime to promote their hateful ideology.

We look forward to your prompt and timely reply.

Sincerely,

Frank Sharry
Executive Director
America’s Voice

cc. All members of The Foundation of the Carolinas Board of Directors