Another Nonprofit, Another Six-Figure Grant Rejected on Principle

February 8, 2017; Salon (Associated Press)

A few days ago, NPQ reported that two nonprofits had turned down federal grants worth $500,000 under the Countering Violent Extremism program. Now, a third nonprofit, the Unity Productions Foundation of Potomac Falls, Virginia, has revealed it will also forgo its grant of $396,585 “due to the changes brought by the new administration.”

Under the Obama administration, 31 grants totaling $10 million were awarded through the Homeland Security Department. President Donald Trump’s recent rhetoric and actions have many leaders worried that the program plans to counter not extremism in general, but Muslim extremism in particular. This, they say, would not be acceptable.

Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities in Dearborn, Michigan, said last week it was turning down $500,000 for youth development and public health programs because of the “current political climate.” Ka Joog, a leading Somali nonprofit in Minneapolis, rejected nearly $500,000 for its youth programs.

A statement from Ka Joog reads, “As Minnesotans, we are deeply troubled by our nation’s new administration and their policies which promote hate, fear, uncertainty, and even worse, an unofficial war on Muslim Americans and Immigration.”

The director of outreach for Unity Productions says the group wasn’t prepared to publicly announce its decision but “didn’t dispute the authenticity of the message.”—Ruth McCambridge