October 3, 2011

The Following article originated from

The Public Welfare Foundation (PWF) was established in 1947 by newspaper publisher Charles E. Marsh and his wife Claudia. Professing a commitment to “supporting organizations that help people overcome barriers to full participation in society,” this Foundation finances many leftist groups that advocate for radical environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, abortion rights, Third World immigrants' rights, prisoners' rights, illegal aliens' rights, welfare rights, anti-gun policies, and anti-nuclear agendas.

PWF tailors its grant-making decisions with the aim of addressing what it deems the inherent flaws of American society – particularly vis a vis immigrants and minorities in the post-9/11 era. Such people, said an October 2002 article posted on the PWF website, must endure “violence, discrimination, workplace abuse, police brutality, cultural isolation, and economic exploitation”; “a continued increase in hate incidents directed against African-Americans, gay men, lesbians, other people of color, and faith-based centers”; “reduced employment opportunities and access to basic social safety-net programs such as cash assistance, food stamps, housing, etc.”; “racial profiling by public authorities and xenophobic backlash by extremist groups … with youth of color being targeted, criminalized, and jailed”; “hate crimes [in] the form of intimidation, destruction of property, assault, and sometimes death”; “barriers to health care, education, employment, housing, means of production, and basic rights such as voting”; “minimal wages or no pay at all”; “unsanitary and crowded living conditions”; “increasingly intimidating treatment by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and law enforcement agencies”; “barriers to obtaining documents such as a driver license”; and the erosion of civil liberties by “policies such as the USA Patriot Act.”

PWF’s Director and Board Chairman is Thomas J. Scanlon, who is also the President of Benchmarks, Inc., a professional consulting business in Washington, DC specializing in international trade, federal relations, and the development of charitable organizations. A notable member of PWF’s Board of Directors is Peter Edelman, a law professor at Georgetown University, the Board President of the New Israel Fund, a Board member of the Center for Community Change, and the husband of Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman.

PWF’s grant-making is divided into the following areas:

Civic Participation Fund: This program supports the development of new activist leaders in grassroots organizations claiming to work on behalf of “low-income people” and “low-income communities.”

Criminal Justice: This program explores alternatives to incarceration for criminals, such as “victim restitution, community service, and community supervision.” It advocates education, vocational training, and employment and counseling services for prisoners and ex-convicts. It calls for “fair and effective legal representation for low-income defendants.” And it promotes “changes in public policy and practice to foster a more equitable criminal justice system, including programs to ensure that prisons and jails provide humane treatment and policies aimed at returning offenders to the community as productive, law-abiding citizens.”

Environment: This program seeks to provide assistance to “grassroots organizations in a wide range of disciplines including science, public health, environmental law, media and organizational development.”

Health: Calling for taxpayer-funded universal health care, this program supports service and advocacy organizations that “interact with providers and government to improve community- and state-based health care delivery systems”; “ensure that the medically underserved participate in systemic reform”; “seek to ensure the provision of services to underserved people”; and “promote changes in food policy to eradicate hunger, especially among vulnerable populations including children, the elderly and the disabled.” 

Human Rights and Global Security: Viewing the United States as the chief threat to international peace, this program seeks to “provide information, public education, and advocacy on reducing weapon systems, eliminating biological and chemical weapons and land mines, and restraining the spread of nuclear arms.” It also promotes “the development of democratic institutions around the world, with a focus on countries that are in political transition, including El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Northern Ireland and South Africa”; and it supports groups that provide “services to and advocacy for immigrants [legal and illegal] and refugees to the United States.”

Reproductive and Sexual Health: This program promotes “comprehensive teen sexuality education” and the right of all women to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand. 

Welfare Reform Fund: Citing the need for “social policy reform” based on principles of “economic justice,” this program seeks to address the allegedly harmful effects of welfare reform, which moved millions of Americans off the welfare rolls and into jobs. 

Youth: This area supports “programs that provide quality education, employment readiness services with job placement and other assistance for young people who have dropped out of school, experience chronic unemployment, and have minimal or no job skills.” It also finances programs designed to assist “children whose parents are adolescents, affected by HIV/AIDS, involved in substance abuse, or incarcerated.”

The Public Welfare Foundation is a member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group and the International Human Rights Funders Group. 

Among PWF’s recent grantees are the Tides Foundation; the Tides Center; Alliance for Justice; the Center for Community Change; the American Friends Service Committee; the American Civil Liberties Union; Human Rights Watch; the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); the Union of Concerned Scientists; Alliance for Global Justice; Greenpeace International; Friends of the Earth; Friends of Justice; the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability; the People for the American Way Foundation; the Equal Rights Center; the Environmental Defense Fund; Native Action; Grassroots International; the Children's Defense Fund; Planned Parenthood; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the New Israel Fund; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League; the South African Exchange Program on Environmental Justice; the Center for Women’s Policy Studies; the Brennan Center for Justice; the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; the AIDS Resource Center; the Council on Foundations; the National Prison Project; the Consumers Union of United States; the Project South-Institution for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide; the Community Rights Council; the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice; the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; the Progressive Maryland Education Fund; the Southern Center for Human Rights; Research, Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBO); Public Citizen Foundation; People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER); the Prison Moratorium Project; the National Women’s Law Center; the USAction Education Fund; the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; the Ms. Foundation for Women; Pro-Choice Resources; the Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development; the Center for Health, Environment and Justice; the Council for a Livable World Education Fund; the People of Color AIDS Foundation; the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources; the National Labor Committee Education Fund in Support of Human and Worker Rights; the Urban Ecology Institute; Witness for Peace; the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; Citizen Action; the Sacred Alliance for Grassroots Equality Council; the Center for Law and Social Policy; Global Rights; the Uptown Peoples Law Center; Penal Reform International; the Natural Resources Defense Council; Pacifica Foundation; Physicians for Human Rights; the Global Fund for Women; Citizen Alert; the Environmental Justice Resource Center; the Environmental Justice Action Group; the Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide; the Third Wave Foundation; the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center; the Urban Justice Center; the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services; the Third World Center; Homies Unidos; the Arms Control Association; Concerned Black Men; the Sentencing Project; Aid to Inmate Mothers; Universal Health Care Action; the Southern Environmental Law Center; Survivors, Inc.; Welfare Warriors; the Hunger Action Network; the Austin Latino/Latina Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization; the Audre Lorde Project; the Sweatshop Watch; the Women's Collective; West Harlem Environmental Action; the Center for Population Options; the Center for Third World Organizing; VOZ: Workers Rights Education Project; the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence; the Reform Organization of Welfare Education Association; the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence; Physicians for a National Health Program; the Fair Housing Agency; the Consumers Union; the National Wildlife Federation; My Brothaz H.O.M.E.; MADRE; CAUSA; the Nuclear Control Institute; the Foundation for Global Sustainability; the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy; the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; SOS Slaves; the Public Interest Litigation Clinic; the Empower Program; the United States Student Association; the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Mental Disability Rights International; Working for Equality and Economic Liberation; the Women’s Project; Women Alive; the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition; the Women‘s Institute for Leadership Development for Human Rights; Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive; DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving); Honor The Earth; Clean Water Action; the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice; the National Organizers Alliance; the National Day Laborer Organizing Network; the Legal Aid Justice Center; the Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation; Just Harvest Education Fund; the Justice Works Community; the Innocence Project; Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice; the Jobs with Justice Education Fund; the Northern Plains Resource Council; the American Indian Law Alliance; the Fifth Avenue Committee; the Earth Conservation Corps; the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence; Direct Action Welfare Group; Democracy Now Productions; Grass Roots Organizing; Critical Resistance: Advocates for Justice and Education; African American Women Evolving; Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex; the Constitution Project; the Center for Economic Justice; the Capital Area Immigrants Rights Coalition; 50 Years Is Enough: U.S. Network for Global Economic Justice; DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality); and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.


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