Because of its importance to the Overbrook mission and to the missions of its grantees, the Foundation supports efforts that protect the centrality of media in the democratic process and explore the evolving relationship of new and traditional media to our human rights and environment programs. Moving forward, most grantees will be supported for either their reporting on the role of money in the American political system or their advocacy for better policy at the intersection of the current media landscape and the large sums of money flooding U.S. elections.

Below are the Foundation’s 2013 human rights program grantees through its media portfolio.


Looking Back, Looking Forward: Post 9/11 Lessons Learned - $40,000

Breakthrough is a global human rights organization that harnesses the power of arts, pop culture, media, and technology to inspire action around human rights. Breakthrough’s campaigns, videos, partnerships and leveraging of social, alternative, and mainstream media have seeded and redirected public conversations regarding immigrant rights, racial justice, sexuality, violence against women, and HIV/AIDS. The organization has spent more than a decade uplifting the humanity and contributions of those most affected by post-9/11 shifts in public perception and policy. Now, Breakthrough is seeking to document the wider impact of its campaigns and projects, share lessons learned with colleagues, and make findings available to an even wider audience.

Free Press

General Operating Support - $45,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)

Free Press aims to bring about fundamental, lasting changes to the U.S. media system that will promote and protect democracy, civil liberties and human rights. It is building a powerful nationwide movement to change media and technology policies, promote the public interest and strengthen democracy. Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism.

Mother Jones

General Operating Support - $20,000

First published in 1976, Mother Jones aims to produce revelatory journalism that informs and inspires a more just and democratic world. This nonprofit news organization specializes in investigative, political, social justice, and environmental reporting. Mother Jones will continue todeepen its coverage of domestic social and political issues using a human rights lens, as well as look into the insidious impact of Dark Money in politics. Its work, presented in a multitude of media platforms, will include reporting on: the impact of rising sea levels at home and abroad; the systematic shuttering of women’s health clinics and implications for low-income women and families; human rights challenges of guest-worker programs; Dark Money’s influence on the judiciary; and many more topics.

National Public Radio

NPR News Reporting on Human Rights Issues - $25,000 (second payment of a two-year grant)

The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public. In 2013, NPR’s multi-platform coverage of the environment and human rights will reach the largest influential audience in public media: 26.4 million weekly listeners and over 20 million monthly consumers across the organization’s digital platforms. NPR’s coverage is fact-based and its storytelling aims to enlighten and engage their audience with news of the day and critical issues, giving the public the information it needs to participate in the kind of informed debate and action on which a democratic society depends.

New America Media

Documenting Stories of Women Immigrants - $30,000

New America Media, a national news and communications agency founded in 1996 by the nonprofit Pacific News Service, has developed the first and largest collaboration of ethnic news media in the US. Its goal is to bring the stories and voices of ethnic media and the communities they serve to a wider audience and to expand the capacity of the ethnic media sector to inform and engage their audiences on vital issues of public policy and social justice. Through this project, New America Media will support a collaboration among national ethnic media documenting the struggles of women immigrants — now half of all immigrants in the US and worldwide — for basic human rights. In a year which could mark a turning point for comprehensive immigration reform in our country, the project aims to provide a gender lens to the debate by spotlighting where and how women migrants increasingly bear the brunt of the backlash against newcomers.

The New Press

General Operating Support - $30,000

The New Press is a not-for-profit publishing house operated editorially in the public interest and committed to publishing works of educational, cultural, and community value that, despite their intellectual merits, may be deemed insufficiently profitable by commercial publishers. The Press performs a unique role as a bridge between the world of artists and writers and the communities of activists, public policy reformers, and academics. Linking these constituencies, The Press publishes well-written, coherently-argued books that wage “hearts and minds” campaigns, especially impactful in the field of human rights. Books are developed with an eye to their potential impact on policy and other public debates, their ability to play a communications role for the nonprofit sector, and their potential role as tools for educators, activists, and policymakers.

WNYC Radio

On the Media $40,000 (first payment of a two-year grant)

Produced by WNYC and distributed by National Public Radio, On the Media is the Peabody Award winning weekly program that helps audiences think critically about the news they consume. On each hour-long episode, hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield use interviews, reported pieces, conversations with reporters, and commentary to look at current events and how the media is covering them. On the Media pays particular attention to the intersections of media and politics, freedom of speech and other media issues around the world, technology and privacy, and media representations of social issues such as marriage equality and women’s rights.

Grantees by Year:  2015  |  2014  |  2013