The Educational Foundation of America (EFA) was established in New York in 1959 by Richard Prentice Ettinger, the co-founder of Prentice-Hall Publishing Company, and his wife, Elsie P. Ettinger. Mr. Ettinger provided the Foundation's seed funding, and other family members have subsequently added capital to that initial gift. Two of Mr. Ettinger's children, Richard P. Ettinger, Jr. and Elaine P. Hapgood, continued the heritage of their father's charitable giving after his death in 1996.
Today EFA states that its raison d'etre is to "advocate for progressive change in our society." EFA earmarks its grants for organizations whose activities can be classified under the headings, "arts, education, energy and the environment, reproductive health and rights, population, and education programs benefiting Native Americans."
Richard P. Ettinger became interested in Native American causes after reading Dee Brown's book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. First published in 1970, this book is essentially an unrelieved narrative of white cruelty and Indian victimhood.
Ellinger also believed that overpopulation was the most serious problem facing the world and used his Foundation's assets to address that issue. The current Foundation President, Mrs. Elaine P. Hapgood, was similarly inspired while attending an International Planned Parenthood Foundation Conference in Pakistan. Mrs. Hapgood thereafter devoted her energies to advocacy for unrestricted, government-funded access to abortion-on-demand for all women. She has also committed herself to promoting environmental preservation and conservation, which has become another focal point of EFA funding.
The Educational Foundation of America is also active in the contemporary antiwar movement, as evidenced by its status as a member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group, an unincorporated association of foundations and individual philanthropists that give money to leftist anti-war and environmentalist causes.
Recent recipients of EFA grants include: the Abortion Access Project; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Foundation for AIDS Research; the Center for Defense Information; the Center for International Policy; the Center for Investigative Reporting; the Center for Policy Alternatives; the Center for Public Interest Research; the Center for Reproductive Rights; the Cherokee National Historical Society; Death With Dignity; the Earth Policy Institute; the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund; Earthrights International; Environmental Defense; the Foundation for the American Indian; Friends of the Earth; the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; Girls Inc. of Los Angeles; the Indian Law Resource Center; the Indigenous Language Institute; the Institute for America's Future; the Institute for Democracy Studies; the Institute for Policy Studies; the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund; the Ms. Foundation for Women; NARAL Pro-Choice America; the National Abortion Federation; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Nature Conservancy; Planned Parenthood; Population Connection; the Population Resource Center; the Pro-Choice Public Education Project; the Proteus Fund; the Rainforest Action Network; the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Educational Fund; Riverkeeper; Standing for Truth About Radiation; the Sustainable Energy Advocates Network; the Tides Center; Trust for Public Land; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the Wilderness Society; and Women's Action for New Directions.
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