The Heritage Foundation recognized the winners of the 2023 Innovation Prize at a two-day Leadership Summit last Thursday which celebrated the foundation’s 50th anniversary.

This is the third round of the prize, which provides concrete support (up to $1 million total per year) for organizations that, like Heritage, promote the flourishing of civil society and seek to combat the radical takeover of American society by the left.

The Innovation prize winners include Communio, the National Association of Scholars, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Speech First, and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

For 50 years, the Heritage Foundation has championed freedom, opportunity, and policy solutions that return power from the government back to the American people. These prize winners are actively achieving this goal, through innovative projects involving research, litigation, education or other avenues that advance human flourishing.

Innovation in Action: The Prize Winners

Communio was awarded $100,000 to support the recently launched National Center for Black Family Life, which aims to strengthen, encourage, and renew the black family in America. Communio launched the center in January on the campus of, and in partnership with, Hampton University, a historically black university in Hampton, Virginia. 

This award will help Communio and Hampton University reverse negative trends in fatherlessness and increase marriage in the black community.

Read more about Communio’s award here.

The National Association of Scholars received a $100,000 award to support its investigation into the Confucius Classrooms. This 12-month strategy will uncover the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) infiltration of and influence in American K-12 education. After successfully combating the CCP’s efforts to undermine American higher education by shutting down Confucius Institutes at universities around the country, NAS will inform the public of the CCP’s latest efforts to undermine American education and national security.

Read more about the National Association of Scholars’ award here.

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs was awarded $250,000 over two years to support its Preserve and Empower Oklahoma Families Initiative, the organization’s strategy to reposition the nuclear family as the most powerful and active force in Oklahoma. This initiative will promote the success sequence in schools, protect religious liberty, and advocate for policies that place the nuclear family at the center of society and the states’ policy making process.

Read more about the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs’ award here.

Speech First received a $100,000 award to bolster their critical litigation work of defending students’ constitutional rights to free speech at universities across the country. Through its Strategic Litigation Free Speech Project, Speech First challenges policies that target constitutionally protected speech and other harmful policies that regulate Students’ First Amendment rights.

Read more about Speech First’s award here.

Last but not least, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation welcomed an award of $150,000 from the Heritage Foundation to help educate the public about the devastating effects of communism. This award will further advance the work they have already achieved through their China Studies Program, which exposes the CCP’s human rights atrocities and counters their global efforts to undermine freedom and the rule of law.

Read more about the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s award here.

In 2022, winners of the Prize included the Alliance Defending FreedomAlliance for Opportunity, Americans United for Life, Charlotte Lozier InstituteDefense of Freedom Institute, Forge Leadership NetworkIndependent Women’s ForumState Financial Officers Foundation, and Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.

For more information about the prize, click here.