Press Release

December 10, 2019

The Henry Ford Offers Free Field Trips to Every 4th and 5th Grader in Detroit Public Schools with $10 Million Grant from the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation Equity Initiative focuses on accessibility and inclusion at The Henry Ford

Dearborn, MI (December 10, 2019) — The Henry Ford received a $10 million grant from The Ford Foundation to assist in making the 90-year-old institution more accessible to all regardless of backgrounds or barriers, it was announced today by Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO.

The Ford Foundation Equity Initiative will focus on accessibility and inclusion with a concentration on three key areas–Education, Community Engagement and Infrastructure Improvements.

The grant will allow The Henry Ford to, over the next five years, fully engage 40,000 4th and 5th graders enrolled in the Detroit Public Schools Community District with free field trips to the institution and help the organization zero in on all middle schoolers in DPSCD to learn from and have free access to The Henry Ford’s digital Innovate curriculum.

“It is critical, more than ever in today’s society, that all students hone the habits and mindsets of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Patricia Mooradian, President and CEO of The Henry Ford. “Young people are eager to make their mark in this world but aren’t always given the opportunity. We want to ensure that our region, our state and our country can successfully compete with any other in terms of innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness. All children should have the opportunity to activate their own innovation journey.”

In addition, the Ford Foundation Equity Initiative will help The Henry Ford:

  • Create accessible environments on the 90-year-old institution’s campus. The Henry Ford will work to address the renovation needs of its facilities such as restrooms and others amenities to accommodate guests with a wide range of abilities, as well as their family members and companions.
  • Build upon the destination’s sensory-friendly programming and tactile tours.  
  • Create partnerships with universities both regionally and nationally to inform students from diverse backgrounds of internships and apprenticeships at The Henry Ford that, as a result, might help build a diverse workforce of tomorrow in the cultural sector.
  • Increase the reach of The Henry Ford’s Youth Mentorship Program to provide even more opportunities and critical support for at-risk high school students.
  • Welcome historians, thought leaders, civic leaders and every day Americans to regular “town halls” at The Henry Ford during which lectures and discussions will take place on key topics of the day.

“I am thrilled to partner with The Henry Ford with an investment in the futures of young Detroiters with this Equity Initiative,” Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. “I believe strongly in the revitalization of the city of Detroit and it is the youth, with their creativity, innovation, and dedication, who will continue the upward trajectory and leave their own legacy. But we must ensure every child has an equitable opportunity to do just that.”

About The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally-recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at, its national television programs, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Did I Mention Invention? and other resources, The Henry Ford helps individuals of all kinds to unlock their potential and help shape a better future. The Henry Ford advanced its role as a catalyst for change in education with the acquisition of The STEMIE Coalition, a growing affiliation of organizations dedicated to fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in students, K-12. With STEMIE, The Henry Ford hosts the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) and makes innovation learning curriculum accessible to educators and students worldwide.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.