"NO ONE IS FORCED TO BUY OR READ THE BOOK THAT DOES NOT PLEASE HIM OR ATTEND THE MOVIE OR WATCH THE TELEVISION PROGRAM
THAT OFFENDS HIS PERSONAL SENSIBILITIES. WE ARE ALL LEFT THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE, AS WE SHOULD BE IN A FREE SOCIETY,
WITHOUT THE SPECTER OF CENSORSHIP HANGING OVER US."
-Hugh M. Hefner
PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS
The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation is a grant maker and has worked to push back the forces of censorship by providing funding for organizations such as the ACLU and People For the American Way, which work to litigate and lobby to enhance constitutional rights, and work to educate the public on the importance of maintaining a broad concept of the First Amendment. The Foundation also seeks an end to the failed War on Drugs by supporting organizations that advocate for treating the problem as a public health matter. In that regard, the Foundation works with groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project.
The Foundation also supports specific projects that further its mission. A grant to Brandeis University allowed the school to acquire, archive and make available to scholars, students and the public for the first time, the Lenny Bruce Archives. In response to his social satire in the 1960s, Bruce was targeted by the government and faced multiple legal battles that left him unable to work and ultimately caused his early death. In challenging the right of the government to ‘criminalize’ speech, he helped to pave the way for future social satirists, comics and commentators. His collection of photographs, writings, transcripts, articles, audio materials, and trial materials are an important part of our country’s history of battles for freedom of expression.
Additionally, the Foundation is the sponsor of the annual Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards: a program that seeks to shine a light on individuals who have made significant contributions to society in the vital effort to protect and enhance First Amendment rights for all Americans. Since the first event in 1979, the Foundation has recognized over 150 individuals, many of whom are unsung heroes, including high school students, lawyers, librarians, journalists and educators.
For information on submitting a proposal or applying for a grant, please visit our Contact page.