Funding to Support 1 Million Strong Campaign, Mandarin Language Learning

Washington, DC – (Jan. 14, 2015) – 100,000 Strong Foundation announced today a $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation to support 1 Million Strong, a new campaign to grow five-fold the number of US, K-12 students studying Mandarin by 2020.

“We hope others across all sectors will join in creating more equitable opportunities for young Americans to study Mandarin,” said Ford Foundation President Darren Walker. “In this increasingly globalized world, learning foreign languages like Mandarin are critical to providing our youth with the tools to succeed academically and professionally.”

Launched by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in September, 1 Million Strong seeks to grow from 200,000 to 1 million the number of US, K-12 students learning Mandarin by 2020.  The campaign builds on the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s previous success – in 2014, it met its goal of seeing 100,000 students studying abroad in China each year.

“The Ford Foundation’s grant will allow us to dedicate even more resources, time and focus on advancing 1 Million Strong,” said 100,000 Strong CEO Carola McGiffert. “This campaign will open the gates of opportunity for US students to learn Mandarin – regardless of where they live or what their background is. We are deeply grateful to the Ford Foundation and President Walker for their enduring commitment to 100,000 Strong and to enhancing US-China ties through cross cultural understanding.”

This is 100,000 Strong’s third grant from the Ford Foundation. In 2013, the Ford Foundation provided nearly $2 million in seed funding to establish 100,000 Strong and continues to support its work. Additional sponsors for 100,000 Strong include Deloitte, Wanxiang Group and LinkedIn.

About the 100,000 Strong Foundation

The 100,000 Strong Foundation is a bipartisan nonprofit that has been endorsed by the US and Chinese governments. The Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the US-China relationship by dramatically increasing the number and diversity of US students studying in China and learning Mandarin. 100,000 Strong is dedicated to ensuring that America’s next generation of leaders is prepared to compete, collaborate and succeed in a world in which China plays a central role.

Media contact: Erin Billings, Podesta Group