2022 Innovation Prize Winners

2022 Innovation Prize Winners

The Heritage Innovation Prizes recognize and provide substantive financial support—totaling $1 million annually—to organizations executing bold ideas and providing innovative solutions to the most pressing issues facing America, particularly those projects that:

  • Empower parents to make their own education choices
  • Secure our borders and reduce crime
  • Ensure free and fair elections
  • Reduce the growth of government spending and inflation
  • Counter the threat of Communist China
  • Hold Big Tech accountable
  • Protect unborn life and family formation
  • Promote leadership development and prepare for 2025

Congratulations to the following 2022 winners:

Alliance Defending Freedom

Topic: Hold Big Tech accountable
Project: Viewpoint Diversity Business Index
Website: adflegal.org

Alliance Defending Freedom’s Viewpoint Diversity Business Index is a unique tool that scores the most powerful corporate entities on the Fortune 1000 on how well they respect religious and ideological diversity—or far more often, how they fail to do so. It is the first comprehensive benchmark designed to measure and improve corporate respect for religious and ideological diversity in the market, workplace, and public square. The index will create public accountability for corporate actors that undermine free speech and religious liberty and provide benchmarks for respecting these freedoms in the business sector. As massive corporations continue to “go woke,” holding them accountable and ensuring all Americans’ access to the basic services they provide has never been more important. In addition to a website, ADF will raise public awareness of the index with op-eds, media interviews, social media campaigns, and by facilitating collective action by values-aligned shareholders.

Americans United for Life

Topic: Protect unborn life and family formation 
Project: Digital Advocacy Platform
Website: aul.org

Americans United for Life has been the pro-life movement’s legal architect since 1971, committed to the protection of vulnerable human beings at every stage of life. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 2022 marks the return of the decision on abortion to the states and a chance for the restoration of true human rights for all. AUL’s new Digital Advocacy Platform is an innovative strategy that places a powerful digital advocacy tool at the fingertips of millions of Americans. This project will educate the grassroots throughout America how to pass laws to protect human life at the state level and give them the necessary tools to more easily advocate to their elected officials, in the media, and to their friends and neighbors. 

Charlotte Lozier Institute

Topic: Protect unborn life and family formation 
Project: An Economic Analysis of Abortion and Its Effects
Website: lozierinstitute.org

Abortion is frequently viewed as a low-cost medical method to address an unwanted pregnancy. Yet, the economic impact of abortion has not been analyzed sufficiently given its prominence in the decision-making process of many women and families. The Charlotte Lozier Institute, an organization that uses science and statistics to promote a deeper public understanding of the intrinsic value of human life, plans to change that. CLI will research and produce a series of studies on the economic consequences of legalized abortion in the United States, including a microeconomic analysis of the impact on a woman and her family as well as a macroeconomic analysis of the impact on communities and the nation. These studies will illuminate the true economic toll abortion takes on our nation’s well-being. Over the next two years, these papers will be researched, presented at conferences, submitted for peer review, published in professional journals, and promoted publicly.

Defense of Freedom Institute

Topic: Counter the threat of Communist China
Project: Chinese Communist Party Project
Website: dfipolicy.org

Since the Biden administration entered office on January 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education has significantly reduced enforcement of federal reporting requirements of foreign gifts and contracts of $250,000 or more to institutions of higher education. This is happening despite the fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other malicious foreign actors have continued access to American research universities because of those generous contracts and gifts. The Defense of Freedom Institute’s Chinese Communist Party Project initiative will fight to force universities to disclose the influence of the CCP and its proxies in American higher education and hold the Biden administration accountable for its refusal to do so. DFI will also make policy recommendations designed to disrupt CCP influence in American universities and to hold institutions of higher education accountable to the American people.

Forge Leadership Network

Topic: Promote leadership development and prepare for 2025
Project: Forge Mentorship Academy
Website: forgeleadership.org

Forge Leadership Network mentors, trains, and connects young conservatives and equips them to lead in politics, culture, and business. Forge’s elite Mentorship Academy includes experiential training in national and international politics, intensive mentoring, and connections to top internships and jobs. Forge provides unique access to renowned thought leaders and power players of the conservative movement as well as tailored career and personal development by matching each student with a field-specific mentor. Through a year of dynamic training, students create deep relationships with like-minded peers and mentors from around the country, building lasting networks for years to come. Forge has demonstrated its capacity to prepare future leaders in the state of Ohio and plans to double its capacity and expand into new states.

The Georgia Center for Opportunity, Pelican Institute for Public Policy, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (Alliance for Opportunity)

Topic: Reduce the growth of government spending and inflation 
Project: Alliance for Opportunity
Website: foropportunity.org, pelicanpolicy.org, texaspolicy.com

The Georgia Center for Opportunity, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy in Louisiana, and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have come together in a unique, highly coordinated multistate effort to advance a free enterprise-oriented, anti-poverty agenda: the Alliance for Opportunity, or A4O. A4O exists to promote solutions and build the political will to advance a comprehensive and compelling plan for state anti-poverty program reforms to move people from dependence to the dignity of work and human flourishing. The efforts in each state connect and mobilize lawmakers to lead the charge for policy change, persuade targeted audiences, and bridge the gaps between states and the federal government to pave the way for reform. The goal is to reduce the number of people in poverty by 20% in Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas over the next 10 years, freeing a total of over 1.17 million people from poverty.

Independent Women’s Forum

Topic: Protect unborn life and family formation 
Project: Women’s Bill of Rights
Website: iwf.org

Independent Women’s Forum’s Women’s Bill of Rights is a simple and sensible declaration on the biology of sex. As the Left wages war on basic biology and the concepts of manhood and womanhood, IWF stepped into the breach with the Women’s Bill of Rights, which defines basic terms such as “woman,” “female,” and “mother” consistent with science and common public understanding. It reiterates that, while men and women are legally equal, their innate differences sometimes justify separation of the sexes. The Women's Bill of Rights project was developed in consultation with leading legal experts on the Right and principled liberals. IWF is taking it into the public arena by launching a public petition; partnering with diverse women’s groups and female thought leaders; launching a multimedia education and awareness campaign to reach Americans everywhere; building support among members of Congress; and planning comprehensive education campaigns in the states to directly engage with state lawmakers, state partners, and the media.

State Financial Officers Foundation 

Topic: Counter the threat of Communist China 
Project: “Our Money, Our Values” Campaign
Website: sfof.com ; ourmoneyourvalues.com

The State Financial Officers Foundation, a network of state treasurers, auditors and other state financial officers, is launching the “Our Money, Our Values” public education campaign to challenge the Left’s so-called environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, standards to get corporations to use their massive resources to drive the Left’s environmental and social agenda. The State Financial Officers Foundation has been at the forefront of fighting the Left’s push for ESG standards on businesses, which undermine American energy independence and make us more dependent on China. ESG standards give government, business, and cultural elites an unprecedented ability to control the daily lives of hundreds of millions of Americans, often to their detriment.

Thomas Jefferson Institute

Topic: Empower parents to make their own education choices
Project: Virginia Education Opportunity Alliance
Website: thomasjeffersoninst.org; https://veoa.org/

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the plan of the radical Left to usurp the rights of parents relative to their children’s education and give them to the state. The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy has joined forces with 80 grassroots, state and national organizations to form the Virginia Education Opportunity Alliance—the largest coalition in Virginia history created to train parents and community members to advocate for the rights of parents in directing their children’s education. VEOA will build awareness for promoting parental rights, work to increase educational choices for families in the law, and improve transparency within the education system in Virginia. This coalition will build the climate necessary to achieve lasting reforms by engaging in broad outreach to parents and community members through paid social media, surveys, debates, and events; by providing training and resources to coalition members across the state to advocate for these education reforms; and by engaging in outreach to underserved communities through targeted advertising, events, and on-the-ground communication within those communities.