People for the American Way

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People for the American Way, according to the organization's history, began in 1980 when "acclaimed television and movie producer Norman Lear began searching for an appropriate response to [what he perceived as] a new and disturbing political movement in America. The Religious Right was determined to impose a radical and extremist agenda, one that acknowledged only its leaders' religious beliefs, and that sought to diminish Americans' fundamental freedoms. Those who dared dissent, the Religious Right called 'atheistic,' 'immoral,' 'anti-Christian,' and 'anti-family' ... [i.e.] Jerry Falwell. Pat Robertson. The Moral Majority ... Religious bigotry. Anti-Semitism."[1]

"Lear's unique approach was to create a series of television commercials celebrating difference. The ads featured a mix of recognizable faces - Muhammad Ali and Goldie Hawn, for example - with average Americans. The overwhelming response to the ads led Lear to create People For the American Way. And in the 20+ years that followed, through a variety of political battles, the organization has advanced the same basic themes - embracing America's diversity, respecting Americans' rights, defending liberty, democracy and the American Way."[2]

Stanley K. Sheinbaum helped found People for the American Way. [1]

Board of Directors


Contact details

2000 M Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-467-4999 or 800-326-7329
Email: pfaw AT


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Stanley K. Sheinbaum, New Perspectives Quarterly, accessed November 27, 2007.

External links

  • Alexander Bolton, Charities fill parties' roles with help of millions of dollars in soft money, The Hill, March 17, 2004: "People for the American Way Foundation, a 501(c)3, is in the process launching three new voter-registration programs: Sanctified Seven, an effort to register new voters through predominantly African-American churches; and Mi Familia Vota and Yo Voto Por Mi Pueblo, two programs targeted at Hispanic voters."