Center for Communication

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The Center for Communication is a left-of-center advocacy group dedicated to fostering diversity in media through the education and empowerment of students aspiring to join the industry. The organization partners with left-leaning organizations like the Ford Foundation, 1 which contributed a $50,000 donation to the Center in 2022.


The Center for Communication was founded in 1980 by Frank Stanton, a former vice chairman of CBS who organized the first televised presidential debate in American history. The group was established to promote diversity in the media industry and foster dialogue on pressing social issues among students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. 2

The Center hosts an annual summit alongside numerous seminars designed to equip students with media and communication skills they need to succeed in the industry. 3 Notable past speakers at the center’s seminars have included former Vice President Al Gore, 4 a Democratic Party politician and environmental activist; Jonah Petretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed; and Jeff Bezos, 5 the founder and former CEO of Amazon. 6

The nonprofit also connects its students with partner organizations who are also committed to build a more equitable and representative industry. 7 Each year, the Center presents the Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication to individuals who advocates for a more diverse and inclusive industry and exemplify excellence in any genre of mass communication. 8


Max Robins works as both the president and executive director of the Center for Communication. Prior to his role at the Center in 2014, Max held the position of vice president at the Paley Center for Media. He has authored numerous articles mostly criticizing right-leaning individuals and media outlets such as Fox News, 9 former President Donald Trump, and former Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. 10

Erin Gromen is director of partnerships. She leads the Center’s fundraising and partnership efforts. Gromen spent over 15 years of her career working at the Paley Center for Media as the senior director of Special Initiatives & Programming. 11

Rita Ferro sits on the board. 12 She is the president of advertising sales at Disney. 13 In a cooperate letter addressed to the advertising community in February 2021, she ascribed George Floyd’s death to “systematic racism” and encouraged partners to collaborate in advancing diversity and inclusivity within the industry. 14

Chairing the board of directors at the Center for Communication is David J. Barrett. 15 The board also comprises industry leaders from prominent firms, including individuals like Marc Brotherton, 16 who holds the position of senior partner at McKinsey; 17 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) experience design director, Forest Evashevski; 18 managing director of global partnerships at Google 19 Shane Peros; 20 and Saville Sim, who works as executive vice president and general counsel of Warner Brothers. 21


Notable partners of the organization include organizations such as Disney, 22 Google, 23 Bloomberg Philanthropies, 24 and Warner Brothers. 25

In April 2022, the left-leaning Ford Foundation 26 donated $50,000 to the organization to show its “support for TheRighting, an important Media platform that educates journalists, audiences and commentators about social movements in the United States.” 27


  1. “Ford Foundation.” InfluenceWatch, January 6, 2023.
  2. “Stanton Award.” The Center for Communication. Accessed August 8, 2023.
  3. “Stanton Award.” The Center for Communication. Accessed August 8, 2023.
  4. “Al Gore.” InfluenceWatch, July 11, 2019.
  5. “Jeff Bezos.” InfluenceWatch, February 18, 2020.
  6. “Center for Communication.” LinkedIn. Accessed August 8, 2023.
  7. “Mission & History.” The Center for Communication. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  8. “Stanton Award.” The Center for Communication. Accessed August 8, 2023.
  9. Hamilton, Caitlin. “Fox News at the Burning Crossroads.” Techonomy, September 15, 2021.
  10. Hamilton, Caitlin. “Sorry, Tucker. It’s Not Censorship, Just Business.” Techonomy, September 22, 2021.
  11. Erin Gromen – Director of Partnerships – Center for … – linkedin. Accessed August 5, 2023.
  12. Rita Ferro | LinkedIn. Accessed August 15, 2023.
  13. “The Walt Disney Company.” InfluenceWatch. Accessed August 15, 2023.
  14. “An Advertising Industry Letter for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Join Us! – Disney Advertising – Partner with US.” Disney Advertising – Partner with Us – The official entry point for partnering with The Walt Disney Company, March 22, 2022.
  15. “Leadership & Staff.” The Center for Communication. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  16. “Marc Brodherson.” McKinsey & Company. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  17. “McKinsey and Company.” InfluenceWatch. Accessed August 15, 2023.
  18. Forest Evashevski – director, experience design, the wall … – linkedin. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  19. “Google.” InfluenceWatch, January 25, 2023.
  20.  Shane Peros – New York, New York, United States – linkedin. Accessed August 15, 2023.
  21. Savalle Sims | LinkedIn. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  22. “The Walt Disney Company.” InfluenceWatch. Accessed August 8, 2023.
  23.  “Google.” InfluenceWatch, January 25, 2023.
  24. “Bloomberg Family Foundation (Bloomberg Philanthropies).” InfluenceWatch, July 12, 2022.
  25. “Partners.” The Center for Communication. Accessed August 7, 2023.
  26. “Ford Foundation.” InfluenceWatch, January 6, 2023.
  27. “Grants Database.” Ford Foundation. Accessed August 8, 2023.
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