Go Back


DALLAS, TX – (November 30, 2021) – This Giving Tuesday, the Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM is honored to announce over $2 million in cancer research and domestic violence shelter grants around the country. The Mary Kay Ash Foundation was established in 1996 with the overarching purpose of eliminating cancers affecting women. In 2000, the Foundation furthered its mission to include the prevention and elimination of domestic violence.

Across the country, 50 domestic violence shelters, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, have each been awarded $20,000 grants, totaling $1 million. The Foundation is committed to funding the vital work of women’s shelters, and the annual shelter grant program continues to help finance critical needs including emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling and legal aid. All of these resources support women and children as they seek refuge and relief on their journey to a life free of abuse.

In addition to these grants, the Mary Kay Ash Foundation hasawarded $25,000 grants to four North Texas shelters: Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, Denton County Friends of the Family and The Family Place. As a longtime partner of North Texas domestic violence organizations, the Foundation awarded the grants totaling $100,000 to support domestic violence workers – first responders for women and children.

Click here to access a full list of the Mary Kay Ash Foundation 2021 Domestic Violence Shelter Grant recipients.

The Foundation’s 2021 cancer research grants will support many innovative cancer research studies. The grants were awarded to ten researchers from the country’s top cancer research institutes and universities who are conducting ground-breaking studies in cancers that primarily affect women. The grants, which fund innovation to help with better detection, prognosis and treatment of cancers affecting women, are part of Mary Kay Ash Foundation’s annual cancer research grant cycle. The Foundation has awarded more than $25 million to more than 250 researchers since inception.

The Mary Kay Ash Foundation Research Review Committee, comprised of previous years’ grant winners, generously gave of their time to review nearly 65 applications from the top accredited research institutes and universities in the country. After much consideration, 10 cancer researchers received $100,000 grants each for their outstanding research proposals. This year’s grant recipients include:

• The General Hospital Corporation d/b/a Massachusetts General Hospital
• Indiana University
• NYU Grossman School of Medicine
• UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
• The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
• Tufts University School of Medicine
• University of South Carolina
• The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
• UT Southwestern Health Systems
• The Wistar Institute

“The Mary Kay Ash Foundation continues its steadfast mission to support cancer researchers who are seeking cures for cancers affecting women and provide life-saving resources to domestic violence shelters across the country,” said Ryan Rogers, Vice President of the Mary Kay Ash Foundation Board of Directors and grandson of company founder Mary Kay Ash. “These grants enable some of the brightest minds to continue their research efforts, bring hope to women who are facing a cancer diagnosis and support the first responders who worked tirelessly to help domestic violence survivors and their families. By continuing support for these scientists and organizations, we know we are continuing our mission to better the lives of women everywhere.”

Research efforts include innovative studies from scientists like Dr. Itai Yanai, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, who will use the grants to focus on targeting treatment-resistant ovarian cancer cell states. Dr. Ozgur Sahin, Associate Professor in the Department of Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at University of South Carolina, is studying enhancing the efficacy of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapy in aggressive breast cancers. 

Over the course of more than two decades, the Mary Kay Ash Foundationhas awarded more than $85 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States. For more information, visit marykayashfoundation.org  

About Mary Kay Ash Foundation

Guided by Mary Kay Ash’s dream to enrich the lives of women everywhere, the Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM raises and distributes funds to invest in breakthrough cancer research to find a cure for women-related cancers and ending domestic violence against women. Since 1996, the Mary Kay Ash Foundation has contributed more than $85 million to organizations aligned with its two-fold mission. In addition, the Foundation supports awareness initiatives, community outreach programs, and advocates for legislation to ensure women are healthy and safe. Together, we can make the world better for women. To learn more about how to educate, advocate, volunteer and donate, and join life-saving work to support and empower women, visit marykayashfoundation.org, find us on Facebook and Instagram, or follow us on Twitter.