New Coalition for Economic and Social Change

The New Coalition for Economic and Social Change is a coalition of black conservatives affiliated with free-market advocacy group The Heartland Institute— itself member a of the right-wing State Policy Network, a national network of state-based think tanks.

The New Coalition for Economic and Social Change
19 South LaSalle Street #903
Chicago, IL 60603

Founder & President: Lee H. Walker in 1980
Board of Directors (Heartland Institute): Herbert J. Walberg, Chairman, Joseph L. Bast (President and CEO The Heartland Institute), James L. Johnston (Amoco Corporation, retired), Thomas Walton (General Motors Corporation), Walter F. Buchholtz (ExxonMobil Corporation), Roy E. Marden (Philip Morris), David H. Padden (Padden & Co.), Robert Buford (Planned Realty Group), Frank Resnik (Medline Inc., retired), Paul Fisher Piper (Marbury, Rudnick & Wolfe), Leslie Rose (Fidelity Bank), James Fitzgerald (BankNote Capital LLC), Lee Tooman (Golden Rule Insurance Company), Dan Hales (Peterson & Ross), Lee H. Walker (New Coalition for Economic & Social Change), William Higginson (Chicago Equity Fund Inc.).
Finances: The New Coalition estimates its finances for 2005 at $175,000
Publications: New Coalition "News and Views" Newsletter, sent to a mailing list of approximately 1,100 allies and opinion leaders, as well as occasional articles, studies, and research papers on issues of particular interest to people of color.
Affiliate Groups: The Heartland Institute


The new Coalition lists its goals and strategies as the following:

  • To make black Americans more economically independent;
  • To formulate a coherent black strategy to deal with "black pathologies" such as crime, poor health, unemployment, and "miseducation;"
  • To publicize the fact that there is great diversity within the black community;
  • To create new leaders and new alliances;
  • To foster black experts able to comment on a wide variety of issues, not just those commonly associated with black concerns.

The New Coalition is "committed to conservative multiculturalism," which views social order from historical and personal experiences not shared by whites, that result in conservative or libertarian conclusions.


The New Coalition engages in public speaking, media interviews, writing letters to editors and elected officials, op-eds for newspapers, and feature articles for magazines and newsletters, as well as holding seminars and providing easy-access literature for the multicultural community. On its website it lists the following activities:

  • Presenting the Booker T. Washington "New Citizenship" Award annually to Americans who have succeeded against the odds;
  • Hosting an annual leadership conference on the New Black Agenda;
  • Producing a series of small-scale seminars for the purpose of exploring specific public policy issues;
  • Publishing a newsletter and studies and research papers on urgent issues; and
  • Networking with other organizations.
  • New Coalition Cultural Information Exchange Project (NCCIEP), an educational development program for Chicago Public Schools Technology Initiatives


The New Coalition lists the Stuart Family Foundation, ExxonMobil Corporation, the Ceres Foundation, and the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation as several of its 97 donors.

The New Coalition is a partner with the Heartland Institute, which receives funding from Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, JM Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, Inc., Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Foundations, and from the Phillip Morris tobacco company. It claims to have annual revenues of over $2 million.


The New Coalition was founded in 1980 following a major conference in San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel. Speakers featured that day included former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese III, economist Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Walter Williams.

According to the New Coalition's website, "The Heartland Institute, a national research organization (or 'think tank') founded in 1984 in Chicago, has an annual budget of $2 million and a full-time staff of 13. Prior to joining forces with Mr. Walker, however, it was not having much success reaching nonwhite audiences. As a result, a partnership formed between The New Coalition and The Heartland Institute, a project under Mr. Walker's direction that combined The New Coalition's extensive contacts with nonwhite opinion leaders with access to The Heartland Institute's staff, publications, and national network of donors and opinion leaders. Mr. Walker–a long-time member of Heartland's Board of Directors–has taken the title of Senior Fellow at Heartland and President of The New Coalition."

According to, the Heartland Institute has ties to the tobacco industry… "Roy E. Marden, a member of Heartland's board of directors, is the manager of industry affairs for the Philip Morris tobacco company…[and] In a May 1991 document prepared for Philip Morris, Marden listed Heartland's 'rapid response network' as a 'potential spokesperson' among the 'portfolio of organizations' that the company had cultivated to support its interests.

The Heartland Institute is also a member of the State Policy Network, a national network of state-based right-wing organizations, predominately think tanks.

Updated: April 2006