American Cornerstone Institute

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The American Cornerstone Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that claims to be a "values-driven educational organization that focuses on identifying and implementing common-sense solutions to some of the problems currently hurting the country's most vulnerable citizens," and a "strong champion of free-market, self-reliance focused policy solutions to the real problems our nation faces".[1]

ACI was founded by former presidential candidate Dr. Benjamin Carson, who endorsed former president Donald Trump upon his withdrawal from the 2016 POTUS race.

ACI is part of a larger network of nonprofit spinoffs launched by the Conservative Partnership Institute that provide jobs for former Trump staff and political allies.[2]

The "cornerstone" values that guide ACI are "faith, liberty, community, and life".[3]

News and Controversies

Ben Carson Likens 'Little Patriots' Program to Soviet Indoctrination

The Little Patriots program is a project of ACI in which parents and educators can receive free teaching materials that promote a patriotic American history curriculum. MRT reported ACI president Ben Carson said, "That's why Vladimir Lenin said give me your children to teach for four years and the seed that I plant will never be uprooted." He further explained, "'We' need to utilize the same principles and try to make sure children have a solid foundation of understanding of who we are as a nation," MRT reports.[4]. In the same interview, Carson called Critical Race Theory "a bunch of garbage" and claimed the disproportionate shooting of Black citizens by police officers is a fallacy created by media spin.[4]


American Cornerstone Institute is not required to disclose its donors. However, the Center for Media and Democracy identified the following contributors through an analysis of tax filings:

Core Financials

Financial information for the American Cornerstone Institute is not currently available.



As of January 2021:[1]

  • Benjamin Carson, President
  • Irving Dennis, CFO

Board of Directors

As of January 2021:[1]

  • Benjamin Carson, Chairman
  • Andrew Hughes, Executive Director
  • Irving Dennis, Treasurer
  • Michael Williams, Secretary

Contact Information

Employer Identification Number (EIN): 86-1545903

American Cornerstone Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 354
611 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washinton, D.C. 20003

Articles and Resources

IRS Filings

Tax-Exempt Application



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 American Cornerstone Institute, 501(c)(3) Application, "ACI", January 25, 2021.
  2. Sue Sturgis, How Mark Meadows' nonprofit benefited from Trump's 'Big Ripoff', "Facing South", June 24, 2022.
  3. American Cornerstone Institute, ACI Homepage, "ACI", accessed July 20, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Matt Stringer, Carson: American people are not each other's enemies, "MRT", March 30, 2022.