The General Commission on Religion and Race received 120 grant applications from the United States as well as 8 grant applications from the Central Conferences.
According to GCORR’s press release, the grants were for projects that are “bold, innovative initiatives across local churches, annual conferences, jurisdictions, seminaries, and central conferences and that will increase intercultural competency or vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, and systemic equity leading to action.”
Among the awardees is the “Pacific Islanders UMC ‘Ho’poli Aloha'” of the Hawaii United Methodist Union which was awarded $38,000. “The program supports a successful residential transition facility for former prisoners as well as a program for at-risk youth. Funds will be used to document successful practices to share with other like-minded programs as well as expand outreach to greater numbers of youth.”
Rev. Dr. Tom Choi, Hawaii District Superintendent, comments that, “First LAP (Life After Prison) is one of the most effective after-prison programs in the State of Hawaii. With a success rate far greater than state programs, First LAP provides room and board, but much more importantly, life skills, training, and spiritual support, much in the way John Wesley provided ministry. On behalf of the Hawaii District, I congratulate First LAP and its outstanding director, Matt Taufetee.”
Another awardee from the California-Pacific Conference is the “God is in the Graffitti” project (La Plaza United Methodist Church) which was awarded $30,000. The project will “promote/increase creative and critical thinking and sustain vital conversations on religion and spirituality with youth in the Los Angeles area, covering relevant topics such as poverty, race, gender equality, urban youth, gangs, and the historical relationship between the UMC and diverse ethnic minorities in the area.”
Rev. Dr. Kathey Wilborn, West District Superintendent, asks for prayers that “they may achieve their goals. We celebrate the $30,000 grant that La Plaza has received for this creative work among us.”
The GCORR grant cycle is from 2014 to 2016 and total more than $1.2 million from the CORR Action Fund (CAF) grant program (funded by the Minority Group Self-Determination Fund). In addition, these grants represent the first time that dedicated CAF grant money is being directed toward the Central Conferences.”