First United Methodist Church of San Diego, in partnership with St. Paul United Methodist Church, San Diego, today announced that they have jointly awarded $40,000 in Racial Justice Grant funding to three local nonprofits that serve the BIPOC community while working to dismantle systematic racism across San Diego County. The grants are part of a long-term commitment by the churches to anti-racist work throughout San Diego, funded by their Racial Justice Endowment.
The 2023/24 Racial Justice Endowment Grantees are:
Rise Up Industries, whose mission is to minimize gang involvement by providing integrated gang prevention, gang intervention, and post-detention reentry services. Their long-term vision involves two main growth areas: expanding the Reentry Program and launching their future gang prevention and intervention programs.
Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego, which works to provide a unified front for advocacy and action against all forms of discrimination and unequal treatment, particularly in underrepresented and underserved communities. They specifically strive to challenge and transform abusive law enforcement practices used in communities of color as they work with organizations and individuals to expose local racial abuses and inequities, and to work to change the laws, policies, and unlawful police practices that allow for such abuses and inequities.
Epiphany Women in Focus, whose goal is to develop their community and manage conflict/tensions by not only repairing harm and restoring relationships, but by empowering individuals/families with the space, education, resources, and referrals needed to obtain successful skills for coping with life. They do this by using restorative, trauma-informed care to assist with healing from adverse childhood experiences and traumas.
“We look forward to continued engagement with these organizations—many of whom have been serving our community for decades—by providing volunteer support and a platform to further share the good news of their work,” said Rev. Trudy Robinson, Lead Pastor at First United Methodist Church San Diego. “We hope that others will join us by contributing to the endowment, which we created with St. Paul United Methodist Church to support efforts to dismantle systemic racism that unfairly limits opportunities for People of Color throughout our region.”
Inspired by local and national conversations about racial injustice, First United Methodist Church of San Diego and St. Paul United Methodist Church jointly established the Racial Justice Endowment in 2020 to come alongside organizations already engaged in anti-racist efforts in San Diego County. Community response to the fund has been enthusiastic with donations having been received from both congregations and the broader philanthropic community. The Endowment will announce their next grant cycle focus and open applications for it on April 1, 2024, marking the fifth round of grants.
“We continually strive as individuals and as an institution to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves,” Rev. Robinson continued. “Knowing Christianity’s past and continued participation in racism over the centuries, we realize the need for sustained action and new partnerships in the years to come.”
Since 1869, First United Methodist Church of San Diego has been witnessing to the love of God through programs, conversations, celebrations, and service. First Church welcomes people who identify as LGBTQIA, BIPOC, seekers and life-long Christians, newborns and centenarians. The people of First Church believe that through community, we can experience the love of God in ways that inspire us to make the world more whole and holy.
First United Methodist Church of San Diego and St. Paul United Methodist Church encourage the San Diego community to get involved and support these important efforts to create a more equitable future for all. Community members are invited to visit the First Church campus on Sun. Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. to learn more about the 2023/24 Racial Justice Endowments Grantees.
To donate, apply for funding, or get more information about potential partnership with the fund, please visit the Racial Justice Grants website or contact Jason Tucker, Sr. Director of Stewardship and Development at (619) 297-4366, or firstname.lastname@example.org.