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Young people’s racial justice projects to receive grants


September/October 2017


Racial justice projects initiated and led by young people seeking a church that is open, loving and caring for all people will receive financial support from The United Methodist Church.

Grants of up to $2,500 each will be available under the new program administered by Young People's Ministries (YPM), a unit of Discipleship Ministries.


"During the racism gathering convened by Young People's Ministries in 2016, the group of young black leaders, allies and Discipleship Ministries staff identified a number of ideas originating with young people," said the Rev. Michael Ratliff, associate general secretary at Discipleship Ministries and head of YPM. "Many times the challenge of moving from idea to action is financial."

A total of $65,000 has been allocated for grants to support racial justice projects, including $50,000 from the Connectional Table and $5,000 each from Discipleship Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR).

"This will provide seed money of up to $2,500 per proposal to make the ideas of young people become a reality," Ratliff said.

The grants will be available beginning in September. Information about the application process will be on YPM's website, Ratliff said.

In July 2016, young black leaders and white allies from each jurisdiction in the United States met in Dallas. They shared their own experiences about racism and developed a common list of printed, online, organizational and people resources related to racial justice.

"That event could have ended with a list of to-dos for the staff of Young People's Ministries," Ratliff said. "Instead, it transitioned into a movement with momentum to go forward as a group committed to a new way of being God's people with each other and in our world.

"Whether young people have been hurt by the church or have never attended, it is vital for our faith communities to create a welcoming place where they can experience accepting and loving relationships that transcend racial barriers."

Discipleship Ministries