Marchers protest the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman on Memorial Day. Photo by Chris Stone

Two San Diego Methodist churches have jointly awarded 10 local nonprofits $52,500 to assist their work in anti-racist policy advocacy or providing direct services to people of color in San Diego County, it was announced Tuesday.

First United Methodist Church of San Diego and St. Paul United Methodist Church, San Diego, awarded the grants to the nonprofits as part of a long-term commitment by the churches to anti-racist work throughout San Diego — which led to the establishment of their newly created Racial Justice Endowment.

“The greatest commandment is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves,” said Rev. Trudy Robinson, lead pastor at First United Methodist Church. “But given Christianity’s past and continued participation in racism over the centuries, we have not loved all of our neighbors. Not by a long shot. However, we can seek repentance as we commit to a new way to be. For us, this Racial Justice Endowment is an important step in that direction.”

Inspired by local and national conversations about racial injustice, the churches jointly established the endowment in 2020 to assist organizations already engaged in anti-racist efforts in San Diego County. Donations have been received from both congregations and the broader community.

“The tragic nature of racial injustice underscores the important work of these local organizations, who have been serving our community for years, if not decades,” Robinson said. “It is our 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.”

The Racial Justice Endowment grantees are:

  • Pillars of the Community
  • San Diego Young Artists Music Academy
  • Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach and Urban Redevelopment
  • The Blue Heart Foundation
  • San Diego Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women’s STEAM Workshop
  • National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc., Delta Upsilon Chapter
  • San Diego’s Y.E.S Program
  • Man Up Club at Wilson Middle School
  • Neighborhood House Association’s Project In-Reach
  • Mustard Seed Wood Inc.
  • SD Urban Warriors

Officials will announce the focus of the next grant cycle and open applications for it on April 1.

— City News Service contributed to this article

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