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Latter-day Saint leaders announce nearly $ 10 million for scholarships and other programs for black Americans

The following is a press release and photos from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the national leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced on Monday new educational and humanitarian initiatives related to their continued collaboration .

The group first met in May 2018, establishing a budding relationship.

“Today we are pleased to announce three key initiatives that have emerged from our many discussions and prayerful planning,” President Russell M. Nelson said at a press conference shortly thereafter. meeting with NAACP leaders in the church administration building on Temple Square in Salt. Lake City.

“Church leaders found common ground with the NAACP as we discussed the challenges that beset some of God’s children,” said President Nelson, who was accompanied by his counselors, Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring; Elders Ronald A. Rasband and Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; and Elder Jack N. Gerard, General Authority Seventy.

“The challenges are enormous and our capacities are limited. But together we want to make a difference, even though our efforts may seem relatively small, ”he said.

President Nelson then shared further details on the academic and philanthropic plans that have resulted from their ongoing discussions and collaboration.

To support the educational goals of the groups, the world religious leader announced the Church’s commitment to fund a scholarship donation of $ 1 million per year for three years, overseen by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), who will help young black students in the United States.

President Nelson also shared the Church’s plans to provide $ 250,000 for an Amos C. Brown scholarship in Ghana and explained that the experience “will allow selected students from the United States to learn about it. more about their heritage ”.

“These efforts represent a constant desire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach and live the two great commandments: to love God and his neighbor,” said President Nelson.

Together, explained President Nelson, the two entities “will bring relief to suffering souls in the underprivileged areas of the United States” and, through these efforts, “will teach important principles of self-reliance.”

To achieve this goal, the senior leader pledged a Church contribution of $ 2 million per year for the next three years “to encourage service and help those in need” in these areas.

“This is consistent with our many humanitarian efforts around the world for which our members have so generously donated,” President Nelson said.

NAACP leaders in attendance included Derrick Johnson, President and CEO; Wilbur Colom, special advisor; Eris Sims, Chief of Staff; Yumeka Rushing, Chief Strategy Officer and Reverend Dr Amos C. Brown, Senior Pastor of Third Baptist Church in San Francisco and President of the NAACP Branch in San Francisco.


UNCF representatives at the event included Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO; Maurice Jenkins, Executive Vice President and Director of Development and Monica Sudduth, Director of Regional Development for San Francisco.

President Nelson thanked the leaders of the NAACP and UNCF for being part of the shared vision.

“In this week of June 17 – a designated time to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States – we are honored to join our dear friends at the NAACP and UNCF in announcing these goals and our shared vision. “, did he declare.

“While a global pandemic has impacted our ability to meet face-to-face, we have worked hard and are delighted to meet today in the same warm spirit to now share joint initiatives that will bring our progress forward. a new level, ”says Brother Rasband.

Monday’s gathering of Latter-day Saints and NAACP leaders was reminiscent of the groups press conference just over two years ago, when President Nelson called on people to show “more civility and civility. kindness and working together to bless the lives of all of God’s children ”.

“On May 17, 2018, the Church and the NAACP – in this same room – launched a unified plea for greater civility and racial harmony. It was the consolidation of a growing friendship and the start of discussions about how we could learn from and serve each other.

In July 2019, President Nelson addressed attendees of the 110th NAACP National Convention in Detroit. His message centered on how “differences must not undermine the shared humanity of society”.

A year later, he and the leaders of the NAACP wrote a national editorial on how to better understand, overcome prejudice, and address the intolerable sin of racism.

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