Eight of UTO’s 2018 grants for justice and racial healing to focus on environmental justice

UTO 2018 grantsAt General Convention yesterday, the United Thank Offering announced 34 grant winners who will receive a total of $1.25 million. The focus of the 2018 granting process was “Becoming Beloved Community: Racial Healing, Reconciliation, and Justice.” Eight of the 34 grants for dioceses, Anglican Communion partners, seminarians, and young adults include components of environmental justice, creation care, or sustainable agriculture. Congratulations to the winners!
As readers of Episcopal Climate News know, the environment is not just a stand-alone issue. More importantly, it is a part of every single other issue — a “how,” not just a “what.” This is especially true regarding social justice, poverty, and racism. Thank you to UTO for recognizing this in their ministry and granting process.
Here are the eight environmentally related UTO grants. This list offers a great window into the work of the broader church. Descriptions are taken from the UTO brochure [PDF]:
Episcopal Church Awards
  • Navajoland Area Mission
    • The Hozho Center: Becoming Beloved Community Through Healing and Hope
    • $33,815
    • To purchase an energy-efficient heating and cooling system for the newly renovated Old Hospital so that the space can be open year round to house the Hozho Center, an alcohol recovery and domestic violence program to repair the breach with women, the most vulnerable and underserved in our community, and support them on their path to Becoming Beloved Community.
  • Diocese of South Dakota
    • Niobrara Prayer Book in Lakota
    • $45,000
    • This project will create a Book of Common Prayer in the Lakota Language that will be usable for all nine of the tribes in South Dakota. This book will contain translations from the 1979 English Book of Common Prayer as well as some liturgies that are unique to the Diocese of South Dakota.
  • Diocese of Southwest Florida
    • The Farm at St. Augustine’s
    • $63,600
    • The Farm is a partnership between two Episcopal churches, one historically black (St. Augustine’s) and one historically white (St. Thomas’). The purpose of The Farm is to provide fresh produce to an area considered a food desert and to engage a racially diverse group of people in helping the needy.
  • Diocese of Upper South Carolina
    • Voorhees Scholars Program
    • $7,700
    • Fifteen middle school students, recommended by school counselors, will participate in a summer program at Voorhees College. The curriculum will expose them to the college environment with emphasis on team-building, self-expression, and environmental and social justice issues. The Scholars will also attend monthly Saturday sessions through the following year.
Anglican Communion Awards
  • Kenya, Diocese of Southern Nyanza
    • Provision of Water Tanks for Improved Health
    • $30,000
    • The project is aiming at improving the capital base of Women and Youth Micro-Finance Trust Foundation, an initiative of the Southern Nyanza Diocese to loan water tanks, on a revolving basis, for harvesting, treating, storing, and dispensing water to at least 4,500 starved people that often suffer from preventable waterborne diseases.
Young Adult and Seminarian Grant Awards
  • Wilderness Wanderings
    • Kathryn Florack, Diocese of Western North Carolina
    • $2,500
    • This project seeks to create opportunities for small, intimate groups of 10-14 to experience the intrapersonal and interpersonal spiritual and emotional growth provided by spending time backpacking in wilderness areas. In addition to teaching expeditions skills, the program will teach spiritual disciplines and skills for loving God and our neighbors more fully.
  • Environmental Agriculture Program for St. Paul’s Students in Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti
    • Schneider Chancy, The Diocese of Haiti
    • $2,411
    • This Project will reinforce and expand access and knowledge of environmentally friendly agricultural practices in rural Haiti. Leveraging the success of a UTO funded existing agricultural education program at St. Paul’s school, the program will launch a summer gardening and environmental awareness program for youth in Petit Trou de Nippes.
  • Back to the Kitchen Table
    • Leon Sampson, Navajoland Area Mission, Virginia Theological Seminary
    • $2,500
    • “Back to the Kitchen Table,” is a movement that would create food gardens in Episcopal church communities with teachings of harvest preparation focusing on strengthening families through the lessons of caring for God’s creation in a family setting, back at the kitchen table.


By Nathan Empsall.

Episcopal Climate News is the unofficial climate-change communications hub for Episcopalians and Christians, highlighting the spiritual and social-justice sides of this great work. ECN shares stories of Episcopal, interfaith, and ecumenical climate action from local parishes, the national church, non-profit campaigns, and more, as well as mainstream and scientific political news. While this is a rare original blog post on the ECN website, please note that we are still primarily a Facebook page – like and follow us there to receive more content like this in your Facebook feed!

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