#Give828 raises $32,000 for efforts to develop leaders of color

Campaign was a first for the PC(USA)

by Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — As civil rights activists gathered in Washington, D.C., on Friday for the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, Americans were reminded of the day’s significance. It was on August 28, 1963, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech during that landmark event.

During the Presbyterian Week of Action August 24-30, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined in the celebration of victories and the disappointment of defeats while trying to bring about justice in America. On Friday, Presbyterians participated in the  #Give828 fundraising campaign to benefit Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries (RE&WIM). The inaugural effort raised $32,000 to support leadership development for leaders of color, to fund the Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship and the Conference for Seminarians of Color.

the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter

“We are so thankful for those of you who gave to these two significant ministries, the Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship fund as well as the Seminarians of Color Conference, of which we are celebrating the 40+ anniversary,” said the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, director of RE&WIM for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “These ministries embody the PC(USA)’s focus on education and leadership development. So many of the church’s current leaders, and future leaders of color, will be impacted by your gifts to these funds.”

“I am also grateful for #Give8/28 and the way it lifts up African American and young adult philanthropy,” Hunter said. “If you missed #Give8/28, it is not too late to join to support these ministries (by clicking here to donate.) Thank you so much for your witness and participation through your gifts in these ministries.”

Participating in #Give828, a national day of giving focused specifically on supporting Black-benefiting organizations, was a first for the denomination. “I was so very excited about the buildup and momentum leading up to August 28 and the opportunity to highlight Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries,” said Lynne Foreman, Mission Engagement Advisor for Mission Engagement and Support. “#Give 8/28 has the potential to yield even greater results next year and become a yearly giving campaign.”

the Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell

The Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell, Senior Director for Mission Engagement and Support, said, “Thanks and gratitude for the generous outpouring of financial support for the work of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries. They are an outstanding staff, responsible for critically important ministry and work. It is great to see that work recognized and supported by members of our church.”

#Give828 isn’t like other fundraising campaigns. This day takes place during Black Philanthropy Month and commemorates multiple important historical landmarks in Black Americans’ march toward freedom. On this same date in history, important events include:

  • 1955 — Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered by three white men. The murder became a flashpoint in the civil rights movement.
  • 2005 — Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The storm, which devastated New Orleans, inordinately impacted many of the city’s Black residents.
  • 2008 — Then-Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president, becoming the first Black man to win the nomination and, three months later, the presidency.

The current movement for racial justice is not just an indictment of law enforcement, but also the systemic racism that infects many of our institutions, including education, housing and health care.

Matthew 25:31–46 calls the faithful to actively engage in the world, so that in the words of the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 invitation, “our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities.” As a Matthew 25 denomination, the goal is to build congregational vitality, eradicate systemic poverty and dismantle structural racism.

The Katie Cannon Scholarship fund supports Presbyterian women of color, including clergywomen, Black women and girls, college women, seminarians, immigrant women, elders, deacons, as well as other women of color, with opportunities for leadership and spiritual development, helping women to develop leadership gifts and to be equipped for even greater service in the PC(USA).

The Conference for Seminarians of Color develops and trains diverse seminarians of color who are answering God’s call to prepare the church to be a welcoming place of worship, mission and spiritual nurture for all of God’s children, especially those who have been marginalized. 

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