I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
The Racial Justice Endowment was established in 2020 as an act of conscience, conviction, and confession for us as a Christian community. The church hasn’t been as present in this work in the past, but we are here to follow and support with our financial resources, our service, and our voices. We believe deeply in generosity and sharing of all the resources that have been entrusted to us, and we seek to serve our community in a new way of peace and solidarity.
Background and Vision
Born out of the First Church’s desire to take positive, tangible action in response to racial inequity in our community and in the nation, the Racial Justice Grants Committee (RJGC) was created to identify and recommend local grantee organizations to receive funds from the Racial Justice Endowment. The RJGC is to be led primarily by People of Color from our congregation, and also includes youth representatives and representatives from St. Paul UMC in San Diego. First Church recognizes the leadership of organizations that have spent decades bettering the lives of People of Color and advocating for more equitable government policies. We seek to come alongside those already deeply involved in the work of justice for all God’s people. Our vision is not simply to provide financial gifts to grantee organizations—we will also invite grantee organizations to utilize First Church as a platform to educate and build awareness of their work, and to encourage congregants to join them in volunteer opportunities. The RJGC will consider organizations whose work directly benefits any or all Black, Indigenous and other People of Color in San Diego County.
Grants Process and Timeline
Each spring, the RJGC may choose to narrow its focus to one or more specific issues or urgent community needs. Each fall, grants from the Racial Justice Endowment will be awarded to San Diego County nonprofit organizations that
- Serve primarily People of Color and/or
- Are working to dismantle systemic racism in the San Diego Community.
Grant funds available each year will be 5% of the Racial Justice Endowment’s value at the end of the preceding calendar year plus any gifts given to support the current year’s grant cycle.
April 1, 2021: Grant cycle focus announced and application released
June 30, 2021: Grant application deadline
Sept. – Nov. 2021: Grant awards announced pending First Church Church Council meeting schedule
Help to spread God’s justice further into our community. We welcome gifts to increase both the corpus of our endowed fund as well as each year’s grant cycle. Your tax-deductible gift will either make our work more fruitful for generations to come, or serve the immediate needs of our community this year.
If you would like to add to the Racial Justice Endowment, and build the amount of grant funding available in perpetuity, you can make a gift by clicking the button below. Your gift will be held and invested with the First United Methodist Foundation of San Diego and 5% of the total fund will me made available for grants each year. Donate to the Racial Justice Endowment
If you would like to make a donation to current year’s grant cycle and add to that which is shared with our neighbors each fall, you can make a gift by clicking the button below. Gifts received will be added to the total for grants available, as recommended each year by the Racial Justice Grants Committee.
Donate to current year's grant
For questions on grants or donations to the Racial Justice Grants program here at First Church, please contact Jason Tucker, Sr. Director of Stewardship and Development. (619) 297-4366 x145 or .
If you would like to see periodic news (grant awards, annual grants focus, major donations, etc.) from the Racial Justice Endowment, please provide your information on the following form and we will be sure to keep you notified of new developments!
RJGC Members will use the following to identify and recommend recipient organizations each grant cycle. Organizations that do not satisfy all of the Basic Eligibility criteria will not be considered for any funding. Organizations meeting one or more of the Priority Eligibility criteria will receive higher consideration by the RJGC than those only meeting the basic criteria.
If your organization is interested in receiving a grant, fill out this form and you will be notified when the next grant application is available.
Basic Eligibility—Organizations must meet all the following basic criteria to be considered for a grant from the Racial Justice Endowment Fund:
- Provide data confirming at least 75% of those served are People of Color AND/OR engage in non-violent advocacy for specific local or state policy changes that directly benefit communities of color in San Diego County.
- Be registered as or fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 organization located in the county of San Diego.
- Have publicly available or be willing to share compelling evidence of success in meeting your established mission.
- Agree to utilize all grant funds within 1 year of receipt.
- Agree to provide a written narrative report (template to be supplied) of the use of grant funds within 1 year of receipt of funds.
Priority Eligibility—Highest priority will be given to organizations also meeting the following criteria:
- Have appointed a majority of People of Color and/or women to executive leadership roles and board of directors.
- Include current service recipients, program alumni and/or community members in decision-making processes, either as board members, staff, or an advisory council.
- Explicitly serve communities experiencing multiple, intersecting challenges and discrimination (i.e., LGBTQ People of Color, Indigenous Women, Disabled Latinx Veterans, etc.).
- Have volunteer opportunities for First Church members to join in your work.
- Be willing to have a representative from your organization share your work with our worshiping community.
In 2020 the Racial Justice Grants Committee focused on education and/or criminal justice reform primarily affecting the Black community in San Diego. We look forward to providing these organizations with volunteer support (where appropriate) and opportunities to share their work with our congregations.
- Pillars of the Community
- San Diego Young Artists Music Academy (SDYAMA)
- DETOUR (Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach and Urban Redevelopment)
- The Blue Heart Foundation
- San Diego Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women’s (NCNW) 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