Racial Justice Grantees 2021/22

Racial Justice Grants Committee
2021 Grant Recommendations Totaling $60,000
Approved by FUMCSD Church Council on 10/30/2021

In our second annual grant cycle, after reviewing 18 applications and interviewing representatives from 8 finalist organizations, the Racial Justice Grants Committee recommends the to the Church Council the following six grants, totaling $60,000. The organizations were chosen in alignment with the 2021 Racial Justice Grant Focus Areas of: 1) Anti-racist policy advocacy/legislation, 2) Community organizing/community partnerships, and 3) Health care equity/mental health

Anti-Racist Policy Advocacy

RISE Urban Leadership Institute
RISE San Diego's mission is to elevate and advance urban leadership through dialogue-based civic engagement, dynamic nonprofit partnerships, and direct training and support to increase the capacity of urban residents to effect meaningful community change. They have an annual cohort-based leadership course and provide nonprofit leadership development via public workshops. Our grant will support neighborhood-level data collection and an online digital dashboard to inform policy makers and advocates. Volunteer opportunities for First Church would include skill-specific leaders and presenters for trainings, as well as providing community/neighborhood input for the data collection and dashboard project.

Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego
The Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego County provides a unified front for advocacy and action against all forms of discrimination and unequal treatment, particularly in our underrepresented and underserved communities. They specifically strive to challenge and transform abusive law enforcement practices used in communities of color, working with organizations and individuals to expose local racial abuses and inequities. This leads to change in laws, policies and unlawful police practices that allow for such abuses and inequities. Our grant will support the general operations of this volunteer-led organization. First Church volunteer opportunities range from attending protests/demonstrations to assisting City Council call-in campaigns, in addition to specific requests for pro-bono legal and accounting assistance for the organization.

Community Organizing/Community Partnerships

Environmental Health Coalition of San Diego
Environmental Health Coalition is dedicated to achieving environmental and social justice. They believe that justice is accomplished by empowered communities acting together to make social change. For the EHC, environmental justice IS racial justice. They have a long history of local and state level policy advocacy to increase air and water quality around underserved neighborhoods, and they have also worked to build leadership and civic engagement in the communities of Barrio Logan, National City, and City Heights. Our grant will support the creation and distribution of new English/Spanish racial justice curriculum that educates their largely Latinx and immigrant leadership cohorts (SALTA) on the history of US systemic racism. This curriculum will be published online and open to all. EHC has various volunteer opportunities for First Church members, including prepping and serving snacks at SALTA meetings, event help at SALTA graduations, neighborhood cleanups (both in US and Tijuana), and advocacy initiatives.

Paving Great Futures
Paving Great Futures’ mission is to increase the health and wealth in underserved communities for marginalized and at-risk individuals to thrive socially, economically, and politically. They were founded in 2012 to respond to the lasting damage of the War On Drugs and the criminalization of BIPOC in San Diego, and their constituency comprises young people, families, and communities who have been deeply impacted by generational, social, and structural trauma and inequality. PGF has developed strong relationships with local government, including the DA’s office and probation departments, who often refer justice-involved people to the organization for diversion programs instead of incarceration. Grant funds will be used to support one of their training programs, LACED (Leadership And Civic Engagement Development), which provides participants with community organizing tools and resources to navigate local government, the criminal justice system, and effective civic engagement. First Church volunteer opportunities include program/event support, food distribution on Tuesdays and Fridays, and middle school tutoring.

Health Care Equity/Mental Health

Center For Community Counseling & Engagement
Located in the heart of downtown City Heights, CCCE is a non-profit community center providing low-cost counseling services to individuals, couples, and families in San Diego. Their fees are among the lowest in the county, and we offer an affordable sliding scale for those in financial need. They offer counseling in English and Spanish primarily, as well as limited appointments in a variety of other languages. CCCE is a counselor training facility operated by San Diego State University (SDSU) offering hands-on education for pre-licensed graduate students in the fields of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Community-based Counseling. Our counselors are supervised by licensed therapists and members of SDSU’s Counseling and School Psychology faculty. Grant funds will go to support direct therapeutic services for their clients. First Church volunteer opportunities would include finding space for workshops/clinics, as well as neighborhood outreach to spread awareness of CCCE’s programs.

SD International Birthing Project
The San Diego International Birthing Project (SDIBP) is a grass-roots volunteer community-based organization that provides support and advocacy in obtaining prenatal care for women of color in San Diego County. They serve mothers, babies, fathers, and their families who need adequate healthcare, mental health, education, supplies, social support, and referrals. Their vision is to reduce the maternal morbidity and infant mortality that affects African American women and women of color. Big sisters mentor pregnant women and their families all the way through one year post-partum, providing volunteer services like rides to appointments, health advocacy training for mothers and families, and help connecting families with any needed social services. Volunteer opportunities for First Church members include becoming a big sister, helping staff tables at health fairs and community events, becoming board members, and attending seminars or education opportunities.


Respectfully submitted by the 2021 Racial Justice Grants Committee: Noble Woods (Chair), Dione Taylor, Susan Ladrido, Judy Zapien, Karen Peter, Priscilla Venegas, Maggie Hundley, Pamela Henson, James Carter, Marian Hart, Linda Cochran-Johnson (St. Paul UMC), Karen Pierre (St. Paul UMC), Maya Hundley (FUMCSD Youth), Yasmin Hubert (FUMCSD Youth Alternate)