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Henry Luce Foundation Awards Urgent Needs Grant to the GTU

Authored by: 
GTU Communications

The Graduate Theological Union gratefully acknowledges that it has received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation as part of its initiative to provide rapid support for community-based responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. The grant of $150,000 is intended to enable the GTU to partner with local faith-based and related organizations assisting communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, many mosques, churches, temples and community organizations — particularly Black and Brown communities and other communities of color — find themselves working on the frontlines to meet not only spiritual needs, but also providing communities with food, housing, transportation, education and access to health services. These organizations serve those who are already facing disadvantage which has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, including the elderly, single-parent families, children and youth, women’s shelters, the homeless, refugees and the incarcerated. The urgent needs grant will be distributed to local communities.

Led by Dr. Munir Jiwa, Director of the Center for Islamic Studies (CIS), GTU students, alumni and faculty who are involved in serving at-risk communities will partner with GTU academic centers and the GTU’s new Interreligious Chaplaincy Program to create outlets to lift the voices and experiences of vulnerable communities who are often the least heard and the most hurt.

“We are grateful to the Graduate Theological Union and its Center for Islamic Studies for their willingness to partner with the Henry Luce Foundation’s Theology Program in an initiative that involves rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of U.S. cities and regions,” said Luce Foundation Program Director Jonathan VanAntwerpen. “Driven by the ideas and creativity of our partners, and attentive to local needs and networks, these efforts are taking multiple forms, involving both direct support for community-based organizations and aligned efforts to give voice to the experiences of vulnerable and underrepresented communities during the pandemic.”

The GTU is grateful to the Henry Luce Foundation for their leadership at this critical time, and for this grant, which will provide opportunities to assist and work with those most in need, to lift up their voices, and to strengthen community partnerships.

About the Henry Luce Foundation: The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy.