About the Luce COVID Relief Grants

Luce Foundation Emergency COVID Relief

"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.

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."

--Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Luce Foundation Program Director

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, many mosques, churches, temples and community organizations — particularly Black, Brown, Indigenous and other vulnerable communities — 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.

In May 2020 the GTU was awarded a $150,000 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, which enabled the GTU to partner with local faith-based and related organizations assisting communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more from the GTU's announcement about the Luce COVID Relief Grant:

"The [Luce] grant gives the GTU the opportunity to partner with churches, mosques, temples, and faith-based and related community organizations that are on the frontlines of providing services to vulnerable populations.

We’re listening to and learning from Black and Brown leaders and communities, trying to amplify their voices and show that they are also first responders leading and doing frontline work."

--Dr. Munir Jiwa, Director of the Center for Islamic Studies

"Granting Relief" | GTU Skylight Magazine

Munir Jiwa did a lot of listening this summer. Dr. Jiwa, Director of the Center for Islamic Studies, is leading the distribution of a $150,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to provide aid to vulnerable Bay Area communities hit hard by the pandemic. So he, along with the steering committee — Drs. Valerie Miles-Tribble, Dorsey Blake, Mahjabeen Dhala, and Program Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz, whom, Jiwa notes, shared their expertise and time generously — listened to what local faith leaders said they needed to help them address COVID-19...

Read more from the GTU Skylight Magazine article:

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.