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Justice & Service Ministry Begins Grantmaking Process

Wed, Aug 2, 2017

The Justice & Service Ministry (previously named Outreach, Mission, and Service—OMS) is beginning the yearly process of choosing priorities for funding outside social justice organizations. The Ministry will use the same procedures as last year to grant funds to organizations outside the church providing essential services to those in need:

1. Justice & Service Ministry members nominate and vote for an initial list of eight priority areas for funding.

2. The congregation will be asked to rank the eight priority issues to narrow the list to four issues which will be used for funding. A survey, both online and in a paper version (to be distributed in the order of worship), will be conducted in late August.

3. The Ministry will issue a general Request for Proposals (RFP) based on the four priority issues the congregation has identified. Organizations addressing those issues will be invited to submit proposals. The RFP will be available on the First Church website (www.firstchurchberkeley.org) in early September.

4. Justice & Service members will review and rank all proposals that are received. The number of proposals receiving funds, and the amount granted, will be determined by the funds we have available for this purpose.

Following are the eight areas being presented for ranking. If you have questions, please contact any of the members of the Justice & Service Ministry: Victoria Purcell-Gates, chair, Phil Adams, Jeff Becker, Carolyn Cox, Mary Fujii, Leondra Kruger, Clark Milsom, LaMerle Milsom and Willem Van de Kamp.

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EDUCATIONAL EQUALITY   Projects that address inequities in education, Preschool – Grade 12. These inequities may be related to race, gender, social class, family income, legal status, disability, etc. The projects may address educational inequity in or out of formal educational settings in local, national, and global contexts.

FOOD INSECURITY/HUNGER   Projects that address food insecurity and hunger. Sample projects may involve free food distribution, community gardens in low-income neighborhoods, delivery of food to the home-bound, and so on. Projects may take place in local, national, and global contexts.

ENVIRONMENT   Projects that address issues related to climate change, environmental degradation, environmental health, environmental issues with energy, pollution of air, soil, or water, resource depletion, toxicants, and waste. We are particularly interested in the impacts of different environmental issues on marginalized populations in local, national, and global contexts.

IMMIGRATION   Projects that address the quality of lives of people currently migrating across borders as well as the root causes of these migrations. Sample projects may help with legal issues related to immigration/refugee status, access to health/dental care, emergency and long-range housing, ESL classes, tutoring, and so on. Such projects may be placed in local and national contexts. For those projects addressing root causes of migrations, they would be situated in countries of origin and address such issues as land grabbing, assassinations, displacement, impunity, crime, and poverty, i.e. factors that would motivate or require out-migration.

HOMELESSNESS   Projects that address homelessness in local, national, and global contexts. The eligible projects will specifically address housing and/or shelter needs rather than issues associated with being homeless such as health problems, lack of regular meals, and so on.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE   Projects that address the school to prison pipeline; projects that focus on the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of prisoners; projects that address the needs of prisoners post-release; and projects that enable release of prisoners whose innocence has been established. In addition, we seek to contribute to projects that center on Restorative Justice programs. These projects may be on the local and national levels.

MENTAL HEALTH   Projects that address the needs of persons in need of care and treatment for the variety of mental health conditions in the population. We are also interested in contributing to projects that seek to confront and address the stigma that exists around mental health conditions and persons with mental health issues who often experience isolation shame, silence, denial and discrimination. These projects may be on the local or national levels.

HEALTH CARE INEQUITIES   Projects that seek to address the health care needs of low-income peoples who may be shut out of the medical systems through lack of money and/or insurance. These projects may be educational, direct health/dental care, or advocacy for a more equitable health care policy in the U.S. These projects may be on the local or national levels.