Episcopal Diocese of Maryland awards $175,000 in first round of reparations program

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has awarded a total of $175,000 across six community organizations through the first round of its $1 million reparations program.

The diocese said the six organizations selected share its values of restoring Black communities and “helping to repair the breach caused by systemic racism in Maryland and in the United States.”

Grant applications had opened in February to any organization or startup within the diocese’s area with a proven history of impactful work toward restoring Black communities, especially in education, health care, affordable housing, environmental restoration and job creation.

Congregations and their ministries were not eligible: “The purpose of the reparations grants is not to benefit the institutional Church, but to help repair the lack of resources in communities of color in need and to repair our relationships with these communities,” the diocese explains on its website.

The six organizations are:

St. Luke’s Youth Center: Granted $30,000 to develop a new campus for art, education and renewal in West Baltimore’s Poppleton and Franklin Square neighborhoods that will host family care services and provide new economic opportunities. “SLYC is a collaborative of West Baltimore families working together with friends, neighbors, and partners to provide youth with critical resources, life-enriching experiences and a safety-net of support,” the diocese said.

The Samaritan Community: Awarded $25,000 to benefit its crisis intervention assistance and empowerment programs. The Baltimore-based nonprofit works with Black clients to provide housing assistance, case management, food and counseling, with the goal of helping them build “sustainably stable lives for themselves and, by extension, more stable families and communities.”

Next One Up: Awarded $30,000 for its work in long-term mentoring and coaching for Black boys and young adults. “We build character, grit and leadership skills that will allow participants to grow into thriving adults,” the organization said. “Over the grant period, we will focus on supporting young people’s academic, social, and emotional development while preparing them to achieve significant milestones in college and career.”

Anne Arundel Connecting Together: Granted $30,000 to bring more participants into its Turnaround Tuesday program, which seeks to connect formerly incarcerated residents of public housing with well-paying jobs and career growth opportunities.

I Believe in Me, Inc.: Granted $30,000 to bolster investment in at-risk youth and to help cover the preconstruction costs of permanent housing. The Frederick-based nonprofit focuses on the growth and development of youth between ages six and 16 through mentorship and education, including math and reading support.

Calvert Concept Charitable Corporation: Awarded $30,000 to further its goal of addressing social injustices by facilitating home and business ownership. “This majority-white parish has come to understand that its history began with the exploitation of enslaved people and continued at the cost of neighbors who have been unjustly denied safe financial futures for their families,” the corporation said.

More information about the reparations grant process, and how to apply for the second granting cycle, can be found on the diocese’s website.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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