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Lumina Foundation Announces Support for Christian Theological Seminary's Faith and Action Project as Part of Grant Program Advancing Racial Justice and Equity

INDIANAPOLIS– Earlier this month, Lumina Foundation announced $2.5 million in new grants for community programs and initiatives that address racial unrest on university campuses and in communities across the country. Lumina will support education and outreach that promotes understanding, tolerance, and healing with the first of the foundation’s special investments in Indianapolis, where Lumina is headquartered.

A grant of $200,000 was awarded to support Christian Theological Seminary’s Faith & Action Project, which works to reduce poverty in Indianapolis. The organization is hosting events that will highlight solution-driven approaches to community problems rooted in racial bias and inequity.

“As part of a new enhanced effort in the wake of incidents of racial violence, Lumina is working to enhance its leadership role on issues of racial justice and equity going beyond Lumina’s longstanding commitment to improving educational outcomes for African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina. “Foundations such as Lumina typically aren’t the first responders to crises, but in this historic climate, we believe the time to act is now.”

Launched in 2016, the Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary is a multiyear effort to help reduce poverty in Indianapolis. In addition to providing grants, the Faith & Action Project has held communitywide events and attracted national poverty experts to central Indiana.

“The Faith & Action Project is honored to be a part of Lumina Foundation’s ongoing work for racial and economic equity,” said Project Director Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch. “It will be a great boost for our efforts to help people understand the challenges racial injustice can present and bring the community together to solve problems.”

After the racial unrest in Charlottesville earlier this year, many philanthropic leaders stated that the industry needed to go beyond words to action. Merisotis was one of those people, pointing out that philanthropy can and must do more.

“The fact is, this call to action is true not only for Lumina but for every philanthropic organization seeking to drive social change,” said Merisotis. “Ensuring fair and equitable results in a country sullied by an enduring legacy of systemic racism and oppression is not just a part of our collective work in philanthropy. It is the work.”

Tracy Chen

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