BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is beginning the process of selecting grant recipients for its $1 million reparations fund for slavery and racism.
The diocese created the fund in September 2020 to support groups that will work to restore African-American communities.
“Our goal is to help us become a reconciled people with one another,” said Rev. Christine McCloud, Canon for Mission of the diocese.
Thirty non-profit groups and startups located throughout the diocese have applied for the grant funding and the diocese will choose three to four of them to receive the first batch of it.
“This diocese has taken some bold steps in trying to address the inequalities that have been created throughout the centuries because of slavery and because of the legacy of slavery,” said Rev. McCloud.
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland spans Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard and Washington counties and Baltimore City. According to the diocese website, the projects that the fund will support can focus on communities of color located throughout it.
The grants will range anywhere from $25,0000 to $50,000.
“So organizations they can be 501(c)(3) organizations that are in the state that are doing that address issues such as health care, elder care, housing issues, education,” said McCloud.
The diocese is not the first to offer reparations in Maryland. Last year, WJZ spoke with leaders at Memorial Episcopal Church in Bolton Hill that committed $500,000 in reparations to Black-led justice programs in West Baltimore.
McCloud also told WJZ that the Episcopal Church has benefited from the institution of slavery and many of its members were enslavers. But now she says the diocese is trying to dismantle the divides that were created to reconcile and repair Black communities.
“It’s what ‘reparations’ means,” said Rev. McCloud. “To repair that which is broken. And that really is the basic call of Christianity.”