Church Leaders, NAACP Announce New Educational, Humanitarian Initiatives

Jun 15, 2021, 3:55 PM
President Russell M. Nelson (second from the left), President Dallin H. Oaks (to the right of Presi...
President Russell M. Nelson (second from the left), President Dallin H. Oaks (to the right of President Nelson) and other Church leaders arrive at a news conference with NAACP leadership in the Church Administration Building on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on June 14, 2021. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have joined forces for some new educational and humanitarian initiatives.

Leaders of both organizations gathered for a press conference at the Church Administration Building on Temple Square in Salt Lake City around 11 a.m. Monday.

“Leaders of the Church have found common ground with the NAACP as we have discussed challenges that beset some of God’s children,” said Church President Russell M. Nelson. “The challenges are huge, and our capacities are limited. But together, we want to make a difference, even though our efforts may seem relatively small.”

President Nelson went on to announce three key plans:

  1. The Church will fund a $1 million scholarship to help young Black students in the United States.
    • The donation will be made each year for the next three years, and will be overseen by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
  2. The Church plans to provide $250,000 for a fellowship to Ghana in an effort to allow selected students the opportunity to learn more about their heritage.
  3. The Church will contribute $2 million each year over the next three years to serve the underprivileged and “teach the important principles of self-reliance.”


“On this week of Juneteenth — a time designated to remember the end of slavery in the United States — we are honored to join with our dear friends from the NAACP and the UNCF to announce these goals and our shared vision,” said President Nelson.

President Nelson was joined by his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring. Also in attendance was Elders Ronald A. Rasband and Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as well as Elder Jack N. Gerard, a General Authority Seventy.

NAACP leaders who were present at Monday’s event included Derrick Johnson, president and CEO; Wilbur Colom, special counsel; Eris Sims, chief of staff; Yumeka Rushing, chief strategy officer; and Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown, senior pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco and president of the NAACP branch in San Francisco.

UNCF representatives in attendance included Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO; Maurice E. Jenkins Jr., executive vice president and chief development officer; and Monica Sudduth, regional development director of San Francisco.

In June 2020, President Nelson and NAACP leaders released a joint statement, calling on racial reform in America.

The Church President also shared a message of unity when he spoke at the NAACP National Convention in July 2019.

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Church Leaders, NAACP Announce New Educational, Humanitarian Initiatives