$50K Pledge for Race Relations Scholarships
In honor of 50 years of racial reconciliation within the Christian Reformed Church in North America, an anonymous donor has pledged to match all donations to Race Relations up to $50,000. This is the largest gift ever promised to Race Relations in its 50 year history, and it will be applied to the All Nations Heritage (ANH) scholarship fund.
The ANH scholarship fund has existed since the early 1970s to empower multicultural leadership and make it possible for diverse learners to attend Christian Reformed-endorsed institutions of higher education. Students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds who attended Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Dordt University (Sioux Center, Iowa), The King’s University (Edmonton, Alta.), Redeemer University (Hamilton, Ont.), Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, Mich.), or Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, Ill.) have been recipients of these scholarships. By investing in students today, the ANH scholarship fund hopes to ensure diverse leadership within the denomination well into the future.
Students who apply for this scholarship must commit to train for and engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation in their future church work and/or in society. They are also required to participate in at least one workshop facilitated by Race Relations and to maintain a minimum GPA to keep the scholarship.
Neulsaem “Sam” Ha is a recipient of the ANH scholarship. He is attending Calvin Theological Seminary and had this to say about the importance of this resource in his life:
“Thanks to the Multiracial Student [ANH] Scholarship Fund and the workshop that I took part in thanks to that scholarship, I was able to grow so much as a person – intellectually, spiritually, and (most importantly) culturally. I realized that our ability to act and react in positive ways across cultural lines does not come naturally or easily; it is something to be studied. I learned that one needs the skills of knowledge, motivation, interpretation, and behavior to have good cultural intelligence.”
For the 2022-23 school year, Race Relations was able to provide six scholarships to students, including Ha. With the new 50K challenge under way, the hope is to be able to give some funding to every student who applies for the ANH scholarship for the next school year.
In past years, to fund the scholarship, Race Relations has relied on annual offerings taken by Christian Reformed congregations on All Nations Heritage Sunday, which falls on the first Sunday in October. This year, in addition to providing offering-support material, staff have sent special appeal letters to individuals and organizations, alerting them to the $50,000 match and asking for help to achieve that goal.
“We are hoping that people who have benefited from our racial reconciliation resources in the past or who have a passion for growing diversity within the CRCNA will be able to give generously during this campaign,” said Idella Winfield, content specialist with Race Relations. “If your congregation has never taken an offering for All Nations Heritage Sunday, we hope that you might consider taking one this year to help us meet our goal. Working together, we can help more students like Sam and build a more diverse leadership team for years to come.”
All Nations Heritage Sunday is on October 2, 2022. To learn more or to give, visit crcna.org/race/give.