World Council of Churches

Programme to Combat Racism
WCC Special Fund to Combat Racism

1999 grants approved by the Executive Group of Justice, Peace and Creation
Geneva, Switzerland, November 1999

  1. Meeting Centre for Reflection and Solidarity, (ONE RESPE) Santiago, Dominican Republic -- US$ 15.000

    ONE RESPE was formed in 1991 and 1994 when it started its community and educative work. Among the staff of 19 people 16 are women being from poor Haitian Black communities. The organization has been actively involved in analyzing racism as it is expressed against Haitians in the Dominican Republic. They have done that through contact with the community as well as the analysis of reports of cases of racism produced by NGOs working with the Haitian population in the country. Another aspect of their work has been the training programme developed together with 600 teachers of public schools on racism, racial prejudice and inter-cultural education for betterment of ethnic relations in the Dominican Rep. Similar programmes were developed with popular educators and NGOs. The organization has played a leading role in forming a network of NGOs engaged in the work with the Haitian community.

    The grant will assist to implement a participatory research in the area of socialization and racial prejudice, addressing learning and internalizing of prejudice among children in poor Haitian communities. It intends to develop a pedagogic strategy to overcome these conditions, helping teaching staff to learn a pedagogy for liberation. To complete a research already initiated about Racism and Prejudice in the written press, analyzing how Haitians are portrayed and its implications in the strengthening of racist attitudes. To enlarge the scope of the yearly Campaign Against Racial Prejudice, which takes place on 8th March, International Women’s Day as it also addresses gender concerns, and the International Day Against Racial Discrimination.

  1. Centre for Black and White Christian Partnership Birmingham, England -- US$ 3.000

    The Centre for Black and White Christian Partnership was established in 1978. It provides bursaries to students who have no other means of raising the Centre’s Course fees. The Centre already received a grant from WCC and is also supported by ten other organizations. The work is an anti-racism projects working through the Christian Church in Britain. It operates by promoting and modeling partnership on equal terms at all levels based on a Christian vision of justice. The focus of the work is to offer positive leadership to act as a catalyst for change in the areas of education, inter-church and information. It provides educational courses, experience of building partnerships in various Christian traditions, i.e. a Certificate in Theology in order to move to higher degrees or training as pastors in churches, Counseling Course, Race Awareness Courses for Institutions. The Centre also plays an important role in launching the Black Theology in Britain Journal and a Book of Sermons by Black Preachers. The grant will assist to provide bursaries for students.

  2. National Assembly Against Racism, London, England -- US$ 3.000

    NAAR was established in 1993. Their main activities are combating Racism and racial discrimination in Britain and work to promote human rights through the European Human Rights Programme. NAAR acts in many different arenas and on a wide variety of issues to promote a united response to Racism.

    WCC supported their activities last year and some other British organizations did so as well. Their Assembly co-ordinates a wide ranging variety of responses to racial discrimination and brings together a coalition of Black and ethnic minority community organizations all concerned to oppose Racism, creating together a united response to this threat to democracy, civil liberties and human rights. NAAR has organized the broadest anti-racist events in Britain on a range of issues with other partners or through setting-up free-standing coalitions on specific issues, as with Coalition for Asylum and Immigration Rights which is campaigning on current government legislation. It co-ordinates also responses to the nail-bomb attacks carried in London’s Black communities.

    Activities outlined for the coming 18 months are the following:

    Rights for asylum-seekers and reform of immigration detention, including producing briefing on new legislation, petition forms, organizing vigil, lobby of parliament, press conference. Follow up to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry on Racism in the police force and prison service. Working with families who have been victims of racist violence and raising public awareness of cases. Working during elections to prevent Racism, through Vote Against Racism campaigns, working with Operation Black Vote in encouraging the broadest ethnic minority participation. Coordinating responses to racist and neo-Nazi parties. Educational campaigning on Debt and Racism: Legacy of Colonialism as part of the campaign to include the black experience in the millennium celebrations. Services to supporters, members and affiliates including different magazines. Promoting issues through meetings at the Houses of Parliament.
  3. Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, London, England -- US$ 3.000

    The organization was established in 1967. Support of the Council’s core work in immigration, nationality and asylum casework assistance and policy.

    JCWI works with a whole range of immigration, nationality and racial issue groups and organizations. JCWI continues to be the leading independent national organization campaigning and working for justice and combating Racism in immigration, nationality and asylum law and policy in the UK. It has had a major impact in the areas of racial justice and improvement of race relations as well as on immigration, asylum and refugee policy and on European free movement policy and the rights of developing countries nationals. It has never accepted central government funding and has therefore been able to act independently on these key issues. JCWI has played a crucial role in lobbying against specific areas of the Asylum Bill and raising awareness of their potential impact. In 1998, JCWI has opened 97 new case files representing 47 different nationalities.

    The grant will assist in increasing the level of activity during 1999/2000 on policy, advice and casework. In 1999 it will focus its activities on a number of important areas of work in connection with the major changes instigated by the Immigration and Asylum Bill. It will also increase the level of advice it gives particularly to key agencies in the UK and will expand access to a broader range of communities across the country.

  4. Anti-racism Initiative e. V., Berlin, Germany -- US$ 3.000

    The organization has started its work in 1989 with the Telephone Line. It supports victims of racist discrimination and violence. Awareness raising work has been done in collaboration with the media, aiming to give visibility to specific cases. This group helps to find lawyers, they support the victims before and after a court case, if desired, they organize meetings between the victims and perpetrators (person or an institution) for mediation and reconciliation.

    Institutional racism and awareness raising of the public on issues like deportation are integral part of their work. The organization offers their infrastructure to other groups working in the area of human rights and youth work. Visits to schools to raise awareness on racism and to develop strategies in the struggle against racism are part of in their daily work.

    The grant will support actions related to paragraph 92 A and B on the Law on Aliens. This article criminalizes taxi drivers who bring to Germany, from across the country border, passengers who in fact have no visa or permit to remain in Germany. The group intends to print a brochure, organize information and discussion events, in collaboration with lawyers and counseling places in Berlin for legal advice on this issue. They continue to intensify their work with refugees and people who with no legal status.

  5. Romani C.R.I.S.S. - Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies, Bucharest, Romania -- US$ 5.000

    Its aim is to create a wide framework of debate on problems of racial discrimination between Gypsy communities and local public authorities. The project is to study discrimination in public institutions and propose solutions for all cases of discrimination, violence and inter-community strives.

    The organization was established in 1993. WCC has supported them twice in the past. It is also supported by two organizations in France and by the European Commission. In 1996, Romani CRISS was having a small number of activities and now there is a need to increase the educational activities. Thanks to this reform in their educational work, now more than ever the monitoring focus is important for the organization. The goal of the entity is to increase the participation of Roma people in international meetings with Intergovernmental organizations, to build confidence between Roma themselves and non-Roma through different tools such as income generating activities, training for local leaders. Gypsy communities have been confronted to a hostile environment from state authority.

    The grant will assist in their objectives to prevent and bring up to date the situation of violence cases, racial discriminations at local level and within communities. Create better communication between the public institutions and gypsy communities. Study the discrimination in public institutions. Granting free legal assistance. Different activities are suggested, such as organizing meetings, gathering mass-media materials concerning gypsies, ensuring free juridical assistance in different cases.

  1. December 12th Movement International Secretariat, New York, USA -- US $ 5.000

    This organization is composed of racially oppressed groups and was established in 1989. 60 % of the staff are women . The organization aims to achieve the following goals:

    1. drawing attention to racism as a human rights violation, through consistent participation and intervention in the UN fora (preparatory meetings and conference itself on: Human Rights, Summit on Social Development, on Women; lobbying for specific resolution on racism, for visits of the Special Rapporteur on Racism to specific countries, (successively achieved in the case of USA) and holding regular meetings in the North East region of USA on the need for oppressed communities to address the issue of racism as a human rights, not simply a civil rights, violation.
    2. dispelling myths and
    3. strengthening relations between Africans in the Diaspora and on the continent. These two areas overlap. The organization has used the opportunity provided by the participation in different UN meetings to strengthen contacts with both African governments and NGOs concerning the perceptions of Africans in the US to Africa and Africans. Participation in meetings of the Organization of African Unity Summit in Cairo, Tunis and Harare of adults and young members of the organization are part of their strategy to implement this goal. These contacts have also included those with Africans from the Caribbean and the Americas.

    The grant will assist to continue their three fold strategy work focusing in the coming UN World Conference on Racism (WCR), spreading the word amongst the Black community in the US and across the Americas, informing people regularly of the progress in the Conference process, holding community meetings to publicize and mobilize grass roots support. To put out professional packaging of this event -- information packets, flyers, newsletters, a website, a short video for national distribution. To continue the campaign to have community people pressure the members of the US Congressional Black Caucus to take up the issues of organizing a national preparatory meeting for the USA. Mobilization and organization of NGOs at the grassroots and international level, and particularly on the participation of the first, most consistent and most devastated victims of racism -- Africans in the Diaspora and on the Continent. A key element in organizing the latter will be the participation of the church. In that vein, we have held several of our meetings at churches, done flyer distributions there and are getting information to and meeting with the heads of these congregations on the importance of the WCR.

  2. Centre for Constitutional Rights, New York, USA -- US$ 3.000

    The Center is a legal and educational organization dedicated to the protection and advancement of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was founded by attorneys whose legal work on behalf of the Southern civil rights movement were convinced of the need for a permanent, privately funded legal centre to support popular movements. CCR works in close partnership with community-based, religious (among them the National Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ Commission on Racial Justice, the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries), labor and human rights organizations, in the USA and abroad, to advance civil and human rights as essential foundations of just, peaceful and civil societies.

    Towards these goals the Center uses litigation, education and organizing support strategically to strengthen popular movements, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and the least access to legal and other resources, to train next generation of progressive lawyers and activists and, more broadly, to provide an institutional anchor to the progressive movement. The organization has been addressing consistently issues of police brutality. Several initiates including a March for Justice which took place in April and what was endorsed by more than 70 civil and human rights organizations. The killing of Amadou Diallo was a major outrageous event for the organizing of the March.

    The grant will assist the CCR’s Police Accountability Initiave. The major goal is to put a human face on the police brutality and misconduct affecting communities of people of color and poor people across the USA. The project has four parts: A- National Retreat and Network for Victims of Police Brutality and their families. B- National Symposium on Community-Based, Constitutional Compliant Policing; C- Regional Hearings on Police Brutality and Misconduct and D- Cultural Events in support of the association of victims and family members.

  3. The Southeast Regional Economic Justice Network, (REJN), Durham, N. Carolina -- USA US$ 3.000

    The organization was founded in 1989, by community based organizations of marginalized workers and residents of contaminated communities in the South of USA to forge a multi-racial justice movement to enhance the economic security, social justice and quality of life of people at the bottom of the economic system. It has built a network of 50 organizations, mainly marginalized workers, the activities are done together with grassroots counterparts, facilitating national visibility and participation on policy debates. REJN has been able to build long-term relationships of trust across racial, gender and class lines, training new leaders, creating a bottom-up analysis of globalization, promoting women’s leadership and campaigns around legislation issues. The economic underpinnings of racism and of the South’s conditions receives particular attention in their work.

    The grant will assist in facilitating the networking of grassroots people of color -- US South, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and Central America. They intent to bring people together in settings that affirm differences, celebrate diverse cultures, give attention to healing and formulate life-affirming responses to globalization. It is their understanding that as racially oppressed people, there is a need for healing the ravages that racism has rendered on peoples bodies, minds, hearts, spirits and relationships, along with the struggle to transform racist institutions.

  4. Black Workers for Justice,(BWFJ), Rocky Mount, N. Carolina, USA -- US$ 3.000

    It is a community and workplace based membership organization of African American workers in the Southeastern United States, formed in 1981. It organizes workers of all races, nationalities, genders and creeds. BWFJ struggles for institutional change, for improvement in the quality of life for working people, and for justice and fairness in workplaces and communities. Some of their activities have been on organizing effective movement building, campaigns, raising national and international visibility to issues related to oppression, racism and sexism in the South.

    The grant will assist the organization to continue and to further develop its work of building organizational infrastructure and to implement specific objectives. They are the following: to educate southern workers about the issues of globalization, as it impacts both, internationally and domestically; to convene a schools on globalization, together with other organizations; to build and organize The South Coalition of Workers, labor activists and communities; to increase and improve the results of ongoing fund raising work and to add full-time organizing, fund raising and administrative staff.

  1. Afro-German/Black Women (ADEFRA), Munich, Germany -- US$ 3.000

    The organization is formed by Black women, mostly born and/or grown up in the Federal Republic of Germany and the former German Democratic Republic. Their reality is mainly determined by being Black as well as being women and living in white environment without the background of a Black community.

    The organization was formed in 1985 to enable Afro-German/Black Women to explore the basic questions of what it means to be a Black woman in the white German society. It aims at fighting prejudices, discrimination, racism and sexism; to discuss Black history and culture; to strengthen themselves for a Black feminist struggle; to define and clarify the collective position of Black women on issues that affect the quality of their lives; to develop the leadership potential of Black women by encouraging and facilitating our entry into public service; to build and strengthen our Black consciousness and Black Identity in a white German society.

    The grant will assist in the publishing of a practical work book in German, English and Turkish with contributions from a Black perspective, to use in schools and other education settings. The book will give ideas and starting points for work with young Black people and innovative ways for self-empowerment for Black communities in Germany. The book is envisaged as a tool to raise people’s awareness and to stimulate people’s thinking in this area. The concerns of internalized racism and oppression of Black women, men and children will also be part of it. Awareness raising on collective and individual power, potential for violence, race awareness and ethnic sensitivity are also essential elements in their approach. For distribution of the book they want to use marketing through Internet, CD Rom, presentation at book fairs.

  1. Women’s Coordination and Council of the ECUANARI, Quito, Ecuador -- US$ 20.000

    The organizations was established in 1994 (under another name) and has promoted events, workshops and seminars which have helped to analyze the local needs towards the definition of a participatory action plan. In 1995 the School for the Training of Women Leaders was started with 30 participants from all over the country. The organization promotes seminars on gender and policy making matters and has continued to empower women to be involved in the production and commercialization on agriculture and handcraft. They also promote cultural events and fairs on Art, Science, Identity and Culture of Indigenous Peoples.

    The grant will support the project called "Centre for Art, Science and Culture of Indigenous Women" which aims to strengthen Cultural Identity and equity in inter-cultural and gender relations, to mobilize and promote women’s associations’ participation and to support the production of handcrafts done by women. That will be done through the development of workshops and training, dissemination of information about the Centre , organizing of exhibitions and arts festival.

  1. African Indigenous and Minority Peoples Organization, Kigali, Rwanda -- US$ 5.000

    This organization was established in 1996 to support social integration and to defend the rights of the Batwa community. They are active in the identification of the forestry sites of the Batwa and in the awareness campaign for the rights of the marginalized Indigenous Peoples. They work on making contacts with the local authorities for obtaining land and forest for the Batwa communities who had to leave their home land.

    The project will assist in their efforts for social integration of the Batwa. In order to make this integration possible, there is a need to provide them with farming material, equipments such as hoes, machetes, wheel barrows, etc, some seeds and livestock. A WCC grant will help them to buy such material and livestock. As 90% of the population are farmers, if the Batwa communities start the agriculture, they will not be discriminated any more.

  1. Dalit Development Society, Kadampanad, India -- US$ 10.000

    The Society was established in 1994 to support the work for the empowerment of Dalits especially in the are of discrimination based on color. No other organization is supporting the present programme. The main objective of the Society is to analyze the situation and problems of Dalits in the area, create awareness among them on the nature of exploitation and develop willingness to come together and act together.

    The grant will assist the organization to enable the Dalits, especially women to come together and plan solutions to overcome their problems, to conduct leadership training among women, to facilitate formation of women groups, to conduct skill development, training programmes and to facilitate personality development and scholastic improvement of high school students among Dalits.

  2. Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Bagio City, The Philippines -- US$ 5.000

    The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) is a regional organization of grassroots indigenous communities. Majority of its constituency is from the Igorot people. It was founded in 1984 with a clear purpose of socializing the Indigenous Peoples Issues and Rights; threatened by ethnocide, land grabbing, mining, dam constructions, destruction of their sacred sites. In the last five years the activities implemented by the Alliance demonstrated a growing public awareness on Indigenous Peoples issues through sustained media projection and information , as result there is stronger grassroots participation in the promotion and recognition and defense of Indigenous Peoples rights.

    The project will assist the project called Alliance Education Campaign on the Indigenous Peoples Rights with the purpose of creating popular materials on the content and critique on the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. These materials will be used for capacity building among the Indigenous leaders and their participation in the defense of Indigenous Peoples rights.

  1. Protestant Missionary Working Group, (GTME), Cuiabá, Brazil -- US$ 8.000

    The organization was formed in 1979, in São Paulo, as a result of a need to consolidate the support and work on Indigenous Peoples rights. Since the beginning it aimed to rethink the concepts and practices of mission and evangelism. In 1988 because of its commitment, it moved to Cuiabá, location that is closer to the lands inhabited by Indigenous Peoples. Consistent work has been done to advance Indigenous Peoples struggles as far as demarcation of their land, to support work in areas of health, education and to push the government to respond to Indigenous Peoples rights. Its partner churches are: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, Methodist, Episcopal Anglican, Independent Presbyterian and United Presbyterian. The ministries on Indigenous Peoples of respective churches work in close cooperation with GTME.

    The grant will assist the project "A Home when in Transit". Which is a house run by GTME that serves as lodging as well as place for legal counseling for Indigenous Peoples who come to Cuiabá to follow up on procedures with regards to their rights. It is an important support system to Indigenous Peoples who do not have financial support and that suffer a rather hostile environment in urban areas. The State does not provide any facility or support in this area.

  2. Union of Neighbourgh of Indigenous and Peasants Communities, (UNIGOBIGI), Otavalo, Ecuador -- US$ 5.000

    The organization works with Indigenous communities on the areas of leadership training of pastors and Indigenous Peoples, community development projects for income generating (Alpacas) as well as counseling and accompaniment on development issues, health and traditional medicine, including training of health promoters.

    The grant will assist the organization to help Indigenous Peoples to recognize and to build their capacity ("know how") and to develop the economic potential which surrounds them in terms of natural resources. Other goals of the project are: to promote integral education of the children and young people; to promote theological education with social analysis in order that the churches might be sensitize to the daily problems of the Indigenous populations; to respond to the urgent needs in the area of health; to provide opportunities for people self-empower themselves through recognition of their self-worth, to organize events which promote evangelization of the communities.

  3. Autonomous Multi-Ethnic Region, Chiapas, Mexico -- US$ 5.000

    The organization was established in 1994. Since then it has recuperated Indigenous Peoples land in the Chiapas municipality as well as the former head quarters of the National Indigenous Institute in San Cristobal de las Casas. It has initiated the Centre for Development and Capacity Building of Indigenous communities and together with other Indigenous organizations has promoted encounters to strategize against racial discrimination, oppression, intimidation and persecution of Indigenous leaders.

    The grant will support the organizing of workshops among many Indigenous communities aiming at empowering these communities to define action plans to address their specific needs.

  4. AMIPASTOR, Ayacucho, Peru -- US$ 5.000

    The organization was formed in 1992 and since then continues to struggle for justice and peace, to recuperate and to advance people’s respect for Indigenous Quichua Identity, freedom of speech and for the unity and cooperation of Indigenous and popular sectors. The organization belongs to a Roman Catholic parish -- Lluman -- which is formed by eight Indigenous communities, three neighborhoods and counts 14.000 inhabitants of whom 95% are Indigenous Peoples.

    The grant will assist them in the organizing of Capacity Building workshops on: Participation in local citizens’ initiatives, Cultural Identity and Collective Rights, Solidarity activities in the defense of Human Rights, to promote ecumenical encounters with the different religious communities, to hold the Assembly of the organization, to start the procedures to receive legal recognition before civil law.

  5. Confederation of Nationalities of the Amazon Region of Peru, (CONAP) Lima, Peru -- US$ 11.000

    The organization was established in 1987 to struggle for Indigenous Peoples with regards to land and water rights as well as to promote encounters for exchange and strategy setting amongst the communities. Some of their achievements in relation to land rights are: to put an end to the exploitation of Shell-Mobil in three Indigenous Peoples territories. They have also recuperated the territory of 9.000 inhabitants. They have also been successful in the defense of 20 lakes from which Indigenous communities get their living through fishing and related activities.

    The grant will assist the project on "Indigenous Law of Peru" which consists of mobilizing the leadership of Indigenous Peoples communities (200 leaders) for the discussion of the proposed law on Indigenous rights which aims to end the abuse against Indigenous communities and regulate the presence of transnational corporations in Indigenous land. The law will benefit Indigenous Communities of the Andean and Amazon region, which are 5 million Indigenous Peoples.

  1. Committee of 500 years of Dignity and Resistance, Cleveland, USA -- US$ 5.000

    The committee was formed in 1991 to highlight racism. It is a coalition of Indigenous and non-indigenous individuals committed to protecting and enhancing the sovereignty rights, human rights and cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples. They are dedicated to highlight the racist images (chief Wahoo and the name "Indians" of the Cleveland Baseball Team). They also have produced educational materials on this matter for schools, churches and communities which are in solidarity with Indigenous struggles. A quarterly newsletters is also published. They have explored the feasibility of an alternative school for Indigenous children’s educational curricula in the Cleveland public school.

    The grant will assist the organization in their Campaign Against racist propaganda, especially the stereotyping in sports and the media against the Indigenous Peoples of the hemisphere. The committee will promote this campaign state-wide to pressure schools to change their team names and mascots to ones that do not use Indigenous themes. This campaign has already started. In order to keep up with the demand, the funds will be used for equipping an office supplied by the popular school.


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