World Council of Churches Office of Communication
Press Release
150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
E-mail: media

9 December 1999


To mark Human Rights Day on Friday, 10 December, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has published its annual list of grants from the WCC Special Fund to Combat Racism. Twenty-one groups will share a total of US$ 128,000 for their work with racially oppressed people, for education programmes on racism and for self-help initiatives. The grants fall into three categories: general work on racism, women under racism, and Indigenous Peoples.

The Special Fund was created in 1970 and since then has distributed about US$ 12 million in grants throughout the world. Its funds are contributions from WCC member churches and individuals in many countries.

Grants 1999

Meeting Centre for Reflection and Solidarity (ONE RESPE), Santiago, Dominican Republic, US$ 15,000
For research on prejudice among children in poor Black communities in Haiti.
Centre for Black and White Christian Partnership, Birmingham, UK, US$ 3.000
For student bursaries to promote training of leaders as catalysts for change in education, ecumenical work and information sharing.

National Assembly Against Racism, London, UK, US$ 3,000
For continuing campaign work, especially education work on "Debt and Racism: Legacy of Colonialism", as a contribution of Black experience to Millennium celebrations.

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, London, UK, US$ 3,000
For policy, advice and case work in support of those affected by the Immigration and Asylum Bill.

Anti-racism Initiative e.V., Berlin, Germany, US$ 3,000
For furthering information work on paragraphs 92A and B of the Law on Foreigners, which criminalises taxi drivers who bring passengers without visas across the border into Germany.

Romani C.R.I.S.S - Roma Centre for Social Intervention and Studies, Bucharest, Romania, US$ 5,000
For updating and publishing the centre's information on violence and discrimination against Roma communities as well as for continuing its legal support for victims of discrimination.

December 12th Movement International Secretariat, New York, USA, US$ 5,000
For this coalition of racially oppressed groups in the USA to prepare participation in the United Nations World Conference on Racism in 2001.

Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, USA, US$ 3,000
For the Center - an organisation founded by lawyers and using litigation and education work to support popular movements - to pursue a 'Police Accountability Initiative', focussing on police brutality against people of colour.

The Southeast Regional Economic Justice Network (REJN), Durham, North Carolina, USA, US$ 3,000
For the network to continue its work among people of colour in the south of the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and Central America, with particular emphasis on responses to globalisation.

Black Workers for Justice (BWFJ), Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA, US$ 3,000
For support in BWJs struggle for improvements in the quality of life of working people, and for justice and fairness in the workplace and community.

Afro-German/Black Women (ADEFRA), Munich, Germany, US$ 3,000
For the publication of a practical book, in German, English and Turkish, for use in schools and other education settings, to stimulate awareness and empowerment among young Black people.
Women's Coordination and Council of the ECUANARI, Quito, Ecuador, US$ 20,000
For its school for training women leaders and particularly for the project "Centre of Art, Science and Culture of Indigenous Women".
African Indigenous and Minority Peoples Organization, Kigali, Rwanda, US$ 5,000
For projects designed to assist in the social integration of the Batwa, including setting them up in viable farming situations.
Dalit Development Society, Kadampanad, India, US$10,000
For this Dalit support group to expand its leadership training among women and its work among high school students.

Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Bagio City, Philippines, US$ 5,000
For CPA's project "Alliance Education Campaign on Indigenous Peoples' Rights" and particularly for the production of popular materials explaining the Indigenous Peoples Act.

Protestant Missionary Working Group (GTME), Cuiabá, Brazil, US$ 8,000
For assistance in running a house, serving both as a lodging place and a centre for legal counselling, for Indigenous People who move to Cuiabá.

Union of Neighbour of Indigenous and Peasants Communities ( UNIGOBIGI), Otavalo, Ecuador, US$ 5,000
For this organisation for leadership training among pastors and Indigenous People to extend its education work among young people and promote theological education sensitive to Indigenous Peoples' needs.

Autonomous Multi-Ethnic Region, Chiapas, Mexico, US$ 5,000
For this organisation, which helps to empower the Chiapas people who have been victims of intimidation and persecution, to organise workshops focusing on specific needs.

AMIPASTOR, Ayacucho, Peru, US$ 5,000
For capacity-building workshops on cultural identity, collective rights, defence of human rights and promotion of ecumenical encounters among the Indigenous Quichua.

Confederation of Nationalities of the Amazon Region of Peru (CONAP), Lima, Peru, US$ 11,000
For a series of community meetings among 200 Indigenous leaders to discuss the Indigenous Law of Peru, which aims to end abuse of Indigenous Peoples and regulate the presence of transnational corporations on Indigenous land.

Committee of 500 years of Dignity and Resistance, Cleveland, USA, US$ 5,000
For this coalition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists committed to protecting and enhancing sovereignty rights and human rights for Indigenous Peoples, to strengthen its Campaign Against Racist propaganda.
For a full list, with extensive descriptions of each grant, click here. For more information contact:
Bob Scott (before 10.12.99): tel: +41.22.791.6166, fax: +41.22.798.1346, e-mail: WCC Contact or
Marilia Schüller (after 12.12.99): tel: +41.22.791.6027, fax: +41.22.791.0361, e-mail: WCC Contact.

For more information contact:
Karin Achtelstetter, Media Relations Officer
tel.: (+41 22) 791 6153 (office);
e-mail: media
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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 337, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.