Bridge Builders Charlotte, a joint effort between Belk Chapel at Queens University and Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, has awarded Central Piedmont a $25,000 grant to promote social justice and educational equity across the Charlotte region.
Bridge Builders Charlotte aims to use campus-community partnerships to overcome social divides and make our community stronger – with a specific aim of strengthening the Charlotte community’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The grant proposal was spearheaded by Chris Brawley, a religion professor in the Humanities Division at Central Piedmont. The funding will be used to hire three Central Piedmont student interns who will work in conjunction with Central Piedmont’s Student Life department and local nonprofit Loaves and Fishes, to sponsor two food drives during the fall semester that will address the food needs of various faith traditions.
In addition to preparing specially made food boxes and participating in the food drives, interfaith cards will be included in the boxes, highlighting the common call of every religion to serve others. The food drives will be captured on film and distributed to the wider Charlotte community, showing how various faith traditions can work together (and learn from each other) during times of crisis.
Central Piedmont’s project is being funded through the Gambrell Foundation. Collectively, the Gambrell-Foundation is not only helping fund Central Piedmont’s initiative, but also a variety of projects housed at more than 10 faith communities, five other area colleges and universities (Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University, Queens University, UNC Charlotte and Wingate University), and six nonprofit organizations.
“These projects will forge connections between Charlotte-area campuses, local nonprofit organizations and religiously diverse communities,” Brawley explains. “Central Piedmont is excited to be involved in this process, and an active participant in leveraging Charlotte’s potential to expand opportunity for those who are most vulnerable as result of the coronavirus crisis.”