Rising Hope was recently awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The grant will support the Build Back – Dream Forward Initiative, which seeks to bring together voices to eradicate systemic racism and injustice and create a more equitable future.

“The disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on communities of color has opened new eyes to ongoing systemic racism, which makes this an ideal time to build on our Breaking Bread-Breaking Walls dinners. We look forward to holding new conversations with community leaders and partners about how to best move forward to ensure we don’t fall backward afterwards,” said Pastor Keary Kincannon.

As a faith community that serves a population that is economically, racially and culturally diverse, Rising Hope has a history of bringing people together for important and difficult conversations around race and inequality. The Breaking Bread-Breaking Walls dinners brought together dozens of community members from southern Fairfax County to discuss issues that hinder our neighborhoods, such as immigration concerns, environmental aspects of racism, and the criminal justice system.

For this new initiative, Rising Hope – in connection with Ventures in Community – is planning to organize a series of virtual conversations that include both interactive and webinar-type sessions in the coming months and would love to expand these conversations across the District. If you or your congregations would like to be kept up-to-date with this initiative, please sign up for the Rising Hope Newsletter at risinghopeumc.org/newsletters or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/RisingHope/. You may also email events@risinghopeumc.org or call (703) 360-1976.

(Editor’s Note: A Bi-District Board of Missions Innovation Grant provided funding for Breaking Bread – Breaking Walls.)