New Church initiative with NAACP

Today, the Church and NAACP announced a new initiative. After again denouncing racism, Pres Nelson said the relationship with the NAACP was built upon the two great commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor.

Included in the initiative are:

  1. Humanitarian efforts. The Church has pledged a $2 million per year for the next three years “to encourage service and help to those in need” and promote self-reliance.
  2. Scholarships for Black students. Latter-day Saints have committed to fund a $1 million scholarship donation per year for three years, overseen by the United Negro College Fund.
  3. A fellowship to send up to 50 students to Ghana to learn about history. The Church will donate $250,000 to create the Amos C. Brown Student Fellowship to Ghana — allowing selected students from the United States an opportunity to learn more about their heritage.

This is awesome. African Americans need help to overcome the continuing struggles from Jim Crow, poverty and, yes, slavery.

These efforts will be on top of ongoing self reliance courses and other initiatives.

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

11 thoughts on “New Church initiative with NAACP

  1. Agree that African Americans need help and I’m glad to see the Church working with the NACCP on these initiatives. I disagree, however, that today that the issues are the result of Jim Crow or slavery. Most of the issues affecting African Americans (or any other group) can be traced to the destruction of the family. Want to help any group (not just African American) lift themselves up then one needs to address the core issue that is the root of so many problems.

  2. James, I totally agree that the destruction of the family is a cause of a lot of the issues that African Americans (and many other groups) face today – however, I think if you look at the reasons for the destruction of the family in black communities, you would be able to trace these reasons back to Jim Crow and slavery. Racial discrimination has had many social and economic impacts, which in turn have caused the breakup of families.

  3. Joyce and James are both correct. Look up Thomas Sowell, a black intellectual, who has written at least a dozen books on what LBJ’s “Great Society” programs did to black families. His books are full of data, evidence, and sound logical conclusions.

    There is not a single black family in the United States today that can trace their woes to Jim Crow or slavery. The notion is absurd and it’s a convenient dodge to avoid addressing the real root causes of continuing disparate differences between ethnic groups.

    By the way, if America is “rooted in white supremacy” why do Asians outperform whites in virtually every category? It’s worth pondering what cultural reasons may account for that. (Hint: 84% of Asian kids grow up with married parents.)

    As soon as enough black individuals realize that they control their own destiny, you’ll find that they won’t need any more “programs” to help them realize that they are already free.

  4. “I think if you look at the reasons for the destruction of the family in black communities, you would be able to trace these reasons back to Jim Crow and slavery. Racial discrimination has had many social and economic impacts, which in turn have caused the breakup of families.”

    I hear this often as a conclusory statement and I am very open to look at the evidence supporting it, but have yet to see it laid out in a convincing way.

    The subtext in the above conclusion seems to be that as the 1950-60s dawned and the Jim Crow era began to recede (in law, at least, with Brown v. Board, Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Acts, Fair Housing Act, Great Society Programs, etc.) the black family suddenly faced a great renewal and even an intensification of the same old racism that had prevailed in the first half of the century and before.

    This new brand of racism was so insidious that it wormed its way into a formerly much more stable black family structure and destroyed it from within. The Great Society programs struggled mightily to hold these families together with financial benefits and, of course, was an unalloyed positive for minorities in keeping their families together and stable. But–alas!–this new intensification of Jim Crow-ism that emerged at some point roughly co-terminus with the dawn of the Great Society was simply too strong to make progress against and shattered the ability of well-meaning black families to stay together and make such relationships work.


    That appears to be the narrative. The problem is that the family statistics on marriage, unwed births, etc. for the period of the 1960s through the present are readily obtained and paint a stark picture of an ever-accelerating isotopic decay of the black nuclear family–a decay that had not been in evidence even in previous decades when Jim Crow was a much more dominant cultural force. Even by the mid-80s, sympathetic commentators were bewailing a “lost generation” of inner-city blacks.

    Maintenance of the “It’s all Jim Crow” narrative means that many black activists on the political left will include something like “destruction of the nuclear family” as one of their demands that, if implemented, will lead to a more just and equitable society. This is useful in that it renders “out of bounds” any talk of the effects of Great Society programs on the incentives relating to nuclear family structure by making that structure itself the problem.

    Of course, as above, the numbers showing the strongly positive benefits of intact, nuclear family structures (for people of all races) are likewise easy to find.

    My inquiry thus remains: If the Great Society is blameless (at least compared to the monstrously deleterious effects of this recent, intensified brand of racism), please help me to understand the parameters and characteristics of this newly arisen specter that–in spite of Civil Rights/Great Society legislation– could so disrupt the lives and family stability of blacks more thoroughly than any other race-related phenomenon of post-Civil War America.

    As to the policies reported on in the OP, bravo! Always be aware of where opportunity is lagging and look for ways to expand it. Equal opportunity is how society increases in unity and stability. Equal outcomes (currently called “equity” by the left) leads, by a tortuous path, to the guillotine and the gulag. Just “Google” the word “Kulaks” if you’re wondering about the next step in the fever dreams of our current crop of revolutionaries.

  5. Studies in the last year or so reveal that the median white household holds about $190,000 in wealth. Honestly, that is not that much. But it is 7.8 times that of the typical Black household, which is around $25,000.

    While the breakup and struggles of families likely contributed to these horrifying outcomes, it is just as likely that it is difficult building and maintaining households under such economic conditions. We should look at taxation, access to education and other factors as possible issues.

    I started seeing this cwic media channel on youtube’s suggestions for me. The videos are long and I haven’t had time to watch them, but this one is 18 minutes short and this brother sums it up better than I can. From a conservative point of view, this is a lot closer to what President Trump did for African Americans than to what the current administration and a certain Barack Obama did (not much besides dangerous rhetoric and refusal to condemn bitter divisiveness). We must all learn from the past, whether we were involved or not. Books will continue to be written and movies will continue to be made about the history of the United States and the sufferings of various groups. You can’t say there have been enough movies and books about slavery in the US, about the underground railroad, about the Civil Rights era, about the Jewish Holocaust, about the Khmer Rouges, etc., any more than you can stop Latter-Day Saints from writing and filming Church history which includes persecutions against the Saints. “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I add that those who do not attempt to learn about the past cannot learn anything from or about it.

    One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. Martin Luther King saw it. Marxist-Leninist-Kommunists hate it. Good vs. Evil.

  7. It’s easy and more comfortable to believe in narratives and myths than it is to face harsh truths. That’s human nature, and it’s almost fruitless to try to convince people otherwise.

    I applaud any proactive, positive cooperation that the Church enters into. The Church can and will do infinitely more good than the federal government has over the last 50 years. I support the Church. I don’t support fraudulent mythographers and race hustlers.

  8. Yes, the Great Society did have a huge and negative impact on families. But it didn’t start there. Jim Crow laws destroyed families. They created poverty, as black people could not get quality jobs. Lynchings and beatings kept black people from moving upwards.
    Education has not improved for most African Americans. In inner cities, schools continue to fail students. Most school money goes to richer counties and towns, leaving the poor (often people of color) uneducated. The drop out rate in Indianapolis inner city schools is 55%, while the richer doughnut counties that surround the city have a drop out rate below 15%.

    The Great Society was often used to create a legal segregation, of sorts. I lived in Alabama for 17 years. During that time, I studied the history of African Americans. Governor George Wallace, in the 1950s stated “segregation yesterday, segregation today, segregation forever” as he hoisted the Confederate flag up the state government building – turning it from a symbol of the Confederacy to a symbol of segregation and racism. A decade later, he softened his position, as he saw he was losing. He embraced the Great Deal. It allowed a new form of segregation. The poor, mostly African Americans, were herded into welfare housing and poorer sections of town. Money was not spent on regular, integrated schools, but the rich and upper middle class began to send their kids to the many private schools that sprang up.
    Blacks were still segregated. New rules with the Great Society included that to receive welfare benefits meant a woman could not be married. Within a generation, women stopped marrying, and would instead have men suitors who would give them babies – more welfare funds. Moving from a mentality of independence and hard work, to one of living off the dole of government by selling one’s soul, drastically changed the black culture.

    I was friends with one of the key leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, Johnnie Carr. She was Rosa Parks best friend growing up, and the third president of the Montgomery Mutual Society. In her later years, she was concerned for the youth. She saw them forgetting the Civil Rights Movement, the struggles with slavery and Jim Crow. The music, the sagging pants, calling each other the N-word, not studying in school, and other issues in the new culture was destroying Martin Luther King jr’s Dream.

    The things President Nelson is doing with the NAACP and UNCF may not fix everything, but will open the door for new opportunities for hundreds of African Americans.

  9. The comments here are bizarre – the original post is a pretty simple summary of the LDS Church’s press release and conference. Then comments try to argue that racism isn’t due to slavery and laws meant to maintain segregation an inequality but is really some Democrat’s fault or its because of black families. Look, we get it, you don’t think conservatives are racist. You don’t like critical race theories or historical discussions of racism. Unfortunately impacts of past racist policies and attitudes do have impact on current populations and some of those are from conservative people and platforms. Some of those are from liberal people and platforms.

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