News Release

A Juneteenth Update on How the NAACP and the Church Are Blessing God’s Children

58 students have received scholarships, 47 more are headed to Ghana in July, and humanitarian projects are being planned in five U.S. cities

In a news conference one year ago, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the United Negro College Fund to announce three educational and humanitarian initiatives to benefit the Black community.

In honor of the United States federal holiday Juneteenth (which marks the end of slavery), an update on each initiative is provided below.


In June 2021, Church President Russell M. Nelson pledged US$1 million per year over three years to fund scholarships for Black students. Each scholarship is a $5,000 award for college sophomores that is renewable for three years (a total of $15,000 per student).

Thirty-seven of the first year’s 58 awardees attended historically black colleges and universities. Other students chose a variety of public and private schools.

Applications are now open until July 12, 2022, for the second year of scholarships for incoming sophomores.

The Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown Fellowship to Ghana

President Nelson also pledged $250,000 for the Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown Student Fellowship to Ghana. The fellowship, named after the renowned civil rights leader and senior pastor of Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, goes from July 30 to August 11, 2022.

Forty-five students (15 Latter-day Saints, 15 chosen by the NAACP, and 17 from Dr. Brown’s congregation in San Francisco) will travel to Ghana to learn about the origins of the transatlantic slave trade and become ambassadors of racial harmony. These students come colleges and universities throughout the United States.

U.S. Humanitarian Efforts

Finally, President Nelson promised $2 million per year for three years to fund joint humanitarian projects in the United States. In 2022, these will be carried out in Houston, Memphis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Details are being planned with local NAACP leaders in each city to bless God’s children in the most meaningful ways.

“These efforts represent an ongoing desire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach and live the two great commandments — to love God and neighbor,” President Nelson said last June.

Four Years of Partnership and Praise

The Church of Jesus Christ’s relationship with the NAACP began in May 2018 with a joint call for greater civility and racial harmony in society.

“We admire and share [the Church’s] optimism that all people can work together in harmony and should collaborate more on areas of common interest,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said.

Since that time, each group has continued to praise the good in the other as they work together to bless the world.

“For us, as also for many of you, ‘God is love,’” Elder Gerard said at the NAACP’s 2018 National Convention in Texas, “and loving God means loving and serving each other.”

President Johnson has lauded the Church’s “good faith efforts to bless not only its members, but people throughout the United States and, indeed, the world in so many ways.”

President Nelson spoke at the 2019 NAACP convention in Detroit. He praised them for protecting and lifting humanity. “Your lofty ideals are indeed inspiring!” the prophet said. “I pray that we may increasingly call each other dear friends.”

At the beginning of the open house this year for the Church’s temple in Washington, D.C., the Rev. Dr. Brown, who serves as the San Francisco NAACP president, said, “If all of the other religious groups in this nation follow the example of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we shall save the soul of America.”

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