Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice
Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice (GHICEJ) has successfully acquired a grant from the CT Health Foundation to address health disparities in the region during the next two years. This will be a serious, but exciting adventure for the organization as it partners with the foundation to address one of the most basic human rights issue for our families and children. UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY: EAST is one of the eighteen congregations that will participate in this effort.
Another initiative is the Community School Project at the Noah Webster School in Hartford. ICEJ is currently providing tutors for many of the students. At the opening of the school year, we will invite parents to make a wish list of programs that will be most helpful for them as they work with staff to help their children succeed. A coordinator will work with teachers and ICEJ to develop these programs and monitor them once they are in place.
GHICEJ is about to embark on a comprehensive strategy with area clergy to deal with urban violence in Hartford. Many groups within the community will be invited to a forum to work together to develop strategies to move toward more positive outcomes for Hartford’s youth. A group is also working with the Governor’s office to consider statewide initiatives in this area.
For the last two years GHICEJ brought the issue of racism inside the organization to the surface, and began to deal with it effectively. This is one courageous organization that stayed the course when faced with public scrutiny, and then in a faithful manner began to address this issue that is so widespread in many institutions in our society.
Our funding for all this comes from the dues member congregations pay to GHICEJ as well as from grants. To move toward a more solid footing, we’d like to initiate a grassroots funding effort so that one-third of our funding is from dues, one-third from grants, and onethird from individual contributions of $25 or more. Each congregation is being asked to form a cluster of people each of whom will ask ten friends to give $25 or more apiece. We hope if someone approaches you for such a gift, your response will be a resounding “Yes!”