By Kate Kosydar, Courtesy of The Voice WEST VIRGINIA—The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has been working with citizens to overcome poverty since 1969. Their mission to reduce poverty is based in supporting organizations that are made up of people who are directly affected by unjust systems and structures. This paradigm acknowledges that those directly affected truly have the best insight into knowing how to change the structures. CCHD awards grants to deserving organizations across the nation annually. This year, two West Virginia organizations have received grants totaling $98,000.
Call to Action for Racial Equality (CARE Coalition) is working to dismantle systematic racism through leadership development, community organizing, and policy change. “Because black people in Charleston are arrested at a rate far higher than white people, we hope to lower racial arrest disparities in Charleston and throughout the state by encouraging police departments to adopt an anti-racist policing model,” said Jai Arun Ravine, Communications coordinator for CARE. They also hold anti-racism and community organizing trainings. The group’s first Mountain State Racial Justice Summit will be held Nov. 30- Dec. 1, location and registration details are pending.
Coalfield Development Corporation’s headquarters are in Wayne County. The organization works to holistically address issues of the unemployed and underemployed through its five social enterprises. These businesses train, educate, mentor, and employ people from Lincoln, McDowell, Mingo, and Wayne counties in environmentally sustainable sectors. Coalfield’s CEO, Brandon Dennison says, “The decline of the coal industry has caused deep pain for the people of southern West Virginia. But hidden in these challenges are opportunities. Space has been made for new growth. What’s vital is that this new growth advances in a way that honors local people and creates local assets. So much of our community wealth has been extracted and shipped out. Now, we have an opportunity to rebuild our economy to be more just.”
The diocese and Catholic Charities WV are hosting 1 Church 1 Mission: Celebrating CCHD in WV at John XXIII Pastoral Center in Charleston Oct. 9 from 6-8 p.m. to honor the great works of CARE Coalition and Coalfield Development Corporation. This event, free and open to the public, is also an opportunity for interested organizations and community members to learn about CCHD and its mission. The CCHD Diocesan Director, Kate Kosydar, will be on hand for questions regarding the granting criteria and process. Following short presentations by CARE Coalition and Coalfield Development Corporation there will be light refreshments and a chance to meet the inspiring leaders of these organizations. Registration is required for the event. Visit http://CatholicCharitiesWV.org or e-mail Kosydar at email@example.com to register.