Islamic Relief USA awards grant to Steps Coalition

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Islamic Relief USA is making a major investment in South Mississippi to help administer a pilot program that aims to bring together religious leaders to promote racial healing.

The national nonprofit group has awarded the Gulfport-based Steps Coalition a $23,500 grant, a ‘silver anniversary grant’ as the national humanitarian and advocacy organization celebrates its 25th anniversary.

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Steps Coalition Executive Director Jonathan Green tells News 25 the money will be put to good use to train ten leaders who will be working with faith-based leaders across the Coast to promote racial healing and harmony. “We have an organization within Steps called the Bridge of Faith that’s made up of about 38 different faith organizations, pastors, rabbis, imams, all different faiths, the Baha’i faith. It’s a very diverse group. We really believe that our faith leaders have the closest connections to our community and it’s the best way to facilitate and have a dialogue around racial healing.”

The anniversary community bridge building program was announced as an initiative to bridge the differences that frequently divide communities such as religion, race, or political opinions.