Morgan State University's (MSU) Center for Religion and Cities (CRC) has received a $1 million grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support an initiative focused on improving quality of life in cities, especially for BIPOC communities who are often excluded from planning processes.
The initiative, Lifeways of Hope, was developed collaboratively by Dr. Harold Morales, executive director for CRC; Dr. Amy Landau, director of Education and Interpretation for the UCLA Fowler Museum; and Dr. Rupa Pillai, senior lecturer of Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
The CRC will create three initiatives: a Listening Lab, Museum Co-Lab, and Curricula Lab.
“Our prevailing public discourse about religion is too often shrill, polarized, acrimonious and inhumane," said Dr. Jonathan VanAntwerpen, program director at the Henry Luce Foundation. "Through its collaborative, community-based work—and under the creative leadership of Dr. Harold Morales—Morgan State University’s Center for Religion and Cities is building an alternative approach to religion’s public presence, rooted in an understanding of religion as a dynamic element of city ecologies, with the potential to shape how urban contexts change and thrive. Convening and engaging diverse participants—from academic researchers and museum curators to community activists and spiritual leaders—the Center’s latest initiative will catalyze fresh thinking, cultivate new partnerships, and deepen its support for a wide range of underrepresented knowledge makers. We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide ongoing support for the Center’s important and innovative work.”