We are proud to announce the following grants, made possible through either the charitable giving of H. Bruce McEver or through the Foundation for Religious Literacy’s network of philanthropists. H. Bruce McEver and the Foundation for Religious Literacy do not accept unsolicited grant proposals; however, we welcome being informed about your religious literacy programs and being in collegial relationship with you.
In partnership with 1791 Delegates and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, The Foundation for Religious Literacy announced a rapid-response challenge grant to help launch ReligionAndPublicLife.org, a distance learning platform to help educators respond to the Corona Virus. Education institutions are helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by moving all in-person courses online. Although it is unclear how long the “social distancing” strategy will be necessary, high school and college educators are in need of online resources to use now and to later integrate into the classroom, if and when and if things return to normal. To schedule a demonstration, contact Dr. Nathan C. Walker, managing director of The Foundation for Religious Literacy
2019 – 2020
In July 2019, the Foundation for Religious Literacy launched the inaugural cohort of national Religious Literacy Fellows.
Selected for their extraordinary contributions to the field, these emerging leaders are setting the agenda for religious literacy education in innovative and meaningful ways.
Katie Gordon was nominated because of organization of Nuns & Nones, which teaches that non-religious millennials are spiritually diverse and socially engaged.
Usra Ghazi was nominated because of her work at America Indivisible, which addresses anti-Muslim bigotry by strengthening neighbor-to-neighbor ties in local communities.
Each fellow received a grant of $12,000, plus a travel stipend and collegial support to advance their religious literacy projects.
Grantees were nominated by the foundation’s advisors. The fellowship grant serves as an investment in emerging leaders because of the recipients’ intellectual honesty, collaborative nature, and potential.
Andrew M. Henry was nominated because of his entrepreneurial approach to advance the public’s understanding of religion through his YouTube channel, Religion For Breakfast.
Dr. Kate E. Soules was nominated because of her outstanding research on religious literacy education for pre- and in-service teachers.
Cub Scouts Coexist
The Boy Scout of America Greater New York Councils
The Boy Scout of America Greater New York Councils (GNYC), The Foundation for Religious Literacy, and 1791 Delegates have partnered to develop the nation’s first Cub Scouts Coexist program for scouts ages 8–10. The GNYC provides programs and services for some 45,000 boys and girls in New York City.
The Cub Scouts Coexist curriculum invites leaders to engage students and families in a conversation about the civic competency of religious literacy. The program will also expose teachers to national educational standards for the academic study of religion.
U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey
Pew Research Center
The Foundation for Religious Literacy is proud to sponsor the public launch of the July 2019 U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey conducted by Pew Research Center. The report includes a discussion of how various religious groups fare on the survey and other factors associated with religious knowledge. The survey explains, which religious groups know what about religion; factors linked with religious knowledge; how strongly are religious, social and demographic factors linked with religious knowledge; and feelings toward religious groups.
United Religions Initiative
A Global Grassroots Interfaith Network
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the United Religions Initiative (URI), a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world.
URI implements this mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of its member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights. URI envisions a world at peace, sustained by engaged and interconnected communities committed to respect for diversity, nonviolent resolution of conflict and social, political, economic and environmental justice.
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Scientific Discovery and Personal Exploration
2011 •2012 •2013 •2014 •2015 • 2019
2005 •2006 •2007 •2008 •2009 • 2010
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which seeks to reveal the interconnected nature of reality through scientific exploration and personal discovery, creating a more compassionate, thriving, and sustainable world. As scientists focused on what are common but not often understood phenomena, IONS examines the vast historical records of wisdom practices that also speak to the mysteries and possibilities which allow us to access more of our human capacities. IONS scientists apply the rigors of their respective disciplines to explore such phenomena, with a focus on understanding humanity’s inherent interconnectedness and the inner wisdom common to us all.
Religious Literacy Specialist
Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute
2017 • 2018
H. Bruce McEver issued a grant to create a “religious literacy specialist” position at the non-sectarian, non-partisan Religious Freedom Center (RFC). This grant was matched by the Germanacos Foundation. The purpose of the center is to cultivate religious literacy, legal literacy, and civil dialogue.
This specialist, Benjamin P. Marcus, who like the co-founders and manager of the Foundation studied at Harvard Divinity School, is driven and talented. He led the committee to create a religious-studies companion document to the C3 Framework, a landmark achievement in religious studies in K-12 education. We are grateful that Ben will help lead the Foundation’s expansion as a special advisor to the Foundation for Religious Literacy.
Religious Literacy Project
Harvard Divinity School
2015 • 2016
In 2011, Diane L. Moore proposed the creation of the Religious Literacy Project (RLP) to sustain Harvard Divinity School’s legacy of enhancing the public understanding of religion through education. Thanks to a generous start-up gift by H. Bruce McEver, MTS ’11 and the support of Deans William Graham and David Hempton, the Religious Literacy Project program and website was launched in the spring of 2015. As demand has grown for the RLP’s approach to the understanding of religion, the program has received extraordinary support. In 2016, the Henry R. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs supported the RLP’s joint research with Oxfam to advance religious literacy in humanitarian action. In 2017, generous donations from Akhil Gupta and Ralph James allowed the RLP to expand its staffing and create new programs. The RLP’s work with educators at the high school and community college levels has also received support from the Once Here Foundation. In 2018 the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations supported further expansion of the RLP’s work with professionals in the fields of journalism, humanitarian action, business and government, enabling the RLP to recruit professional fellows in their fields to mentor, teach and help broker internships for HDS students. In 2018, Ramez and Tiziana Sousou provided a groundbreaking gift in support of the new 4-year Religion, Conflict and Peace Initiative, jointly offered with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Religious Literacy and
the Professions Initiative
Harvard Divinity School & Boston University
2016 • 2017 • 2018
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Religious Literacy and the Professions Initiative (RLPI), an annual symposium series created especially for business leaders and other professionals. Four symposia were held annually at the Harvard Divinity School, starting in 2016.
The Leadership and
Georgia Tech and Emory's Candler School of Theology
2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018
H. Bruce McEver through his interfaith fund, is a proud supporter of the Leadership and Multifaith Program (LAMP), which brings together the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. LAMP centers on the complexities of life, work, and leadership in a world where many faith traditions converge dynamically in geopolitical space, whether these encounters are local, regional, or global.
The Foundation for Religious Literacy was pleased to provide seed funds for the LAMP program, and we are delighted to partner with the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to ensure the long-term health of the program.
The Rev. Dr. Deanna Womack joined Candler in 2015 as Assistant Professor of History of Religions and Multifaith Relations, a position created through LAMP. Womack serves as program director and faculty liaison between the Ivan Allen College and Candler. Her research examines interreligious understanding through Christian-Muslim dialogue and American-Arab relations.
In the 2015-2016 academic year, LAMP introduced new course offerings in interreligious literacy and multifaith relations for Georgia Tech and Emory students. These courses reach dozens of students and strengthen collaboration between these respected universities.
Interfaith Youth Core
2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Interfaith Youth Core, a national non-profit organization working towards an America where people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions can bridge differences and find common values to build a shared life together. Founded by Eboo Patel, IFYC partners with American colleges and universities, because campus is where educators and students engage the complex ideas that will shape our country’s future. IFYC believes that campuses are environments that can model the highest ideals of civil society alongside some of the most divisive conflicts that we’re grappling with as a country. When interfaith cooperation becomes a part of the college experience, it becomes a part of the American experience. IFYC equips students, educators, and whole institutions with the vision, knowledge, and skills to advance this on campus and far beyond.
Religion in Early America
2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016
2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Smithsonian’s American History Museum, which hosted an exhibition titled Religion in Early America, which focused on diversity, freedom, and growth. As a result of this seed grant from H. Bruce McEver, curator Peter Manseau published the exhibit book, Objects of Devotion: Religion in Early America, and the Lilly Endowment provided follow-up funding of over $5 million to our seed grant to create the Lilly Endowment Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian.
Museum of Biblical Art
2013 • 2014
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Museum of Biblical Art, which exhibits Jewish and Christian themed art in Dallas, Texas. The beautifully remodeled Museum boasts eleven galleries, The National Center for Jewish Art, an on-site Art Conservation Lab, Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden, and other major pilgrimage attractions. The Museum offers myriad programs, field trips, and events for art appreciators of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs.
2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a secular, non-sectarian nonprofit that promotes mutual respect with practical programs that bridge religious difference and combat prejudice in schools, workplaces, health care settings and areas of armed conflict.
Tanenbaum designs trainings and educational resources to change the way people treat one another and to celebrate the richness of our country’s diversity. Tanenbaum is inspired not only by The Golden Rule – to treat others as you would like to be treated – but also by the Platinum Rule – to treat others as they want to be treated.
2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of the Connecticut Council of Interreligious Understanding, a nonprofit organization that promotes mutual understanding and respect for all religious traditions through continuing dialogue and interaction among participants of all religions. CCIU acts against religious bigotry and dogmatism through study and dialogue groups, conferences and seminars. The original organization, the Connecticut Committee for Interreligious Understanding, was founded in 1994 for the purpose of organizing a program and worship service in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. The Committee continued to exist thereafter because the participants at that event enthusiastically endorsed the idea of ongoing dialogue and cooperation in providing an effective voice in public life on issues of interreligious concern.
Dui Hua Foundation
Religion & Human Rights
2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012
2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 • 2018
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of Dui Hua (对话, meaning “dialogue” in Chinese. Dui Hua is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that seeks clemency and better treatment for at-risk detainees through the promotion of universally recognized human rights in a well-informed, mutually respectful dialogue with China. Focusing on political and religious prisoners, juvenile justice, women in prison, and issues in criminal justice, Dui Hua work rests on the premise that positive change is realized through constructive relationships and exchange.
President & Fellows of Harvard
H. Bruce McEver is a proud supporter of Harvard University, where he received his Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, and a Master of Theological Studies degree from the Harvard Divinity School. His gifts have gone to support the advancement of various religious literacy programs over the years.