Religion & Society Program Announces New Funding for Racial Justice and Religion Initiative

May 1, 2023

New cohort of experts and leaders will dive into the intersection of racial justice and religion


Contact: Alise Murawski
Senior Communications Associate
Religion & Society Program
847-528-2882 /

Washington, D.C., May 1, 2023 – The Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute today announced a new grant from The Henry Luce Foundation to fund the program’s Racial Justice & Religion Initiative. This initiative will help build the understanding of religion’s role in racial justice work, and develop interventions that center, support, and uplift leaders from historically marginalized communities.

“Our goal to advance justice through this initiative aligns with the Henry Luce Foundation’s commitment to building a more open and democratic future,” said Simran Jeet Singh, Executive Director of the Religion & Society Program. “We’re hoping to help create the future of racial justice and religion work with this funding.”

The Religion & Society Program’s Racial Justice & Religion Initiative will develop a more accurate picture of how race and religion intersect, support leaders who work on these issues, and help bring their insights and expertise into the public square. The Initiative will focus on strengthening the capacity of those working on behalf of marginalized communities through leadership development, public engagement partnerships, public programming, and awareness-building.

“As we seek to strengthen public knowledge of religion and to draw on the wisdom of faith traditions in pursuit of a more just and democratic world, we are deeply grateful for the leadership of Dr. Simran Jeet Singh and Rev. Dr. Audrey Price,” said Jonathan VanAntwerpen, Program Director for Religion and Theology at the Henry Luce Foundation. “We are delighted by this new partnership between the Henry Luce Foundation and the Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program, and are eager to learn from the important work that the Luce Foundation’s grant will support.”

“It’s impossible to ignore the importance of religion in racial justice, and vice versa,” said Rev. Dr. Audrey Price, Director of the Racial Justice & Religion Initiative.  “In deepening our racial justice work, we can truly begin to create a free, just, and equitable society in keeping with the Aspen Institute’s founding vision and mission.”

A main feature of the new Initiative is the Racial Justice & Religion Collective, formed in 2023. The Collective serves as a premiere resource hub for leaders in this space, and is an intentional effort to help its diverse and robust constituency of leaders develop their work and share it with broader publics. The Collective met on April 12 to formally launch this Initiative, and will continue to meet in the following months.

To learn more about the Racial Justice & Religion Initiative, visit the Religion & Society Program’s website.



The Religion and Society Program at the Aspen Institute works to strengthen the understanding of religion’s role in advancing equity and the common good by shifting ideas, policies and practices. The Program does this to foster religious pluralism, a vision of society in which religious and nonreligious people thrive, respecting and engaging together across beliefs. For more information, visit

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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