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NAACP, LDS church partnering on initiatives in East Coast

Sunday , July 22, 2018 - 12:52 PM


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church is teaming up with the NAACP on a new education and employment program on the East Coast, an outgrowth from the first official meeting between the groups in May.

An official with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the announcement at the NAACP's national convention in San Antonio this month.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, based in Baltimore, is the nation's oldest civil rights organization

The church and NAACP found a common ground in their desire to help people during their May summit, Karen Boykins-Towns, vice chairwoman of the NAACP board, said in a statement released by the church.

NAACP members, Mormons and others will teach courses at churches and community centers that will help students find better jobs, enhance their income, manage personal finances and start and grow their businesses.

"Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income, but, perhaps more importantly, equality of influence," Mormon general authority Jack N. Gerard told the Deseret News.

The classes will be concentrated in Baltimore, Atlanta and Camden, New Jersey, Gerard said.

The trainings will be similar to those that the Mormon church already provides as part of its globally tested self-reliance program.

"We understand these tools," Gerard said. "We know they work.

The relationship between the church and the NAACP is still developing, said Leon W. Russell, head of the civil rights group's board.

The groups plan to announce more joint projects in the future.

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