About Us/Our Mission
The Faith Communities and Urban Families Project is a research
initiative based at the Leadership Center at Morehouse College.
The Project, originally funded by a grant from the Annie
E. Casey Foundation, has been concerned with the social, religious, community-building,
and public policy impacts of faith institution presence and involvements
within high-poverty neighborhoods.
The initial project work focused on four U.S. cities: Camden,
NJ, Denver, CO, Hartford, CT, and Indianapolis, IN. In each of
the four cities, two high-poverty neighborhoods were identified
where the research team: (1) gathered survey, ethnographic, and
environmental data from 1,200 low-income housing residents and
150 adjacent faith-based institutions; (2) utilized the research
findings as a basis for roundtable dialogues between a small
number of housing complex residents and faith institution leaders;
and (3) facilitated concrete action plans for strengthening interactions
between faith communities and the urban poor.
Reports, articles, and newsletters related to this work are available
on our “Publications” page.
The project has also had a research focus on faith institutions
in neighborhoods in Southern Africa and Western Europe where
there are significant numbers of immigrants from sub-Saharan
Africa and where rapid economic and other demographic shifts
are occurring. In South Africa, the project has completed a study
of an inner-city Pretoria neighborhood, gathering survey data
from 1,000 congregants affiliated with nine of the primary congregations
within the neighborhood and interviewing the pastors and additional
religious leaders from these congregations. Conversations are
currently taking place with potential research partners in Western
Europe about collaborations on similar research within a few
Western European cities.