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Greeley Foundation establishes endowments for local nonprofits

By Kerri Roche

Concord – The Greeley Foundation is going out with a bang.

After two decades, foundation directors have decided to parse its assets and use the money to establish enduring endowments for five nonprofit organizations.

Coinciding with the disbanding of the foundation, the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council honored the Greeley Foundation with its Climate for Freedom award. The bi-annual Climate for Freedom Award ceremony, held at First Parish Monday morning, was well attended by selectmen, school administrators and local.

According to presenter Polly Attwood, a former chairman of the Human Rights Council, “it’s fairly appropriate [The Greeley Foundation] be recognized at this time.”

Founded in 1986, the group continues to echo Rev. Dana McLean Greeley’s message of peace and justice by collecting and awarding monetary grants to a range of socially conscience organizations. Greeley was a Unitarian minister and international peace activist who believed the collective efforts of humans can promote social change.

Trustee Eric Van Loon and Faith Greeley Scovel accepted the award on behalf of her late father.

Since its inception, Van Loon said the foundation’s focus has shifted because “those organizations that are most powerful and important are those that are able to evolve over time.”

The grant recipients have changed from international organizations to local non-profits that work with children, said Van Loon. The foundation has granted more than $1.5 million to assist these grassroots organizations.

Lasting endowments will be made to the Harvard Divinity School, the University of Massachusetts— Lowell, the Jericho Road Project, the International Association for Religious Freedom and Religions for Peace.

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by Wade Rubinstein, CCHRC member Six people are killed in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by a white supremacist. Their crime? Gathering to worship. (See www.cnn.com/2012/08/05/us/wisconsin-templeshooting/

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The Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council is a community organization of volunteers working together to foster respect, understanding, good will, and conciliation among individuals and groups in the community. It is dedicated to the belief that all people are entitled to dignity and respect. The role of the Human Rights Council is one of education and advocacy.

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