Fifty California pastors, along with blacks in the fields of business, media, and entertainment, are working to combat a famine that threatens 150 million Africans.
The pastors formed a group called Black American Response to the African Crisis (BARAC) to raise $3 million to send to Africa. The organization already has raised $60,000 from contributors in the Los Angeles area. The money came in as a result of the airing of “The Desert’s Edge,” a television documentary produced by BARAC members who traveled to Africa.
“We really haven’t even launched our fund raising yet,” says Frank Wilson, associate pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Los Angeles. “We have a very realistic objective of raising $3 million by the end of 1984.”
To raise that amount, BARAC has solicited donations from large corporations. Other fund-raising options include a major thrust into churches nationwide and benefit concerts featuring well-known black entertainers willing to donate their services. Some who have agreed to participate include singers Marilyn McCoo, Ray Parker, Jr., Stevie Wonder, the Pointer Sisters, and Smokey Robinson; athletes Bubba Smith, O. J. Simpson, and Muhammad Ali; and actress Jayne Kennedy.
BARAC is working with World Vision, a Christian relief organization, to funnel donations to famine-stricken areas. BARAC was formed shortly after Glandion Carney, director of urban ministry at World Vision, read news reports of the African famine. He expressed his concerns to California pastors Chuck Singleton and J. Alfred Smith. The three invited 100 ministers to join them in their concerns. They later formed BARAC with the 50 pastors who responded to their invitation.
Carney says BARAC was formed with three purposes in mind—“sensitizing America ...1
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