Monday, June 4, 2012

The OASIS honors Louie Crew , Awards Grant & Scholarship

The OASIS, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, honored Dr. Louie Crew for a lifetime of justice ministry at a reception Friday, and presented its first annual scholarship and grant awards.

The Right Rev.  Mark Beckwith, Bishop of Newark, and OASIS Commission Chair John Simonelli presented Dr. Crew with a hand-illumined certificate of appreciation and announced the first recipients of the scholarship and grant created in his honor.

Dr. Crew founded Integrity, the national organization for LGBT Episcopalians, in 1974. A retired professor of English (most recently at Rutgers University) he served on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church from 2000-2006 and represented the Diocese of Newark as a member of the House of Deputies  from 1993-2011, among many other acts of service to the church.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama, Doctorates of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School and General Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Human Letters from the Divinity School of the Pacific. Dr. Crew is extensively published, on matters of English composition, social justice, faith, and poetry.  Dr. Crew is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for Humanities, was honored by the Ragdale Foundation and the Wurlitzer Foundation, and received the Bishop’s Cross from the Diocese of Newark.

The first Louie Crew scholarship was presented to Darnell L. Moore, a writer and activist who is currently the Associate Director of the Newark Schools Research Collaborative (NSRC) and an Affiliate of the Institute on Education Law and Policy (IELP) both at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Newark. He holds a BA in Social & Behavioral Sciences (Seton Hall University), MA in Counseling (Eastern University) and MA in Theological Studies (Princeton Theological Seminary). 
Moore also serves as the Chair of Mayor Cory Booker of Newark’s Advisory Commission on LGBTQ Concerns and Education, Chair of the Newark Pride Alliance, and has served appointments as a Visiting Fellow at Yale Divinity School and Lecturer in the Women & Gender Studies Department at Rutgers-New Brunswick, as well as Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University.  Moore plans to use the scholarship money to participate in two writing retreats to further his first book, tentatively titled To be Black, Queer and Christian: Essays on the Black church and Sexuality.

The first OASIS Grant was awarded to the Montclair Protestant Chaplaincy, an ecumenical collaborative, to support the work of the Rev. Deacon Diana Wilcox as chaplain at Montclair State University.  A recent graduate of Drew Theological School in Madison, Wilcox provides a progressive Christian presence at the university with weekly prayer services, spiritual counseling and other programming.  Wilcox studied at Montclair State University and Fairleigh Dickinson University before pursuing her Master of Divinity at Drew. Her campus group, the Web of Life Christian Community, became a Believe Out Loud Congregation in 2011, and took part in the response to bias incidents on campus this fall and winter.

The OASIS, founded in 1989, is a justice ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. Once providing “safe space” worship and spiritual counseling, the organization has evolved into an educational and advocacy role.  The Louie Crew Scholarship and Oasis Grant, which were first announced at the 2012 Diocesan Convention, will be awarded annually at the Oasis anniversary in June to individuals and groups working “at the intersection of sexuality and faith.”

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