The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships coordinates Centers across government that engage faith-based and neighborhood organizations. I’d like to introduce you to the directors of those Centers and have them share a bit about their important work with the White House Office. Today's profile is of Cedric Grant, the director of our Center at the Department of Commerce.
Cedric, tell us a little about yourself.
In 2009, I was appointed as the Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Commerce. In this role, my job is to forge and enhance partnerships with community and faith-based organizations on policy areas such as community economic development, Census, the Recovery Act and minority business development. Prior to the joining the Department of Commerce, I began my work in government in the office of Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee serving as the Democratic Leadership Liaison and Policy Advisor. I attended Howard University, graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Finance and earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Additionally, I studied Public Policy at the School of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University. I live in Washington, D.C. with my wife, Riche Holmes Grant.
What are some of the highlights of your work at our faith/neighborhood Center at the Department of Commerce?
Our most sizable contribution to date is our outreach efforts for the 2010 Census. Clergy are the most trusted voices in communities and are great advocates to bring awareness and participation in the 2010 Census. Community leaders, both faith-based and secular, know their communities intimately and service hard- to- count populations through their various programs. For these reasons, the faith-based community and neighborhood organizations are vital to ensure a complete count next year.
To engage the community in that role, we have travelled across the country with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke sponsoring community round table discussions on the U. S. Census Bureau and making sure everyone is counted. Meetings with these groups have led to the establishment of Interfaith Complete Count Committee Working Groups in targeted cities that performed below the national average in the 2000 Census. These working groups are effective at reaching populations that are the hardest to sample because of social, cultural or other barriers.
What are a few of your hobbies and personal interests?
In my spare time, I enjoy spending it with my wife, Riche, discovering new restaurant venues and other hidden treasures in the DC area. Also, I take pleasure in trying new recipes of which Riche is always suspect to eat, but I’m actually improving with time… at least I think so.