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22 June 1997
Yemaya Fund makes first disbursement
On June 22, 1997 the Yemaya Fund made its first disbursement to the Inner City Community Church in Knoxville, TN. The gift of one hundred dollars was accompanied by a letter from the fund's sponsors, the Pagan Educational Network and the Wiccan Community Fund, and materials about Paganism.

The Yemaya Fund was established in August 1996 to provide Pagans with a way of responding to arson destroying African-American churches in the South. The Inner City Community Church is devoted to bridging the gaps between black and white Americans.

It sponsors programs for economic development and home ownership and operated a radio station to employ disadvantaged community members. The church, the radio station, and a newly finished daycare center were destroyed in January 1996 when the church was torched. Investigators found evidence of gunpowder, Molotov cocktails, and about 75 gallons of gas. Racist graffiti was found sprayed on church doors. Threats against the church continued after the fire. Like many African-American churches have experienced, after Inner City's insurance paid their claim, it said it would not be renewing the policy.

The Yemaya Fund gift was offered in the spirit of solidarity with others struggling for religious freedom. The fund continues to accept donations. To contribute, make a check out to "PCF" and write "Yemaya Fund" on the memo line. Send to Pagan Community Fund, PO Box 121, Garden City MO 64747.