Project Trust, Part 2

Kaiser Foundation of Northern California Innovation Grant



This initiative was begun by the Center for Innovation in Ministry, featuring research exploration of the reasons for underuse of mental health systems by African American communities in the Bay Area. 2019 is the second consecutive year the Center has received the grant.

This research was conducted in partnership with academic researchers from Palo Alto University. All research was compliant with the standards set by the Institutional Review Board (also known as the Independent Ethics Committee.)

Grant Purpose

  • Addresses the central challenge of distrust amongst marginalized communities, their religious and spiritual leaders, and mental health practitioners.  
  • Seeks to first understand the barriers unique to underserved communities, and then find ways to overcome gaps in understanding among healthcare and pastoral care practitioners in order to increase effectiveness of mental health services.
  • Will focus on African American individuals in faith communities throughout Oakland and San Francisco, including LGBTQ and sexual minorities.

Granting Organization

Kaiser Foundation of Northern California Innovation Grant (Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs)


Rev. Floyd Thompkins

Director of the Center for Innovation in Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary

Peter Goldblum, PhD, MPH

Professor Emeritus and past Director of Clinical Training at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University

Rev. Dr. D. Mark Wilson

Assistant Professor of Congregational Leadership at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley

Dr. Lisa Brown

Professor Director, Trauma Area of Emphasis Director, Risk and Resilience Research Lab Co-Chair, Palo Alto University Institutional Review Board Faculty Advisor, Association of Traumatic Stress Studies

Expected Outcomes

  • Will create a prototype and procedural manual for the development of a training model for pastoral and mental health care by individuals with histories of cultural trauma.
  • Will create a prototype of a Trust Network, consisting of community activist, pastoral care providers, and mental health professionals who have training and expertise in collaborative, culturally sensitive care.
  • Will survey 11 African American churches about mental health and spirituality
  • Will create a Toolbox for African-American pastors to help congregations understand and find resources for mental health and give appropriate referrals
  • Will conduct in-service training for Kaiser Permanente physicians and mental health professionals that stems from research findings.

Learn More about Our Other Initiatives