Latest Lilly Endowment Inc. News

Nigeria's Osun River: Sacred, revered and increasingly toxic

Aug. 19, 2022 00:10 AM EDT

OSOGBO, Nigeria (AP) — Yeyerisa Abimbola has dedicated most of her 58 years on Earth to the Osun, a waterway in deeply religious Nigeria named for the river goddess of fertility. As the deity’s chief priestess, she leads other women known as servants of Osun in daily worship and sacrificial...

Jordan River, Jesus' baptism site, is today barely a trickle

Aug. 18, 2022 16:55 PM EDT

ALONG THE JORDAN RIVER (AP) — Kristen Burckhartt felt overwhelmed. She needed time to reflect, to let it sink in that she had just dipped her feet in the water where Jesus is said to have been baptized, in the Jordan River. “It’s very profound,” said the 53-year-old visitor...

Jordan River, Jesus' baptism site, is today barely a trickle

Aug. 18, 2022 16:54 PM EDT

ALONG THE JORDAN RIVER (AP) — Kristen Burckhartt felt overwhelmed. She needed time to reflect, to let it sink in that she had just briefly soaked her feet in the water where Jesus is said to have been baptized, in the Jordan River. “It’s very profound,” said the 53-year-old...

Judge limits privilege defense in AZ Mormon sex abuse case

Aug. 18, 2022 13:06 PM EDT

An Arizona judge overseeing a high-profile lawsuit accusing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of conspiring to cover-up child sex abuse has ruled that the church may not refuse to answer questions or turn over documents under the state’s “clergy-penitent privilege.” ...

Indiana putting $111M toward raising youth literacy rate

Aug. 18, 2022 12:12 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana will spend more than $100 million on trying to improve children's reading proficiency, the governor announced Thursday, in a move that comes amid concerns about modest and unequal literacy rates among the state's young students. Republican Gov. Eric...

For early-childhood grantmakers, collaboration is key

Aug. 18, 2022 11:43 AM EDT

When Phyllis Glink took a job at the Irving Harris Foundation 26 years ago, “we were by far the biggest funders in early childhood because there weren’t that many of us,” she recalls. A group of maybe a dozen foundations interested in early-childhood issues would sometimes...

Columbia River's salmon are at the core of ancient religion

Aug. 18, 2022 09:40 AM EDT

ALONG THE COLUMBIA RIVER (AP) — James Kiona stands on a rocky ledge overlooking Lyle Falls where the water froths and rushes through steep canyon walls just before merging with the Columbia River. His silvery ponytail flutters in the wind, and a string of eagle claws adorns his neck. ...

Nepal's holy Bagmati River choked with black sewage, trash

Aug. 17, 2022 03:04 AM EDT

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — High on a mountain in the Himalayas, pristine drops fall from the mouth of a tiger statue installed at a stream thought to form the headwaters of the Bagmati River, long revered as having the power to purify souls. From there it wends its way downhill past verdant forests...

Lag in slavery reparations from US Jesuits irks descendants

Aug. 16, 2022 10:57 AM EDT

Last year, the U.S. branch of the Jesuits pledged to raise $100 million for a reconciliation initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved by the Catholic order. On Tuesday, a leader of those descendants expressed deep dissatisfaction with the order's lack of progress since...

MacKenzie Scott gives $39 million to Junior Achievement USA

Aug. 16, 2022 10:05 AM EDT

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $38.8 million to Junior Achievement USA and 26 local operations — the largest single gift in its 103-year history — the national education nonprofit announced Tuesday. Like all of Scott’s nearly $12 billion in donations since...