Minneapolis Climate Action and Racial Equity Fund caps off successful first year with $65,000 in grants

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Minneapolis Climate Action and Racial Equity Fund wrapped up its first year by awarding $65,000 in grants to three local organizations that are doing innovative work to take action on climate change.

The new charitable fund, a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Foundation and the McKnight Foundation, today announced its second round of grants. They include:

  • $25,000 to the Lake Street Council and the West Bank Business Association for an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating the conditions for small businesses to be less dependent on automobile traffic. These organizations will help businesses proactively adapt to changes in the transportation system and ensure that public investments in carbon-free transportation options are guided by local knowledge and made accessible to residents and visitors to the Lake Street and West Bank districts of Minneapolis.
  • $15,000 to Dream of Wild Health for its stewardship of and education about indigenous seeds. Dream of Wild Health organizes the Upper Midwest Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, a database service that catalogues and shares critical information about seeds from across the region. The network partners with tribes and Native organizations to develop trainings on growing, protecting, preserving, and sharing indigenous seeds. These seeds promote climate change resilience by supporting the ability of Native communities to grow and eat locally, reducing their dependence on the industrial food system and lowering their carbon footprint. This grant will enable Dream of Wild Health to improve and expand seed collection, develop value-added products based on seeds, and use the seeds as a culturally based tool to engage the Native community in climate resilience activities.
  • $25,000 to Black Visions Collective to expand the base of Black leaders in the Twin Cities who are fighting for climate equity. Funded activities include development of an environmental justice leadership table composed of people of color and indigenous leaders. Black Visions Collective aims to grow the base of people from the communities that are most directly impacted by climate and energy issues who will lead strategic campaigns that change conditions and policies affecting the environment.

Overall, the fund received more than $240,000 in requests from 11 applicants in this grant round. Applications were reviewed by a committee composed of staff members at The Minneapolis Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the City of Minneapolis, and the Mayor’s Office as well as several residents who serve on City of Minneapolis Green Zones working committees.

The fund offers grants for place-based, community-driven initiatives and projects that result in a demonstrable reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions. Funding supports proposals that further one or more goals of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, which include:

  • Increasing energy efficiency
  • Encouraging the use of renewable energy
  • A reduction in vehicle miles traveled
  • Efforts to recycle, reuse and otherwise reduce the community’s waste stream

Funded projects should also advance the City of Minneapolis’ Strategic Racial Equity Action

Plan, a four-year plan to embed racial equity principles throughout the city’s work.

The fund’s next grant round is expected to open in early 2020. To receive announcements about grant opportunities, sign up to receive email updates from The Minneapolis Foundation at www.minneapolisfoundation.org/grants/other-funding.

Businesses and members of the public can contribute to the fund by texting climatempls to 243725, or by going to www.climatempls.org.