The Minneapolis Foundation is pleased to welcome Patrice Relerford as its new Director of Impact Strategy – Education. Relerford, who came to the Foundation in January as a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow, brings nearly a decade of experience in nonprofit development and education reporting to her new role.
Launched in 2013 by the Bush Foundation and the Minnesota Council on Foundations, the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship prepares high potential leaders from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. Before receiving a McKinley Fellowship, Relerford served as the institutional support coordinator and grant writer at People Serving People, a family‐oriented shelter in Minneapolis. She began her career as an education reporter at the Star Tribune.
“The metro area’s disparities in academic achievement, employment, voting and home ownership won’t just fade away on their own,” Relerford said. “To achieve racial, social and economic equity, we need to ask tough questions and hold our systems accountable. I look forward to working with the Minneapolis Foundation’s community partners to address these inequities.”
As a Star Tribune staff reporter, Relerford covered the Minneapolis Public Schools and west metro area school districts. She wrote about a variety of issues including standardized testing, charter schools, student homelessness, budgets, and elections and developed an understanding of the complexities of closing the opportunity gap. Recognizing her desire to help close the gap, she left journalism to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management at the University of Illinois‐Chicago.
“Patrice’s unique skillset and the breadth and depth of her experience, along with her passion for finding collaborative solutions to community challenges, make her an invaluable addition to our team,” said Luz María Frías, Vice President of Community Impact at the Minneapolis Foundation.