Catalyst Initiative at The Minneapolis Foundation awards grants to five community organizations advancing self-care in community

The Catalyst Initiative at The Minneapolis Foundation announced it has awarded $800,000 in grants that will enable five community organizations to expand their work to build the capacity for self-care and embed culturally meaningful trauma-healing practices in their communities.

Catalyst awarded two-year grants to the Islamic Civic Society of America/Open Path Resources, the Irreducible Grace Foundation, the Native American Community Clinic, the Northside Healing Space Collaborative and White Earth Land Recovery Project.

These grants continue Catalyst’s focus on supporting mind-body healing practices that are culturally relevant. Recipients were invited to apply based on their demonstrated capacity for driving change in ways that make sense to their specific communities.

Catalyst’s latest grant round was made possible by significant funding from the Bush Foundation in 2019.

“The Bush Foundation’s generous grant has allowed us to expand our partnership with five community groups that have established their commitment and ability to do this important work,” said Suzanne Koepplinger, director of the Catalyst Initiative. “These grants build on the success of previous seed grants awarded by Catalyst, allowing us to invest more deeply in the self-care and resilience of the communities we serve.”

Dr. Darlene Fry, executive director of the Irreducible Grace Foundation (IGF), shared her organization’s excitement to be a Catalyst grantee and explained how the funding will allow them to build their mind-body medicine curriculum to help children in the community through their IGF Kids program. “Our work with elementary school kids has taught us how open and receptive they are to learning wellness tools, and that they are anxious and willing to share their knowledge with teachers, friends and families. Young children can become leaders of this work, and that is what motivated us to focus our commitment on youth and further expand and develop IGF Kids,” said Dr. Fry.

The complete list of grants awarded includes:

Islamic Civic Society of America/Open Path Resources – $190,000 ($95,000 per year) to expand awareness and utilization of the Islamic Mind-Body Medicine Toolkit in the East African community, broaden the training of local leadership in mind-body medicine, and grow the fundraising capacity and systems influence of the organization.

Irreducible Grace Foundation – $170,000 ($85,000 per year) to develop a stress management curriculum and performance piece for young children, with a particular focus on black, indigenous and people of color communities. The grant will also deepen the skills of staff and key youth leaders in mind-body medicine training, as well as train a second cohort of youth leaders to expand the outreach of IGF’s Fostering Wellbeing workshops.

Native American Community Clinic – $140,000 ($70,000 per year) to provide more in-depth training in mind-body medicine for the staff of this Federally Qualified Health Center and for a cohort of Native American community leaders. In addition, the grant will enable outreach to local schools to support resilience, particularly at South High School and Nawayee Center School in Minneapolis.

Northside Healing Space Collaborative – Liberty Community Church – $140,000 ($70,000 per year) to bring together survivor-leaders of the sex trade in north Minneapolis and normalize the healing of trauma in an effort to reduce exploitation and build survivor leadership and youth empowerment. The grant will also support healing circles grounded in an Afrocentric model that foster cultural healing and promote community-wide healing.

White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) – $160,000 ($80,000 per year) to increase the number of community members who are trained to facilitate mind-body medicine groups. The grant will also fund a pilot project to teach mind-body medicine stress management practices to White Earth Tribal members in the Becker County Jail, and to use reservation radio to reach tribal members with information about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and using cultural healing to interrupt generational trauma.

Originally started by the George Family Foundation in 2014, the Catalyst Initiative has awarded more than $1.2 million in grants to community organizations that promote culturally authentic self-care and healing practices. The Catalyst Initiative became a Field of Interest Fund at The Minneapolis Foundation in 2018.

For more information, visit the Catalyst Initiative’s page on The Minneapolis Foundation’s website.