Our civic engagement grants support efforts to increase the number of people of color who vote, remove systemic barriers to voting, and strengthen leadership, advocacy, and organizing capacity in diverse communities. Here’s what our grant recipients are doing in 2018:
- The African American Leadership Forum will offer the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy, a year-long program designed to meet the personal, cultural, civic, and professional development needs of 15-20 leaders, while fostering in them a long-term commitment to improve the community.
- The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s Center for Communities will offer the Community Equity Pipeline, a ten-month hands-on training program for leaders of color to develop their legislative lobbying skills.
- Casa de Esperanza will offer Fuerza Unida Amig@s, a leadership training for 12 Latinas who will engage in advocacy, community building, and systems change work around policies related to domestic violence.
- Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), which translates as the Center of Workers United in Struggle, will develop the leadership of low-wage workers to reshape policies and practices that improve workplace conditions.
- The Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota will help low-income Minnesota families develop advocacy skills. The grant will also support the organization’s legislative advocacy to improve the well-being of children and strengthen the economic security of families.
- The Coalition of Asian American Leaders will grow its multigenerational, multi-ethnic, multi-sector initiative to connect and cultivate diverse Asian American leaders who are working for systems changes that create a more equitable Minnesota.
- Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment (HACER) will conduct research to map Latino leaders and communities throughout the metro area and southern Minnesota. This project, which will also identify assets and needs in these communities, will culminate in a report that will be shared with Latino-led organizations working on public policy and voter engagement.
- Hope Community will offer the Organizing for Equity Project, which includes SPEAC, an eleven-year-old program that prepares people for issue advocacy and leadership positions in the community. Hope will also continue evaluation of its leadership development initiatives, assessing and identifying key benchmarks to guide its efforts.
- The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota will continue to provide legal assistance to low-income refugees and immigrants and serve as a leading advocate for immigration reforms.
- Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia (Renters United for Justice) will help low-income renters organize and advocate for affordable and dignified rental housing in Minneapolis.
- The Lake Street Council will help small business owners in the Lake Street corridor of Minneapolis shape and influence city policies that promote equitable economic development and reduce racial disparities in business ownership.
- The Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota will offer the Southeast Asian Engagement Project, a platform for learning and dialogue between Southeast Asian community members, City of Minneapolis staff, elected officials, and area law enforcement agencies.
- Latino LEAD, an initiative that has been incubated since 2013 at The Minneapolis Foundation, will develop and connect Latino leaders across sectors, while working to influence public policy and shape a new narrative about Latinos in Minnesota.
- The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union Foundation will conduct communications work and legislative advocacy as a member of the Restore the Vote Coalition. Members of its grassroots network, People Power, will also join the fight to restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Minnesotans who have felony convictions but are not incarcerated.
- Minnesota Voice will continue the We Vote MN Fellows program, a leadership development program for community organizers, and lead an integrated voter engagement campaign in Minnesota.
- The Partnership Fund, a national funding collaborative, will support local nonprofit organizations working to build independent political power in Minnesota.
- Nexus Community Partners will offer the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute. The institute, which is currently engaged with its fifth cohort of 15 participants, prepares leaders of color who seek to serve on government boards and commissions.
- OutFront Minnesota will work to strengthen the civic leadership and activism of LGBTQ community members and allies.
- The University of Minnesota’s Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice will offer the fifth Wilkins Community Fellowship and other opportunities to help nonprofit leaders of color develop skills related to public policy analysis and evaluation.
- Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE) will amplify the voice and power of Muslim women through leadership development, civic engagement, the shaping and sharing of narratives about Muslim women, and construction of a network that equips and encourages Muslim women to be active in civic leadership.
- The Somali Action Alliance Education Fund will encourage and prepare Somali residents in Minneapolis-St. Paul to serve in civic and nonprofit leadership roles. The grant will also support the organization’s work to convene community members and police officials around issues concerning Somali Americans.
- The Take Action Education Fund will conduct grassroots organizing to fuel engagement of diverse Minnesotans in advocacy to defend democracy and advance racial, social, and economic justice. It will also support Mesa Latina, a Latino-led statewide community organizing and advocacy initiative.
- The Twin Cities Media Alliance will use its flagship production, Twin Cities Daily Planet, to inform marginalized communities and engage them in conversations about government functions, particularly around the intersection of equity issues and elected office holders.
- Voices for Racial Justice will advance racial, social, cultural, and economic justice through community organizer trainings, strategic public policy research, and convenings of multi-racial coalitions.
- Vote Run Lead will offer in-person and online nonpartisan training to inform and equip the growing, diverse network of Minneapolis-St. Paul women who are interested in holding elected office.
- The WE WIN Institute will offer Parents Make the Academic Difference, a program that helps low-income parents of color advocate for their children in order to increase student achievement. The program also helps parents advance equity by influencing school policies and procedures.
To view a list of 2017 civic engagement grant recipients, click here.
To learn more about our competitive grant application process or The Minneapolis Foundation’s funding priorities, please contact Catherine Gray, Director of Impact Strategy, Civic Engagement, at email@example.com.