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 2017:
- The African American Leadership Forum—Twin Cities 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 intergenerational leaders, while fostering a long-term commitment to improve the community.
- The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s Center for Communities will support its second cohort of the Community Equity Pipeline, a ten-month hands-on training program for 15 leaders of color who will work to increase their legislative lobbying skills and develop influence in the legislative process.
- The University of Minnesota’s Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy will conduct a community-based participatory research project in partnership with African American parents, caregivers, and leaders of nonprofits to study and ultimately help shape state and municipal public policies such as the new paid leave policy in Minneapolis.
- 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 prevent wage theft and improve workplace conditions.
- The Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota will continue its legislative advocacy work to advance public policies that 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 to promote equity.
- FairVote Minnesota Foundation will provide education and training about ranked choice voting to organizations that are working to increase voter turnout and build coalitions through the 2017 Minneapolis municipal election season.
- Hope Community will continue its Organizing for Equity Project, a ten-year-old program that prepares emerging leaders for issue advocacy and leadership positions in the community.
- The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota will continue to provide legal assistance to low-income refugees and immigrants, as well as advocacy around immigration reforms.
- The Lake Street Council will continue to support its members, mostly small business owners in the Lake Street Corridor of Minneapolis, who are working to shape and influence city policies that promote equitable economic development.
- The Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota will continue its work to increase learning and dialogue between Minneapolis Southeast Asian community members, City of Minneapolis staff, elected officials, and area law enforcement agencies.
- The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union Foundation will provide communications work and legislative advocacy as a member of the Restore the Vote Coalition, which is working to restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Minnesotans who have felony convictions and are not incarcerated, living in the community under supervision.
- The Minnesotan Coalition for the Homeless will continue its legislative advocacy focused on issues of voting rights, affordable housing, and economic security.
- Neighborhoods Organizing for Change will continue its work to advance equitable public policies through community organizing, leadership development, and legislative advocacy.
- Minnesota Voice will continue its We Vote MN Fellows program, a leadership development program and integrated voter engagement campaign for organizers of color at local nonprofit organizations.
- The Native American Community Development Institute will execute its Organizing Leadership Institute, an academy that develops emerging American Indian leaders interested in civic leadership.
- The Partnership Fund, a funding collaborative, will support local nonprofit organizations working to build independent political power in Minnesota.
- Nexus Community Partners will continue its Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute in the Twin Cities. The institute, which is currently engaged with its fourth cohort of 15 students, works with leaders of color who seek to serve on city and county boards and commissions.
- Pillsbury United Communities will serve as the anchor organization in a coalition of immigrant-led organizations that are working together to improve the lives of immigrants through a collective legislative agenda and community organizing to help inform the Minnesota New American Integration Act.
- The University of Minnesota’s Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice will offer the fourth Wilkins Community Fellowship, a week-long intensive program that introduces participants – mostly nonprofit leaders of color – to public policy analysis skills, using a racial lens.
- The Somali Action Alliance Education Fund will encourage and prepare Somali residents of the Twin Cities who are interested in leadership positions on neighborhood councils, city boards and commissions, school site councils, nonprofit boards, and elected office. It will also support the organization’s work to convene community members and police officials around issues of police/community relations.
- Through its Justice 4 All campaign, the Take Action Education Fund will continue its participation on the Restore the Vote Coalition, leading the coalition’s grassroots organizing effort to restore voting rights to nearly 50,000 Minnesotans who are living in our community with a supervised status after a felony conviction.
- The Twin Cities Media Alliance will shape and share narratives that support movement-building and inspire new thinking among decision-makers, while also working to increase the communications capacity of nonprofit organizations serving marginalized communities.
- Voices for Racial Justice will advance racial, social, cultural, and economic justice through its community organizer trainings, strategic public policy research, and convening of multi-racial coalitions.
- Vote Run Lead will continue to offer in-person and online training to inform and equip the growing, diverse network of Twin Cities women who are interested in civic leadership. Vote Run Lead is a national nonpartisan organization that is building a diverse pipeline of talented, qualified women who aim to step into positions of community leadership.
- 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.
- Women Organizing Women will execute its signature Dumar Leadership Model, a culturally specific approach to civic leadership development that was created by and for Somali American women.
To view a list of 2016 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.