& Economic Justice
Through investments ranging from grants to convenings, we support community-led efforts to disrupt inequitable systems, close racial wealth gaps, and stabilize communities.
Our 2022-2023 Highlights
Racial & Economic Justice Grants – We awarded $3.4 million to 81 local organizations that are engaged in policy advocacy and movement building, investing in strategies to build generational wealth in communities of color, and advancing narrative strategies focused on racial and economic justice. See who we funded.
Main Street Grants – In partnership with LISC Twin Cities, Propel Nonprofits, and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda), we are administering $29.5 million in grants made possible by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED’s) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program. This funding supports small businesses, property owners, developers, and nonprofits pursuing commercial projects along key corridors in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, and Brooklyn Park. Funding prioritizes communities of color that were hit hard by COVID-19 and the destruction following the murder of George Floyd. To date, we have committed nearly $21 million in Main Street grants to 54 projects, from Juxtaposition Arts on West Broadway Avenue to a pizzeria near 38th and Chicago. Learn more.
Lake Street Bus Tours – In the fall of 2022, we invited our fundholders to tour a few of the revitalization projects springing up along Lake Street, one of our city’s most important commercial corridors and a great example of work the Minneapolis Foundation is fueling throughout the metro. We heard from partners at the Lake Street Council, Neighborhood Development Center, Redesign Inc., and Project for Pride in Living and stopped by 3030 Nicollet and the Coliseum Building. Watch our tour video.
Criminal Justice Reform – Through our Fund for Safe Communities, we made investments to prevent community violence and address racial and economic inequities in the criminal legal system. These efforts included funding for a report from the Minnesota Justice Research Center on the effects of Hennepin County’s pretrial system as well as one from the Robina Institute on the landscape of fines and fees for criminal convictions in Minnesota. We also supported a Harvard report commissioned after George Floyd’s murder that recommends changes to how Minneapolis approaches public safety—work that is now influencing the city’s Office of Community Safety.
With communities statewide, we also celebrated passage of state legislation restoring voting rights to Minnesotans who have left prison behind. The new law was the result of many years of advocacy by individuals and families impacted by the legal system, alongside a broad coalition of people and organizations that we were proud to support.
With support from a 2023 Racial and Economic Justice grant, Mni Sota Fund promotes home ownership, entrepreneurship, and financial wellness in Indigenous communities throughout Minnesota. Watch this video to learn how the organization helped one small business owner pursue her dreams.
Inspired by this work? Learn more about innovative community efforts to advance racial and economic justice on our Learning Hub.