First Round of
Racial and Economic Justice Grants Awarded
The Minneapolis Foundation today announced $3,320,000 in grants to 84 local organizations that are doing innovative work to advance racial and economic justice.
These are the first awards made from a new annual grant opportunity that flows from the Minneapolis Foundation’s strategic framework, which launched in the fall of 2020. In developing this framework, the Foundation engaged in a deep listening and co-creation process, convening more than 100 nonprofit leaders to understand how it could partner more closely with them and communities they serve.
“Today more than ever, we strive to be responsive rather than prescriptive,” said Chanda Smith Baker, the Minneapolis Foundation’s Chief Impact Officer and Senior Vice President. “These grants reflect our commitment to investing in community-shaped and community-driven solutions. We want to fund the approaches and strategies that community leaders see working on the ground.”
Racial and Economic Justice grants support organizations and projects that: 1) Advance structural and systems change through policy advocacy, organizing, and movement building; 2) Invest in economic systems and practices that build wealth and stabilize communities; and 3) Advance narrative strategies focused on racial and economic justice.
Funded organizations were able to demonstrate how their work advances economic and racial justice. They also showed how their work is responsive and embeds the voices of those most affected by challenges in the community.
One grant will support the Planting SEADs storytelling program.
“This grant will allow us to build and center new narratives that tell the full lived experiences of Southeast Asian diaspora communities. It will ensure that our cross-racial, multi-cultural, and intergenerational cultural organizing work gives community members the resources and space to heal and empowers them to mobilize for social justice.” — Chanida Phaengdara Potter, Executive Director and Community Architect at The SEAD Project
Another grant will enable the City of Lakes Community Land Trust to deepen its technical support of Community Land Trust initiatives led by African American and Native American communities. “We are committed to serving households of color at rates of at least three times the community of color homeownership rates in the city of Minneapolis,” said Jeff Washburne, the organization’s Executive Director.
The grants announced today will support these organizations:
- African American Leadership Forum: $55,000 to support a Black-centered design process to support policy makers, business leaders, and community leaders to make informed decisions that reduce disparities in the community.
- African Career Education and Resources Inc. (ACER): $45,000 to build power with African immigrants who are living in the Northwest suburbs and taking action on issues of housing, civic participation, and economic mobility.
- African Development Center: $45,000 to support strategies to grow businesses, build wealth, and increase financial literacy among African immigrants and refugees.
- African Economic Development Solutions: $30,000 to provide technical assistance, marketing support, and lending to businesses owned by African immigrants.
- Ain Dah Yung Shelter, Inc: $45,000 to support their shelter’s American Indian Intertribal Youth Council, which aims to shape and inform state and local policies regarding homelessness, foster care, and the juvenile justice system.
- Al Maa-Uun: $30,000 to provide workforce development services for African American men in North Minneapolis.
- All Square: $45,000 to develop a pipeline of formerly incarcerated adults who go on to practice law, and to support hiring by the newly created All Square Law Firm.
- Alliance for Metropolitan Stability: $40,000 to support and strengthen strategic, multi-racial coalitions that advance intersectional approaches to racial and economic justice.
- American Indian OIC: $50,000 to support vocational education and career counseling services that help people enter, reenter, and advance in the workforce.
- Amherst H. Wilder Foundation: $40,000 to support the Community Equity Program, which provides legislative training to advance equitable public policies through lobbying while building a network of support for BIPOC participants.
- Asian American Organizing Project: $40,000 to build power through intersectional community organizing and coalition work aimed to advance equitable outcomes across multiple issues, including ethnic studies and voting rights.
- Ayada Leads: $35,000 to increase the collective power of women from the African diaspora by helping them prepare for and attain positions of civic leadership.
- Bii Gii Wiin Community Development Loan Fund (MNI SOTA Fund): $40,000 to support a small business accelerator and matching funds for Individual Development Accounts for Native families.
- Black Table Arts: $40,000 to support Black artists and to enable the organization to operate as a pay-as-you-can cultural and political cooperative space.
- Black Women’s Wealth Alliance: $30,000 to provide technical support and financial assistance to Black women with businesses located along West Broadway and Lake Street.
- Bridgemakers: 40,000 to support BIPOC youth artists, activists, and entrepreneurs in building a digital media platform to uplift narratives, ideas, and organizing on issues of equity.
- Build Wealth Minnesota, Inc.: $40,000 to provide comprehensive wealth building strategies and access to financing for homeownership.
- Building Dignity and Respect Standards Council: $30,000 to support a worker-driven initiative that asks developers to enter legally binding agreements that require all contractors on a project to abide by a worker-developed code of conduct and monitoring procedures that guarantee fair treatment, a safe workplace, and a voice for workers.
- CAPI: $40,000 to advance collective action that increases equitable access to jobs, housing, financial services, and community-led planning of transit and development along the Bottineau LRT Corridor.
- Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization: $30,000 to support community organizing by and with the residents and business owners in neighborhoods surrounding George Floyd Square.
- Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL): $50,000 to build power by developing the leadership of low-wage workers to expose and combat labor trafficking, improve wages and conditions, and shape equitable workplace policies in Minneapolis and across Minnesota.
- Centro Tyrone Guzman: $30,000 to strengthen the civic participation of Latino students and families working to influence education policies in Minneapolis Public Schools.
- Children’s Defense Fund: $40,000 to build community power through convening, leadership development, and activism that shapes and informs policies that improve economic security for Minnesota families.
- City of Lakes Community Land Trust: $50,000 to support a collaborative that will launch the Commercial Land Trust Initiative, a program that uses the community land trust mechanism, which has been shown to increase home ownership, to preserve the availability and affordability of community-owned commercial space.
Photos from the City of Lakes Community Land Trust
- City of Lakes Community Land Trust: $45,000 to support homeownership opportunities in Native American and African American communities.
- Coalition of Asian American Leaders: $55,000 to organize and promote an Asian communal and family-based wealth building model.
- Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES): $50,000 to provide comprehensive economic empowerment services for Latino and immigrant families.
- Comunidades Organizando el Poder y la Accion Latina: $45,000 to support Latinx leadership development, organizing, advocacy, and policy advancement to eliminate racial and economic inequities.
- Corcoran Neighborhood Organization: $40,000 to recruit first-time BIPOC entrepreneurs for the Midtown Farmers Market.
- Dream of Wild Health: $40,000 to expand work with the Indigenous Food Network, which engages people in issues of farming, social enterprise, food sovereignty, youth education, and policy changes to restore and protect healthy foods, medicines, and cultural lifeways.
- Emerge Community Development: $40,000 to expand employment, career training and housing services to individuals who are reentering the community after being incarcerated.
- Family Housing Fund: $30,000 to support first-time BIPOC home buyers in purchasing multiplex buildings so they can build wealth as owner-occupant landlords.
- Friends of the Global Market: $50,000 to support immigrant-owned businesses housed in the Midtown Global Market by improving signage and seating.
- Green Card Voices: $25,000 to work with 60 multi-lingual high school students to create a curriculum and book that will elevate immigrant and refugee narratives to foster belonging and cultural awareness.
- Harrison Neighborhood Association: $35,000 to support tenant organizing to combat displacement in the redevelopment of Olson Townhomes.
- Hennepin Theatre Trust: $25,000 to support commissioned public art programming that amplifies the voices and work of BIPOC social practice artists highlighting racial justice through social media and digital billboards.
- Hope Community: $50,000 to advance an equity agenda in the policy and practices of the Minneapolis Parks Board.
- Immigrant Law Center of MN: $50,000 to support advocacy work to advance system-wide legislative changes at the local and state levels to address racial discrimination and allow immigrants to live safely in Minnesota.
- Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia: $50,000 to support organizing and advocacy that protects tenant rights, including eviction protection, displacement, and rent control.
- ISAIAH: $50,000 to build a coalition of parents and early-childhood educators who will develop a vision and strategy to advance funding and policies that will improve economic security for both families and providers.
- Islamic Civic Society of America: $40,000 to support a program for Somali teachers to train and organize Somali families to better advocate for their children’s success in schools.
- KFAI, Fresh Air Radio, Inc.: $25,000 to amplify underrepresented voices in BIPOC and immigrant communities through their participation as on-air hosts and program developers, and by providing training in the industry of radio broadcasting.
- Lake Street Latino Business Association: $40,000 to support an alliance of Latino businesses along Lake Street.
- Latino Economic Development Center: $45,000 to support Latino and immigrant advocacy to address education, economic, and cultural injustices.
- LatinoLEAD: $50,000 to build leadership, elevate Latinx narratives, and cultivate collective Latinx power to shape and advance equitable policies.
- Legal Rights Center: $45,000 to build power with clients who will advocate for transformational policies and practices in Hennepin County’s criminal justice system.
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation: $50,000 to support the collaboration of BIPOC-led organizations in developing community ownership models for BIPOC businesses.
- Market Entry Fund: $45,000 to support Asian and Black entrepreneur food start-ups and help ensure their equitable participation in the marketplace.
- Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers: $45,000 to support a small-business shared ownership model that includes flexible loans and recoverable grants in BIPOC and low-wealth communities.
- Metropolitan Economic Development Association: $50,000 to accelerate the growth of BIPOC businesses through private anchor spending by Fortune 500 companies.
- Midwest Mixed: $25,000 to use dialogue and artistic expression to help mixed and transracial adoptees of color become powerful change agents in the struggle for racial equity and justice.
- Minnesota American Indian Center: $40,000 to support a narrative strategy to spotlight racial bias and systemic inequities that negatively impact Native American women and their families.
- Minnesota Council of Nonprofits: $20,000 to support policy efforts to advance racial and economic equity for low-income families in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Education Equity Partnership: $40,000 to increase the number of teachers of color in Minnesota through narrative strategies that tackle systemic barriers and promote the profession of teaching.
- Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition: $40,000 to amplify intergenerational voices to eradicate sexual violence against Native women and children.
- Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light: $30,000 to support solar accessibility to BIPOC businesses impacted by last summer’s civil unrest.
- Minnesota Second Chance Coalition: $40,000 to support advocacy that aims to remove barriers to reentry after incarceration and to reduce mass incarceration.
- MN NORML: $30,000 to build diverse engagement and leadership that will shape equitable economic opportunities in the movement to legalize cannabis in Minnesota.
- MN350: $40,000 to support organizing, advocacy, and leadership for transit and environmental equity.
- National Lawyers’ Guild Minnesota: $40,000 for legal observers during protests and pro bono representation for those exercising First Amendment rights.
- Native American Community Development Institute: $55,000 to support community engagement and economic investment in the American Indian Blueprint for the Franklin Avenue cultural corridor.
- Navigate MN: $45,000 to support Latinx organizing and advocacy for permanent protection of immigrants and refugees.
- Neighborhood Development Center: $50,000 to support BIPOC-owned businesses through technical assistance, entrepreneurship training, and lending.
- New American Development Center: $35,000 to build wealth in the Somali and East African communities through programs and services that aim to increase homeownership and entrepreneurship.
- New Native Theatre: $25,000 to support the development of Native artists and address root causes of exclusion and power dynamics embedded in American theater.
- North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems: $30,000 to support programs that help people develop and maintain Indigenous food products and businesses.
- Northside Economic Opportunity Network: $50,000 to provide comprehensive business development and support for Black and African entrepreneurs.
- Open Access Connections: $30,000 to support the Generation 50+ program, a grassroots advocacy group for people with a history of homelessness.
- Pangea World Theater: $40,000 to support a series of multi-disciplinary collaborative projects that interrogate gentrification and the siloing of struggles while centering the histories and present-day realities of diverse communities along Lake Street.
- Powderhorn Residents Group, Inc.: $35,000 to reduce racial homeownership gaps through foreclosure prevention and affordable housing development.
- Public Functionary: $40,000 to support strategies that provide economic pathways for young and under-represented BIPOC artists.
- ReleaseMN8: $35,000 to strengthen advocacy efforts to fight unjust deportations and detention policies impacting Southeast Asian Minnesotans.
- Reviving Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment: $35,000 to support organizing and advocacy by Muslim women to influence policy change at the local and state level.
- Sakan Community Resources Inc.: $25,0000 to provide financial counseling and alternative home ownership financing options for Somali and Muslim families.
- Seward Redesign Inc: $40,000 to expand services that provide culturally appropriate loan products to the diverse communities along Franklin Avenue and Lake Street.
- The Riverside Plaza Tenants Association: $40,000 to support outreach and training for unemployed youth and adults in obtaining certification across entry-level, mid-level and advanced information technology networks.
Photo from the SEAD Project
- The SEAD Project: $40,000 to elevate intergenerational storytellers and reshape narratives of Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Viet diaspora on issues of racial and economic justice.
- Twin Cities Innovation Alliance: $30,000 to provide a Black-centered platform for youth to develop projects that lift their own perspectives while disrupting dominant-culture narratives about Black youth.
- Twin Cities Media Alliance: $35,000 to support multi-racial editorial cohorts that will elevate narratives about policies and politics in an online platform to inform community dialogues, deepen understanding of issues, and promote civic engagement.
- Twin Cities Public Television: $25,000 to support a Community Resiliency Council that builds racial and cultural equity into emergency response ecosystems and recovery efforts.
- Urban Homeworks: $30,000 to support community engagement and grassroots advocacy work on housing issues in Minneapolis.
- Voices for Racial Justice: $50,000 to invest in leadership development and strategies that advance civic engagement and power building across Minnesota BIPOC communities.
- West Bank Business Association: $25,000 to elevate positive impressions of the West Bank cultural district through a new ambassador program and safety efforts with residents and businesses.
- Whittier Alliance: $30,000 to support a community engagement process that advocates for the protection of affordable housing and commercial development during the city-led redevelopment of the Kmart site on Lake Street.
- WomenVenture: $25,000 to support women entrepreneurs through business training, peer support, and lending services.
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