Community-led grantmaking brings more than $161,000 to cultural communities across Minnesota

(December 12, 2018) The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations today announced more than $161,000 in grants made by the Diversity Endowment Funds – community-led funds where grantmaking is driven by members of the same racial and cultural communities that benefit from proposed projects and programs. The funds include Asian Pacific Endowment, El Fondo de Nuestra Comunidad, Pan African Community Endowment and Two Feathers Endowment.

Twenty-two organizations throughout Minnesota will receive grants through this community-responsive model.

“The Diversity Endowment Funds are one way the Foundations live our commitment to equity,” said Nadege Souvenir, associate vice president of Community Impact. “To make effective investments in the good work throughout our state, it is critical that funding decisions are informed by the communities that benefit from the work.”

Asian Pacific Endowment supports nonprofits that use culture to address social change and capture historic experience within the Asian Pacific community and made 11 grants totaling $55,900. Among these was a $5,000 grant to Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota for the Lao Youth Culture Camp. The camp will serve 50 Lao youth as they build relationships and friendships, cultivate a sense of belonging, affirm cultural identity and explore new horizons.

El Fondo de Nuestra Comunidad focuses on creating pathways to citizenship for the Latino community and made six grants totaling $61,000. Among these was a $15,000 to Rice County Neighbors United of Northfield. The organization will hold workshops and interactive sessions for Latino community members on advocacy, interacting with government bodies, how ordinances and policies are established, and navigating city and county government systems. The organization will also help community members establish a priorities list of community needs and build leadership skills.

Pan African Endowment works to improve education, reduce health disparities, address the disproportionate rate of incarceration for African Americans and support social justice for immigrants and refugees. The Endowment made five grants totaling $45,000, including a $10,000 grant for Be the Change: Leadership on Purpose. The organization will serve 2,500 black and African American residents of Worthington, Minnesota through workshops celebrations and awareness projects aimed at building understanding among community members and storytelling. Specific initiatives include a culture Fair and Muslim Awareness week at Worthington High School and Our Stories, a community-wide initiative that includes workshops and celebrations around African cultural traditions.

Two Feathers Endowment is partnering with Tiwahe Foundation to distribute grants through Tiwahe Foundation’s Oyate Leadership Network. Oyate Leadership Network provides grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 to American Indian individuals in the areas of renewing cultural connections, education and economic stability.

To view the full list of this year's grantees, click here