Fourth Generation Awards $80,000 in Economic Justice Grants

Monday, June 7, 2021

Fourth Generation, a program of the Minneapolis Foundation, capped off its 11th grantmaking cycle by awarding $80,000 in grants to eight local organizations that are working to advance economic justice.

Members of Fourth Generation work together to learn the skills of strategic giving and pool their resources to make a much bigger difference in the community than they could alone. Every year, they vote to choose an issue, then work together to research it, fundraise, review proposals, and award grants to local nonprofits.

“This year’s topic couldn’t have been more urgent during this historic time,” said Julia Ruther, Fourth Generation’s Grantmaking Chair. “Economic justice really sits at the intersection of the pandemic’s impacts and the racial justice movement. Through our process, we were able to learn from individuals and organizations that are addressing economic injustice head-on — shifting power, tackling systems that privilege white people, and rewriting narratives that perpetuate harm in communities of color.”

Fourth Generation’s 2021 grant recipients, each of which will receive $10,000, are working for economic justice in a variety of ways:

  • ASIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION focuses on increasing economic opportunities for Asian Americans.
  • BUILD WEALTH MN works to change the mindset of communities facing challenges caused by current economic conditions, as well as other factors fueling poverty in their neighborhoods.
  • CENTRO DE TRABAJADORES UNIDOS EN LA LUCHA is a worker-led organization whose members organize, educate, and empower each other to fight for a voice in their workplaces and communities.
  • EXODUS LENDING provides trapped Minnesota borrowers with a just pathway out of payday loan debt and toward financial stability.
  • JEREMIAH PROGRAM works to disrupt the impact of poverty on families led by single mothers through a two-generation approach – investing in a mom’s vision for her future and the education of her children.
  • MNI SOTA FUND provides training and access to capital to promote homeownership, entrepreneurship, and financial skills in American Indian communities throughout Minnesota.
  • NORTHSIDE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY NETWORK advances the efforts of lower-income entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis and surrounding communities.
  • UNITED RENTERS FOR JUSTICE convenes Minneapolis tenants to analyze their housing problems, strategize, organize, and mobilize around solutions to create affordable and dignified homes.

“Every year, Fourth Generation members come together to understand and invest in community solutions to a complex problem,” said Emily Lamberty, Chair of Fourth Generation’s advisory board. “It has been a privilege to learn from and invest in these eight incredible organizations. These grantees are deeply embedded in the communities most impacted by the pandemic and police violence – from BIPOC entrepreneurs to single mothers, front-line workers, and more.”

Fourth Generation is a hands-on experience in philanthropy for rising leaders who care about local issues and want to make a bigger impact. Over the last ten years, more than 400 members have granted over $570,000 to nonprofit organizations working to address critical community issues such as affordable housing, criminal justice reform, food justice, and small business development.

“My favorite part of Fourth Generation is witnessing fellow members develop their personal giving philosophies,” Lamberty said. “I am hopeful knowing that acknowledging the inherent power in money and naming white supremacy are often central to those philosophies.”

Learn more on Minneapolis Foundation's website