The Minneapolis Foundation Awards First Round of Micro Grants from the Fund for Safe Communities

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Minneapolis Foundation today announced $111,000 in micro grants to 25 local organizations that are working to address community trauma and promote wellness in a season that marks both the anniversary of George Floyd’s death and the trial of a former police officer charged in his killing.

“This is a painful time for our communities, and we want to provide support where people are gathering and creating safe healing spaces,” said Chanda Smith Baker, Chief Impact Officer and Senior Vice President at the Minneapolis Foundation. 

These micro grants from the Foundation’s Fund for Safe Communities will support a variety of activities and events organized by local nonprofits, schools and religious institutions, with priority given to proposals serving areas of Minneapolis that were directly affected by last summer’s social unrest. Funded projects include community healing circles, physical activities that promote wellness and relieve stress, and creative activities such as poetry and painting that provide opportunities for people to process, reflect and envision a path forward.

One micro grant will support 846s.org, an organization focused on mental health in Black communities. “This grant will help 846s youth conduct street interviews in the community, engage their peers in open dialogues and co-create a safe and nurturing environment where they can discuss issues that matter to them,” said Dr. Remi Douah, the group’s founder and executive director.

Another micro grant will support healing spaces and conversations hosted by Sweet Potato Comfort Pie, which works to advance racial justice and equity, heal damage caused by race-based trauma and elevate marginalized voices and experiences. “These funds will allow people to gather and share their feelings with our special brand of ‘baketivism’ – coming together via the powerful Black cultural food tradition of making and delivering pies, reflecting on the voices of legal and mental-wellness professionals, artists and activists regarding the trial outcome, and strengthening personal commitments to the much-needed work ahead,” said Rose McGee, the group’s founder.

The Foundation is still accepting applications for micro grants of $2,500 to $5,000. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis as funding remains, with decisions communicated to applicants within roughly two weeks.

The micro grants announced today are as follows:

  • Aeon: $5,000 for a tenant-led showcase featuring artwork related to change, healing and equity in the Elliot Park neighborhood and downtown Minneapolis.
  • The ANIKA Foundation: $2,500 for culturally specific grief counseling and wellness resources and spaces to gather in the Weber/Camden area of North Minneapolis.
  • Center for Multicultural Mediation: $5,000 to host an event to promote wellness among Somali community members.
  • Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center: $5,000 for workshops related to metal casting, welding and other art forms for youth ages 13 and up in the area near George Floyd Square and the intersection of 38th and Chicago. 
  • Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church: $2,500 to work with a licensed psychologist and offer youth in North Minneapolis a safe place to gather and express their emotions in positive ways during the trial.
  • Frank Theatre: $5,000 to conduct story circles with individuals who live and work along Lake St., to share their experiences of the past year and promote healing during the trial.
  • Hope Community: $5,000 to host an event that creates a healing space for cultivating joy and sisterhood among Black women and girls.
  • The Kings Men Group: $2,500 for an African American men's group focused on providing a safe space for men to process their emotions and address trauma and stress during the trial.
  • La Oportunidad: $5,000 to support youth-led workshops on healing and rebuilding during a Latinx-focused youth conference this spring.
  • Million Artist Movement: $5,000 for supplies to host quilt-making sessions that give community members a space to share stories, honor loved ones, process grief and imagine liberation through art.
  • Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health: $3,000 to engage Somali youth artists and mentors in healing through community-based art.
  • Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop: $5,000 to support an amateur documentary filmmaking workshop for recently incarcerated individuals grappling with the pandemic and the trial as they reenter the community.
  • A Mother's Love Initiative: $3,500 for community circles in North Minneapolis and downtown to create a safe space for healing and dialogue.
  • Muslim Youth and Family Services: $5,000 for a day of sports and an open mic event for East African youth and parents to discuss their perspectives on policing and law enforcement.
  • Project DIVA: $5,000 to conduct coaching sessions that equip community members with tools and action plans to ensure physical and mental safety during and after the trial.
  • The Resiliency Project Foundation: $5,000 to provide community healing sessions, healing circles and therapy sessions to Black, Indigenous and people of color in need.
  • Sanctuary Covenant Church: $5,000 to commission a local artist to create a mural featuring positive images of African Americans and to host an outdoor unveiling event in near the intersection of West Broadway and Lyndale avenues in North Minneapolis.
  • The SEAD Project: $5,000 for outdoor storytelling and community engagement events in North Minneapolis that create space for healing, and to develop a community mural.
  • Sweet Potato Comfort Pie: $4,000 to strengthen community through a collective process of baking and offering pies, then gathering for virtual reflection through story circles, dialogues with artists and small-group breakouts.
  • Twin Cities Innovation Alliance: $5,000 to support intergenerational spaces focused on healing and self-care where community members can connect, create and support each other.
  • Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation: $3,000 to support monthly wellness events and distribute groceries and meals to address food insecurity in South Minneapolis.
  • Waalid Organization: $5,000 for community circle dialogues, mental health resources for men and women and personal growth support for young men from East African communities.
  • We Push for Peace: $5,000 for continued community outreach at neighborhood grocery stores to prevent violence and help community members access employment services.
  • 826 MSP: $5,000 for an anthology written and led by Black youth from Minneapolis South and Washburn high schools to explore issues related to identity and liberation.
  • 846s.org: $5,000 to conduct youth-led interviews in South Minneapolis that provide youth with a platform to share their thoughts on issues affecting their community with the support of a mental health provider and volunteers to engage with.

The Minneapolis Foundation established the Fund for Safe Communities in 2018 to support tangible, specific and meaningful actions to address and prevent violence. These micro grants follow more than $500,000 in grants that the Foundation distributed from the Fund last year to support violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and individual and community healing in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing. 

Businesses and members of the public are encouraged to contribute to the Fund for Safe Communities. To learn more about this funding opportunity, apply for a micro grant or make a tax-deductible online donation to the Fund for Safe Communities, go to https://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/fund-for-safe-communities/.

 

About the Minneapolis Foundation: The Minneapolis Foundation drives collective action to realize strong, vibrant communities. The Foundation cultivates generosity by taking action on the greatest civic, social, and economic needs—partnering with nonprofits, facilitating grantmaking, driving research and advocacy, and providing services to donors seeking to make a difference in their communities. www.minneapolisfoundation.org