This month, we celebrated Pride, recognizing Stonewall was a riot, as well as Juneteenth, knowing that our nation's other Independence Day symbolizes how justice has always been delayed for Black Americans. We are living in unprecedented times and while we may understandably yearn for a sense of certainty and stability, it’s clear that what was considered normal prior to this pandemic was not working for most of us, and as such, we are called to make a new way for ourselves and our communities in this time of transformation.
Today, the Board of Commissioners voted to declare racism a public health crisis in Hennepin County. "Due to racism, Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Hennepin County statistically have poorer educational outcomes, earn less, and are less likely to own homes or have access to quality health care and jobs than White people. These disparities have lifelong impacts, including higher disease rates, and, as we’re seeing now, higher rates of COVID-19. Naming racism as a systemic cause to disparities is key to continue to move this work forward." Let's draw inspiration from the courageous leadership of Commissioners Fernando and Conley to address a pandemic within a pandemic, and use the power and capacity we each have to contribute to our community's collective renewal.
Community Equity Program
The Community Equity Program (CEP) is an immersive program housed out of Wilder Foundation that brings together up to 15 Black, Indigenous, Black, People of Color (BIPOC) who currently serve as community leaders to build an even more powerful and influential voice in public policy decision making in order to drive social change and transform lives in Minnesota. Community Equity Program's mission is to deepen engagement of BIPOC communities in the legislative process by building connections to people, communities, groups, and organizations that influence or enact public policy. Apply for the 2020-21 CEP cohort by July 17! [Learn more.]
Facing Race Awards Nominations
The Facing Race Awards offer an annual recognition of anti-racism activists and organizations in Minnesota. They are a way to honor those in our community who challenge absent and harmful narratives on race, build solutions that unite, instead of divide, and push for justice and equity. Through these Awards, the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation celebrates and learns from those leading the way forward. Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their commitment to racial equity and anti-racism efforts in Minnesota? Nominate them for the Facing Race Awards by July 2. [Learn more.]
Coursera for Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has partnered with Coursera to provide free career-focused, online learning resources to Minnesotans. Coursera offers 3,800 courses and training modules from over 200 top businesses and universities, including more than 60 courses from the University of Minnesota. These learning opportunities are aimed at preparing people for in-demand jobs. This partnership is made possible by the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative. Minnesotans interested in using Coursera must register before September 30, 2020 and will have access to the platform through March 2021. [Learn more.]
Emerging City Champions Fellowship
8 80 Cities is looking for young leaders with bold ideas to make mobility, public space, and civic engagement more equitable to apply for the Emerging City Champions fellowship and microgrant program funded by Knight Foundation. Now in its sixth year, the Emerging City Champions program has helped launch the leadership journeys of over 100 inspirational alumni. The program provides selected fellows aged 19-35 with leadership training, access to peer networks, coaching, and $5000 in seed funding to implement one community project in one year. Applications are due on Sunday, July 12. [Apply online.]
We're gutted. And heartbroken. Because George Floyd was killed earlier this week while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department and because of the violence and destruction that has barraged our local neighborhoods amidst the ensuing protests for justice for George and our Black, Indigenous, and communities of color in Minnesota. But we know in our guts and hearts what needs to be done: We join in the demand for justice to be served and for this time of uprising to result in change that has been long overdue for our communities and systems.
Acting on the small and large scale, we can: Support locally-organized mutual aid efforts, donate to community organizations especially those serving and led by BIPOC leaders, advocate to our community leaders for accountability and transformative systems change that results in truly equitable opportunities and outcomes, and turn toward one another to protect and rebuild our communities. All while taking safety precautions as we continue to unite to diminish the spread of COVID-19. Take action as you are called, and take good care of yourselves and one another. Editor's Note: It has recently come to our attention that a Facebook Group with the same moniker was created earlier this year. As an 11+ year old network, Minnesota Rising is not at all associated with this newer group.
Unsung Hero Award Nominations
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is pleased to announce the annual Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. In partnership with the McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation that advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive, four Minnesotans, two from the Twin Cities metro and two from Greater Minnesota, will each receive $10,000 in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the state of Minnesota and its communities. Nominations will open on Monday, May 18, 2020, and close Thursday, June 18, 2020 at noon. [Nominate an Unsung Hero.]
We Love Lake Street
Make a donation to help rebuild Lake Street’s small businesses and community organizations. The Lake Street Council (501c3) will donate 100% of funds to help rebuild Lake Street, starting with direct support to small businesses and nonprofits to help them rebuild their storefronts, reopen their businesses and serve the local neighborhoods. A majority of Lake Street businesses are owned by immigrants and people of color, and Lake Street Council is committed to ensuring that support is accessible to all businesses and has an equitable impact. As the Council works to allocate and distribute these funds, they will focus on helping the hardest-hit and most vulnerable businesses in the community, which disproportionately includes immigrant and POC-owned businesses. [Donate online.]
Per Governor Walz’s press conference this afternoon, we have at least two more weeks of the stay-at-home order to help stem the tide of COVID-19. Minnesotans are finding numerous ways to help manage through this unprecedented time, including volunteering their time and resources, producing face masks, making contributions to individuals and organizations experiencing economic hardship, engaging in mutual aid, participating in birthday parades, supporting local businesses, and more. Upcoming opportunities for taking action to support one another and remind ourselves of our resilience and agency include donating during #GiveAtHomeMN from May 1 - 8, applying to serve on the Ramsey County Racial Equity & Community Engagement Community Advisory Committee, attending a free Hollaback! Bystander Intervention Training to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment during this pandemic, and supporting Black-owned businesses and nonprofits in the Twin Cities, among other events and activities highlighted in this month's Dispatch. Stay safe out there and take good care of yourselves and each other!
Give At Home MN
GiveMN is partnering with the Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, as well as nonprofits and schools across Minnesota, to hold #GiveAtHomeMN May 1-8! #GiveAtHomeMN will be a celebration of generosity and call to give back to the causes you care about most. It’s a weeklong online fundraiser at GiveMN.org to support nonprofits and schools all across Minnesota. Just as Minnesotans come together each year during Give to the Max Day, #GiveAtHomeMN is about the power of our collective generosity and how it can make a difference during this unprecedented time. [Donate now.]
2020 Request for Proposals
YNPN Twin Cities is requesting proposals for presentations, seminars, or workshops that advance, emphasize, and promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility within the nonprofit sector. Four applications will be selected and provided a $250 honorarium for turning their application into a reality as a program for YNPN-TC members. Applicants must be able to conduct their program before the end of 2020. The YNPN-TC board of directors will accept applications before Sunday, May 31st at 11:59pm. [Apply online.]
Nine months, endless potential. The FINNOVATION Fellowship program supports and empowers social entrepreneurs who have bold ideas for sustainable, systems-level change. The FINN Fellowship program develops leadership capacity and builds entrepreneurial skills in early stage founders. Supported by the Bush Foundation, its goal is to empower social enterprise leaders in Minnesota and beyond through an immersive nine-month program. Fellowship applications are open now through May 15th! [Apply online.]
Humphrey Policy Fellows
The Policy Fellows program is one of the country’s most respected public affairs leadership experiences for emerging and mid-career professionals. The nine-month program is unmatched in its interaction with public officials, leadership training, diversity of participants and perspectives, and opportunity to undertake important projects that benefit the wider community. Fellows from the Twin Cities area and across greater Minnesota come together as a cohort once a month and travel together to Washington, DC, for a multi-day study trip. The application deadline for the 2020–21 cohort is Monday, June 1, 2020 at 11:59pm. [Learn more.]
We sprang forward for Daylight Savings Time in Minnesota into an unprecedented era as our international community now contends with COVID-19 on the global scale. Our most significant civic duty during these next few weeks, per Governor Walz's Executive Order, is to #StayHomeMN to help #FlattenTheCurve and shore up critical health and hospital system resources for those most vulnerable among us. While we're asked to physically distance, we can stay socially connected and prioritize self- and community-care in the midst of rapid and profound changes to life as we have known it. Let's support artists, nonprofits, small businesses, essential workers, children, elders, and marginalized community members during this critical time, recognizing that viruses don't discriminate and neither should we, so that we can emerge from this challenge having learned how resilient, creative, resourceful, and powerful we can be, together.
Counting Every Minnesotan — Census Day is April 1, 2020: Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau works to count every person in the United States, including everyone living in Minnesota. The resulting count will guide the distribution of billions of dollars to Minnesota’s communities, determine political representation for the next decade, and provide data that shapes how Minnesota’s policymakers and business leaders decide to invest public and private resources. The 2020 Census is happening now. You can respond online, by phone, or by mail to help ensure a complete count of our Minnesota communities. [Learn more.]