The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) has awarded nine grants totaling $250,000 through its MN Girls Are Not For Sale fund. The grants are a one-time investment to strengthen systems and the infrastructure of organizations working to end sex trafficking in the state. The grant cycle runs November 2018 through October 2019.

In its final year of funding the MN Girls Are Not for Sale campaign, WFMN was responsive to community input as partners requested funding focused on strengthening systems and infrastructure of the field. Additionally, partners called for investments to increase the leadership of underrepresented cultural communities in the field.

As WFMN transforms its role from a central leader to a partner in the movement to end sex trafficking, WFMN will continue to invest in women’s safety and work with communities broadly to end gender-based violence, a continuum that includes sexual harassment, assault, domestic violence, rape, and sex trafficking.

By funding strong business and operations models and supporting existing and emerging programming by and for underrepresented cultural communities, WFMN is investing in the continued progress of the movement to end sex trafficking statewide.


Breaking Free (St. Paul) | $20,000 — To support the development and implementation of a statewide conference on the topic of sex trafficking for service providers, professionals, community members, and direct-service organizations.

Casa de Esperanza (St. Paul) | $35,000 — To build the expertise and leadership capacity of Family Advocacy staff and collaborating partners in the field by building cultural competency about trafficking in the Latin@ community and supporting community-driven solutions.

HAP (Hmong American Partnership) (St. Paul)| $35,000 — To strengthen existing programming by and for underrepresented cultural communities, which will increase organizational capacity to have a stronger leadership role in the movement to end sex trafficking.

Kwanzaa Community Church, PCUSA (Minneapolis)| $35,000 — To expand the Northside Healing Space, formerly the Northside Women’s Space. The space was founded as a place for women to heal from commercial sexual exploitation. As expansion is considered, the community is encouraged to help heal trauma in the community at large.

Men As Peacemakers (Duluth) | $20,000 — To build upon the Don’t Buy It Project (DBIP) to create and pilot curricula specifically designed for and with Native communities, in partnership with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition, the leading national experts in tribal technical assistance. Men As Peacemakers will support tribal communities through the DBIP curricula as they build leadership in preventing sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation.

Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (Minneapolis)| $35,000 — To support street outreach to youth with additional staff, and to provide technical assistance and community education about urban Native American sexually exploited youth to services providers and other audiences throughout Minnesota.

The Advocates for Human Rights (Minneapolis & Greater Minnesota)| $10,000 — General operating support to update the 2008 Sex Trafficking Needs Assessment in order to develop legislative and policy recommendations in line with updates to Minnesota’s anti-trafficking systems, including a focus on the overlap of labor trafficking of women and girls.

The Link (Minneapolis)| $50,000 — To provide leadership and development training to existing and emerging leaders within The Link, including staff survivors and youth survivors. The Link will increase its leadership by convening organizations in the anti-trafficking movement.

unPrison Project (Minneapolis & Greater Minnesota)| $10,000 To support a comprehensive plan that spans three focus areas: policy work, implementing a mentorship program that creates leadership opportunities for women in prison, and strengthening unPrison’s organizational infrastructure.

About MN Girls Are Not For Sale

Launched by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) in 2011, MN Girls Are Not for Sale, an eight-year, $7.5 million campaign has galvanized resources to end sex trafficking in Minnesota through grantmaking, research, public education, convening, and evaluation. In partnership with community leaders, WFMN has followed its ethos of listening and responding to community concerns to drive a sea change in our communities’ response to sex trafficking. Key successes include:

  • Zero state funding in 2011 to a state-funded infrastructure of $13.3 million making Minnesota the first in the nation to provide state funding for sex trafficking victims.
  • Increased housing and trauma-informed care for victims, from two beds in 2011 to 48 beds
  • Outreach to Minnesota’s Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. resulted in federal sex trafficking legislation (2015), modeled after Minnesota’s Safe Harbor law.
  • A narrative shift in how victims of sex trafficking are seen by the public in Minnesota.
  • Execution of a comprehensive, coordinated plan to prevent and respond to sex trafficking as part of the Super Bowl LII Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee that brought together more than 40 stakeholder organizations, agencies, governments, and individuals from the seven-county metro area.
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