The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota announced an investment of $87,500 in general operating grants to nine organizations through the Community Response Fund. In five rounds of grantmaking through this fund, WFMN has awarded more than $1,130,600 to 88 organizations across the state to address the needs of women and girls experiencing gender-based violence, older women, policy and advocacy, organizational capacity building and adaptation, staff healing and wellness, and short-term financial support for everyday needs. All WFMN grants support general operating expenses, which provide greater flexibility for organizations in a time of heightened need and demand for services. Funding general operations is crucial for organizations to build stability around community-sustaining programs.
To address the continuing pandemic and deepening systemic disparities and inequities, WFMN invests in organizations leading transformative and adaptive work at the intersection of gender and racial justice. Across the state, grantee-partner organizations are reimagining, adapting, evolving, and sustaining their operations and programming. WFMN invests in these organizations leading skills building, culturally relevant responses and healing for gender-based violence, and increased need for holistic well-being and reproductive justice as rights and access are threatened.
Dress for Success Twin Cities (St. Paul) | $7,500 – To support the need for responsive online and mobile programming, which include individual skill building through the emPowerU curriculum, job search support, business attire provision, employer engagement through the IDEA Coalition, and stipends for the ULead pilot program in which participants gain job skills coordinating emPowerU activities.
Gender Justice (St. Paul) | $10,000 – To resource community-informed advocacy in the courts and at the Capitol to preserve and expand on Minnesota’s legal, health, safety, and economic advances and protections for women and LGBTQ+ individuals. Gender Justice envisions a world in which all people can thrive regardless of their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Global Rights for Women (GRW) (Minneapolis) | $10,000 – To support the Pathways to Family Peace program, the first the nation providing remote violence intervention to domestic violence offenders. This grant will also fund GRW’s efforts to improve the long-term safety of victim-survivors by improving the Minneapolis Police Department’s response to domestic violence calls.
Missions, Inc. (Plymouth) | $10,000 – To resource direct unrestricted financial assistance to victim-survivors at the Home Free Shelter, allowing staff to spend less time navigating the red tape involved in providing financial assistance and more time working with program participants to heal trauma and build resilience.
Our Justice (Minneapolis) | $10,000 – To support Our Justice in removing barriers for women and gender-expansive people accessing holistic well-being and reproductive justice services in Minnesota. Our Justice envisions a world free of reproductive oppression, which is defined as the regulation and exploitation of people’s bodies, sexuality, labor, and procreation as a means of exercising power over individuals and communities.
Planned Parenthood North Central States (St. Paul) | $10,000 – To support non-judgmental and affordable healthcare, culturally responsive education, and strategic advocacy efforts, especially the current financial and health crises disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and people of color and communities with low incomes.
Rice County Neighbors United/Vecinxs Unidxs (Northfield) | $10,000 – To recognize and support the all-volunteer staff at Vecinxs Unidxs to coordinate and provide online classes related to building financial stability, anti-racism, mindfulness, and first-time homeownership for the immigrant and Latinx community in Northfield, and to resource direct unrestricted financial support to families facing income loss due to COVID-19.
Voices for Racial Justice (Minneapolis) | $10,000 – To resource the Bridge Women’s Circle as they transition from incarceration back to community, and to develop the organizing power of those most impacted by mass incarceration. The Women’s Circle is a BIPOC safe space for women affected by incarceration to gather, heal, access resources, build leadership skills, define solutions, and act for change.
Women of Nations (St. Paul) | $10,000 – To support one of the nation’s only Native American non-reservation-based domestic violence and sexual assault shelters in providing and improving the hotel/motel program, which opened in response to the reduced capacity at the Eagles Nest Shelter during the pandemic.