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Press Release

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota Awards $312,500 in Grants to End Sex Trafficking in Minnesota

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota has awarded a total of $312,500 in grants to eight organizations through its MN Girls Are Not For Sale Fund. Through MN Girls Are Not For Sale, the Foundation has awarded 109 grants for a total of $2,716,252 and invested more than $6 million to end sex trafficking in Minnesota through grantmaking, research, and public education to date.

Over the next year, grantees will focus on the following priorities:

  1. Research and advocacy efforts to increase resources for shelter, housing, and services for victims of sex trafficking and training for law enforcement. Due to these efforts, the State adopted a $3 million funding increase (for a total investment of $11 million) for the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act for fiscal year 2018-19, raised the upper age limit to 24 years old, and provided additional training dollars for law enforcement.
  2. Decrease demand by educating and mobilizing public support and activism through strategies aimed at youth, men and boys, and the broader community to prevent sex trafficking in Minnesota.


Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (St. Paul) | $10,000 – To produce a report that shows better understanding of the impact, strengths, and opportunities for improvement of the Safe Harbor model and law through a statewide web survey. The survey will be the largest and most comprehensive data collection activity for the program evaluation to date, and focus will be on underserved communities.

County of Nicollet (Southwestern MN) | $50,000 – To support the continuation of sting operations throughout three counties; focus more on investigations involving the supply side of sex trafficking; continue to expand training opportunities in this area for local law enforcement; and continue community education efforts through public education talks and through a protracted multi-media campaign.

The Family Partnership (Statewide) | $50,000 – To continue legislative advocacy efforts towards the $13.3 million statewide funding goal of Minnesota’s Safe Harbor No Wrong Door model and put in place a legislatively mandated strategic planning process to develop a Safe Harbor for All response that includes trauma-informed culturally-specific services, statewide outreach, and law enforcement training.

Independent School District #625 – Saint Paul Public Schools (Saint Paul) | $50,000 – To continue implementation of semester-long coursework at two high schools for healthy adolescent male development that will reduce objectification of women and demand for sexual exploitation.

The Link (Minneapolis/St. Paul) | $50,000 – To create and launch a prevention marketing campaign targeted to at-risk youth and the general public about the manipulative, violent, and harmful nature of sex trafficking. The outcome of the project will be to prevent youth from being recruited, exploited, and trafficked, and to help them realize positive life options. This grant supports collaboration between the Link and the creative agency KNOCK, inc.

Men As Peacemakers (Northeastern MN) | $50,000 – To complete the creation of resources and support the kickoff and dissemination of the Don’t Buy It Project, a project to engage, educate, and mobilize men and boys to reduce the commercial sexual exploitation of young women and girls across the state. MAP successfully launched the first phase of its project in January, and grant funds will support the testing of an online training module and publication of a program guide and outreach campaign.

Regents of the University of Minnesota – Urban Research & Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) (Statewide) | $37,500 – To support UROC in conducting research focused on documenting the workplace experiences of entertainers within strip clubs in Minneapolis from a lens of workplace health and safety and improving working conditions. The report was commissioned on behalf of the City of Minneapolis and will guide their related policy recommendations.

State of Minnesota (Statewide) | $15,000 – To support a training program for criminal justice professionals from across Minnesota focused on how the courts system can better serve victims of sexual exploitation and improve our state’s response to sex trafficking.

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