(May 1, Minneapolis) — Today, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) announced its first round of investment in 27 organizations through its COVID-19 Women & Girls Response Fund, for a total of $233,000 in general operating grants.
The COVID-19 Women & Girls Response Fund is issuing a half-million dollars in emergency grants of up to $10,000 to organizations serving women and girls experiencing gender-based violence, older women, and women and girls who need short-term financial support for everyday needs due to the effects of COVID-19 (childcare, eldercare, food, housing, transportation, health, and wellness). Grant applications are being accepted monthly and on a rolling basis, as funds are available.
More than 70 percent of the funded organizations are led by women of color and Indigenous women, including undocumented women, Muslim women, immigrant women, young women, LGBTQ+ people, and women in greater MN, representing WFMN’s ethos that people most impacted by inequity hold the solutions to lasting change. Funded programs will reach approximately 50,000 women, girls, and their families.
In addition to the investments below, WFMN, along with a community of foundations, was a first funder of the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for Coronovirus (MDRF). Launched by the Minnesota Council of Foundations in partnership with the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation, MDRFfunds both short- and long-term needs that arise within communities, due to coronavirus or future disasters.
African Career, Education, and Resource Inc. (ACER) (Brooklyn Park) | $7,500 — To provide ongoing support to African and African American businesses in the Northwest suburbs who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. ACER works to uplift and amplify the African diaspora to build power for systemic change that advances racial and economic equity in communities.
Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP) (St. Paul) | $10,000 — To provide short-term emergency financial assistance to young members of the Asian community, a portion of which will be designated for girls, queer, and trans youth. AAOP advances Asian Americans’ and Pacific Islanders’ participation in democracy for an equitable and just society.
Asian Media Access (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To coordinate information flow and e-counseling for a mental health and culturally relevant healer hub, coordinate an Asian American Emergency Fund, and provide essential items to Asian American families to support distance learning. Asian Media Access connects the disconnected and is dedicated to using multimedia arts and technology as tools for social betterment.
Black Visions Collective (Minneapolis) | $10,000 — To create an Emergent Fund, which will provide short-term financial assistance to Black young women, and Black queer and trans young people in Minnesota. Black Visions Collective believes in a future where all Black people have autonomy, safety is community-led, and people and communities are in right-relationship within the ecosystem.
Black Women’s Wealth Alliance, SBC (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial support to Black women in North Minneapolis for basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first black woman-owned, specific public benefit corporation in Minnesota, they aim to cultivate strategies to create wealth and change lives.
Caring Path (St. Louis Park) | $1,500 — To support the creation of hijabs that will be donated to Muslim frontline hospital workers in Minnesota. Hilal Ibrahim, founder and owner of the business Henna and Hijabs, will be granted the funds by Caring Path, which provides resources to immigrants and refugees, including employment, housing, counseling services, educational assistance, and other needed resources.
Casa de Esperanza (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial assistance to Latin@ women experiencing gender-based violence, Latin@ families who will not receive relief from the stimulus package, and Latin@ people who are undocumented. Casa de Esperanza mobilizes Latinas and Latin@ communities to end domestic violence.
Centro Tyrone Guzman (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide direct emergency financial assistance to the families of its Jóvenes Latinas al Poder program. A multi-service Latine organization, Centro envisions a society that uplifts, supports, and celebrates Chicane and Latine culture.
Communidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio, Inc. (CLUES) (St. Paul) | $10,000 —To provide short-term financial assistance to mixed-status families, low-income Latina women, Latina women in Greater Minnesota, and families facing financial hardship because of unemployment. CLUES advances the capacity of Latino individuals and families to be healthy, prosperous, and engaged in community.
Dakota Wicohan (DW) (Morton) | $10,000 — To connect young Dakota women with digital resources, care packages, and short-term financial assistance and to support their wellness needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Dakota-led organization, Dakota Wicohan works to revitalize Dakota as a living language, and through it, transmit Dakota lifeways to future generations.
Elder Voice Family Advocates (Bloomington) | $6,600 — To advocate, educate, and continue providing support to families and direct caregivers of elderly and vulnerable women in Minnesota during the COVID-19 crisis. Elder Voice Family Advocates represents residents, direct caregivers, and families of elderly and vulnerable adults in senior living facilities in Minnesota.
Fearless Commerce (Twin Cities Innovation Alliance) (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide $500 micro-grants to Black women business owners whose businesses have been closed as a result of COVID-19. Fearless Commerce elevates and invests in Black women business owners to ensure that Black women have the resources to start and sustain high-growth businesses.
Jeremiah Program (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To respond to the acute and evolving needs of diverse, single mothers who are college students experiencing poverty during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Jeramiah Program offers leading strategies for dismantling systemic barriers for single mothers and their children that have led to an epidemic of poverty.
Life House, Inc. (Duluth) | $7,500 — To continue providing a 24-hour transitional living space for young women and LGBTQ+ individuals and community members who have experienced sexual exploitation and/or human trafficking. Life House provides youth with shelter, assistance with unemployment applications, and health services.
NAVIGATE (Minneapolis) | $10,000 — To provide direct, short-term financial assistance to low-income and immigrant families and undocumented individuals across Minnesota, many of whom will not otherwise receive emergency support during the COVID-19 pandemic. NAVIGATE/Unidos MN builds power for gender, racial, and economic justice and envisions a Minnesota where Latinxs achieve their full potential.
Northwest Indian Community Development Center (NWICDC) (Bemidji) | $10,000 — To provide basic needs and short-term financial assistance to Native women and Native elders experiencing gender-based violence or unemployment. NWICDC addresses and mobilizes the American Indian equity agenda, realizing the need for culturally implicit integrated services that are controlled and delivered with a “for us, by us” approach.
Ostara Initiative (Minneapolis) | $10,000 — To provide supportive materials, health education, and doula services to incarcerated pregnant women who have lost services as a result of the pandemic, and to advocate for the release of incarcerated pregnant people who are at high risk if they contract COVID-19. The Ostara Initiative collectively transforms systems by reimagining justice, advancing health, and reclaiming dignity in policies and practices for all pregnant and parenting people.
Phumulani (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To offer short-term financial assistance to African immigrant women on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and to women experiencing sudden unemployment or business closures. Phumulani increases awareness of and provides supportive services for survivors and victims of sexual and domestic violence in the African immigrant community.
Power of the People Leadership Institute (Minneapolis) | $10,000 — To deliver virtual mentoring, emotional and mental health support, distance learning help, and access to emergency resources for young Black girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Power of the People Leadership Institute motivates, mentors, empowers, engages, and educates girls to succeed in school and in life.
Project Diva (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To offer continued wrap-around services, virtual emotional and mental health support, and financial literacy coaching during the changing economic times for Black girls. Project Diva uses coaching and mentoring to provide solutions to challenges that Black girls face about their physical and emotional well-being, safety and security, relationships with self, family, and future romantic partners.
Project FINE (Winona) | $7,500 — To expand their advocacy and information referrals and to provide direct, short-term financial assistance to refugees and immigrants in rural Minnesota. Project FINE strengthens and enriches the community by facilitating the integration of people who are ethnically diverse.
RECLAIM! (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide financially accessible, trans-specific, and culturally relevant emergency assistance to queer and trans youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. RECLAIM! increases access to mental health support for queer and trans youth so they might reclaim their lives from oppression in all its forms.
Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE) (Minneapolis/St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide emotional and mental health support to young Muslim girls in St. Paul and provide homework assistance and translation accessibility or Somali speakers during distance learning. RISE amplifies the voice and power of Muslim women through storytelling, leadership development, and civic engagement.
The Link (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To increase their capacity to house youth at risk for sex trafficking and continue to meet basic needs like shelter, housing, food, hygiene supplies, and access to mental or medical support. The Link works with youth and families to overcome the impacts of poverty and social injustice.
Women for Political Change (WFPC) (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To support a mutual aid fund that provides direct short-term financial assistance to women of color, LGBQ+ individuals, transwomen, and others impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. WFPC invests in the leadership and political power of young women and trans & non-binary individuals under 30.
Women’s Health Center of Duluth, P.A. (Duluth) | $7,500 — To continue to provide critical reproductive health services to women and girls in Minnesota during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women’s Health Center of Duluth provides, advances, and advocates for evidence-based reproductive and sexual healthcare for all.