(June 26, Minneapolis) — Today, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) announced its third round of investment in 35 organizations through its COVID-19 Women & Girls Response Fund, for a total of $265,000 in general operating grants. In three total rounds of grantmaking through this fund, WFMN has awarded more than $625,000 to 76 organizations across the state to address gender-based violence, older women, policy and advocacy, and short-term financial support for everyday needs, including childcare, eldercare, food, housing, transportation, health, and wellness.
In March, WFMN announced the COVID-19 Women & Girls Response Fund would issue a half-million dollars in emergency grants of up to $10,000 to organizations serving women and girls affected by the crisis. Since then, WFMN has expanded its goal and is on track to nearly doubling its investment in grantee-partners leading in their communities as first-responders in a crisis, directly serving needs that are rapidly changing.
In this round, as systemic disparities and injustice are illuminated at the intersection of a global pandemic and an uprising for racial justice, WFMN is investing in Black and Indigenous women, women of color, and youth leaders and centering their leadership in anti-racism work as they address racial equity and create healing and wellness. In addition, grantee-partners in Greater Minnesota are ensuring women, girls, and their families can access shelter and emergency services when fleeing domestic violence. And, statewide grantee-partners are responding with innovative digital programming and increased emotional and mental health support to ensure that formerly incarcerated women can successfully re-enter society and find long-term opportunity, including connections with community.
More than 61 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 Minnesota, representing WFMN’s ethos that people most impacted by inequity hold the solutions to lasting change. With three rounds of grantmaking, funded programs will directly reach more than 77,900 women and girls and thousands more through secondary impact in families and communities.
Anna Marie’s Alliance (St. Cloud) | $7,500 — To provide services for victim-survivors of gender-based violence and critical short-term financial and basic needs support. Anna Marie’s Alliance provides a safe place for victim-survivors of domestic abuse and works toward systems change that reduces violence in Central Minnesota.
Annex Teen Clinic (Robbinsdale) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial assistance to young women who are disproportionately responsible for intergenerational care, experiencing gender-based violence, and experiencing unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Annex Teen Clinic helps young people take charge of their sexual health by providing confidential health services and education.
Ayada Leads (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To advocate for small business owners of the Karmel Mall who are experiencing difficulties in accessing government relief programs, and to support families struggling to implement distance learning. Ayada Leads encourages new Americans, particularly women from the African diaspora, to develop the skills they need to become political leaders and role models in their communities.
Breaking Free, Inc. (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To support the three main service categories of Breaking Free: database management and direct services, drop-in shelter and emergency shelter, and outreach supplies; and to provide basic services essential to the survival and success of women escaping sex trafficking as Breaking Free works to end all forms of prostitution and sex trafficking.
City of Minneapolis: Trans Equity Council (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide direct, short-term financial assistance to BIPOC trans and gender non-conforming and other individuals who do not qualify for government assistance and who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. The City of Minneapolis Division of Race and Equity leads intersectional equity initiatives and develops tools with which City leaders, policymakers, and the public use to hold the City accountable for achieving progress toward racial equity goals.
Centro Tyrone Guzman (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide direct financial assistance to low-income, elder Latina women who are participants in the Wise Elders program. Centro Tyrone Guzman provides a holistic approach to education, health, and wellness to support the well-being of Latine families.
CommonBond Communities (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To support resident services to 5,880 low-income women and girls who call CommonBond home, many of whom are women of color, women with disabilities, and older women. CommonBond Communities builds stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities.
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota Chapter (CAIR-MN) (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To support CAIR-MN’s Civil Rights Division as it protects and advocates for the rights of community members, particularly those of African immigrant communities, by monitoring cases of discrimination arising from the unprecedented and rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. CAIR-MN enhances the understanding of Islam, encourages dialogue that protect civil liberties, empowers American Muslims, and builds coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CornerHouse (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial assistance to youth and families who have experience physical and/or sexual abuse. CornerHouse pursues safety, justice, and healing for youth and their families.
d.a.c. (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide bilingual information advocacy and problem-solving support for Latina women and girls with disabilities experiencing gender-based violence, and to purchase personal protective equipment for families. d.a.c. supports Latino and Hispanic families who have a child or adult family member with a disability so they can learn about the disability, their family’s rights, and how to navigate the social, education, and medical systems.
Family Safety Network of Cass, Hubbard, and Clearwater Counties (Walker) | $7,500 — To provide advocacy to victim-survivors of domestic violence and their families across the three counties. Family Safety Network of Cass, Hubbard, and Clearwater Counties interrupts the cycle of domestic violence and advocates for social change.
Family Values for Life (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide short-term basic needs assistance to women who are heads of households and to offer summer workforce development activities to build power with women as financial providers for their families. Family Values for Life works with families to help them chart a path out of crisis through spiritual empowerment, mental alertness, physical fitness, and financial stability.
Healing Justice Foundation (HJF) (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To support Black women and their communities by providing healing and wellness at the intersection of the pandemic and heightened political and social unrest after the death of George Floyd. HJF provides individuals, families, organizations, and communities with resources to address oppression-induced inequities and provides urgent healing support to Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
Henna and Hijabs (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To create hijabs to be donated to Muslim frontline hospital workers in Minnesota. Hilal Ibrahim, founder and owner of Henna and Hijabs, will be granted the funds via Caring Path, which provides resources to immigrants and refugees, including employment services, housing, counseling services, educational assistance, and more.
Men as Peacemakers (MAP) (Duluth) | $7,500 — To center the voices and leadership of Black and Indigenous girls and girls of color directly impacted by systemic racism, sexism, and COVID-19 through a summer leadership coalition for the Girls’ Restorative Program. MAP builds safe communities through programs that address and undermine the root causes of gender-based violence including sexism, male dominance, white supremacy, racism, classism, homophobia, and transphobia.
MIGIZI Communications (Minneapolis) | $10,000 — To rebuild the MIGIZI Communications building that was impacted by the fires near the Third Precinct at the end of May, and to support the youth impacted through their youth programming and healing space. MIGIZI nurtures the development of Native American youth in order to unleash their creativity and dreams—to benefit themselves, their families, and their communities.
Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To support Project Aunties in Action and staff time, travel, volunteer honorariums, transportation, and the purchase of personal protective equipment and hygiene products for Native American women, older women, girls, and LGBTQ2Spirit people. Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition builds resources to create awareness of and eliminate sexual violence against Indian women and children.
Partners for Affordable Housing (Mankato) | $7,500 — To provide critical housing solutions for marginalized populations in southern Minnesota, particularly for women and children fleeing domestic violence, individuals with disabilities, and low-income people. Partners for Affordable Housing guides individuals and families on a path toward housing stability.
Pearl Crisis Center (Milaca) | $7,500 — To provide support and services to rural victim-survivors of gender-based violence in Mille Lacs County and to meet the increased needs of its local elderly and Native American populations. Pearl Crisis Center provides support to victim-survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence through direct services, prevention, and community awareness.
Philanthrofund Foundation (PFund Foundation) (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide direct, short-term financial assistance to Minnesota’s LGBTQIA women and girls who are being significantly impacted by COVID-19. PFund Foundation is a resource and community builder for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied communities by providing grants and scholarships, developing leaders, and inspiring giving.
Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide direct, short-term financial assistance and mental health support to Black women living in North Minneapolis who have or are currently experiencing gender-based violence. The Phyllis Wheatley Community Center addresses the needs of diverse, low-income families in North Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area.
Pillsbury United Communities (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial support to women of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pillsbury United Communities builds community through co-creating enduring change toward a just society.
Ruth’s House of Hope, Inc. (Faribault) | $7,500 — To support Ruth’s House, an emergency and transitional shelter with supportive services for women and children experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness due to domestic violence or other traumatic life circumstances such as illness, disability, substance abuse disorders, or poverty. Ruth’s House of Hope, Inc. serves families in Rice County by meeting immediate needs for safe shelter, food, and basic needs, and by helping families overcome barriers to self-sufficiency and stable, permanent housing.
Sexual Assault Services, Inc. (Brainerd) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial assistance to victim-survivors of sexual assault and basic needs support including food, temporary housing, rent assistance, clothing, transportation, and hygiene supplies. Sexual Assault Services, Inc. brings hope, healing, and empowerment to those affected by sexual abuse and exploitation within the Crow Wing County area.
StartAnew (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To support the short-term financial health and emotional needs of women and families of women who have been incarcerated. StartAnew provides re-entry and transitional services to women who have history with the legal system by offering life skills and tools for women to achieve their dreams.
The Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To support CAAL’s policy and advocacy work as it relates to COVID-19 and fighting systemic racism. CAAL harnesses the collective power of Asian leaders in the state to improve the lives of community members by connecting, learning, and acting together.
Truth House Foundation (Farmington) | $7,500 — To support a COVID-19 Stabilization Program for young mothers and families who are impacted by the pandemic. Truth House equips teen and young moms (ages 13-24) for lifelong success by providing support, guidance, empowerment, and the foundational tools to build healthy and stable lives for themselves and their children.
United Community Action Partnership (Marshall) | $7,500 — To provide direct assistance to women and girls who need short-term financial support across 13 counties. United Community Action Partnership delivers needed critical services and supports to the most vulnerable in West Central and Southwest Minnesota including housing, food, transportation, and health/wellness.
unPrison Project (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To deliver virtual mentoring, distance learning, and support for life skills planning and emotional and mental health and well-bring for women in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. unPrison Project serves women and youth in prison with coaching, mentoring, and resource guidance for re-entry so they can acquire more tools to successfully stay out of prison after release.
Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial assistance to Asian women experiencing gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnamese Social Services helps Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities by addressing their basic economic, educational, and health needs while collaborating with partners to support healthy, capable, and thriving communities.
Voices for Racial Justice (VRJ) (Minneapolis) | $7,500 — To support the BRIDGE network in planning a regular women’s group that will be a space for women affected by incarceration to gather, build leadership skills, define solutions, and act for change. VRJ supports the movement of leaders, researchers, organizers, advocates, and cultural workers who envision a world without racism that honors the culture, knowledge, power, and healing of Black, Indigenous, and all communities of color.
Women’s Advocates, Inc. (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To provide essential services through a 24/7 crisis line, outreach, shelter, and the Aftercare Program, which provides rent support and advocacy for victim-survivors of domestic violence and their children. Women’s Advocates uses the tools of radical hospitality, advocacy, and collective action to work toward a community free from violence, where all are safe and can live productive and healthy lives.
Women’s Rural Advocacy Center (Mankato) | $7,500 — To provide short-term financial and basic needs support to women in Greater Minnesota experiencing gender-based violence or unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women’s Rural Advocacy Center provides safety, advocacy, and assistance for those victimized by domestic violence in southwest Minnesota and raises community awareness through prevention and education.
Women Winning (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To sustain critical candidate development of pro-choice women in the upcoming election cycle. Women Winning recruits, trains, and elects pro-choice women to all levels of public office in Minnesota.
WoMN ACT (St. Paul) | $7,500 — To mobilize leaders within communities to organize for systems change and serve as a parallel track to the direct services that members are providing to the community. WoMN ACT advances gender equity and social justice through advocacy and collaboration.