(November 11—Minneapolis) The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in partnership with Grantmakers for Girls of Color has awarded eight grants totaling $50,000 to individuals, organizations, and programs that center young women of color and gender-expansive youth of color and align with the Foundation’s mission to invest in innovative solutions to drive gender and racial equity.

Through its Community Response Fund, WFMN invests in timely solutions that are critical to the safety and well-being of women, girls, and gender-expansive people in our state. Funded community investments include convening people to strategize and create community solidarity, developing innovative programming and organizations, and supporting organizing in response to policy changes that harm communities. Funded organizations and individuals are led by and center Black, Indigenous, and women, girls, and gender-expansive people and youth of color.

WFMN has shifted all grantmaking to general operations to allow organizations greater flexibility in response to the emergent needs of communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice. As grantee-partner organizations continue to lead in their communities, responsive general operations grants allow community partners to address the rapidly changing needs in this environment. Further, as WFMN accelerates its commitment to racial justice, we are listening to communities and organizations most impacted and investing in organizational capacity and healing spaces and services dedicated to Black women and girls and additional communities of color. This work was made possible through the support of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Grantee-partners:

Change Starts with Community (Minneapolis) | $7,500 – To support a gender-based violence prevention summer camp including field trips, mentorship, sex education, and life skill lessons for Black, Indigenous, and girls of color in Minneapolis and Hennepin County communities. Change Starts with Community is a public health, gender based violence prevention program through health, wealth, and social changes for women and girls in the City of Minneapolis.

Kitana Holland (Minneapolis) | $2,500 – To fund INHALE JUSTICE EXHALE PEACE, a 75-minute flow session including meditation, hot flow yoga practice, and time for gratitude. Pay-as-you-wish proceeds were directed to Chyna Whitaker, the mother of Daunte Wright, Jr.

Leslie Barlow (Minneapolis) | $2,500 – To enable girls and gender-expansive youth of color to create public art pieces at Daunte Wright’s memorial site and to provide youth a space to engage on topics including community solidarity, care, justice, and art’s relationship to memorializing and healing, and to process violence and grief in unity.

Project DIVA International (Minneapolis) | $7,500 – To support and serve Black girls age 12-18 from Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding suburban communities with an intensive one-year personal and professional development coaching program. Project DIVA International involves families and other members of the community to give girls role models of success and culturally significant experiences concerning their own heritage, self-worth, and empowerment.

MN8 (St. Paul) | $7,500 – To facilitate ReGenerate, a pilot youth program to create space for Southeast Asian girls to build power through building relationships, healing from trauma, and developing healthy coping mechanisms. MN8’s mission is to provide direct support to Southeast Asian families impacted by detention and deportation through community organizing and leadership development to bring about social and political change.

SHEletta Makes Me Laugh (Minneapolis) | $7,500 – To support the Teens Talk Tour program across Minnesota that provides teen girls free listening sessions with a counselor to discuss their mental health and challenges that affect their overall well-being. SHEletta Makes Me Laugh is a podcasting platform that centers stories of young black teens, families with autistic children, grieving parents, and folks who just need a good laugh.

Sisters In Christ Global (Coon Rapids) | $7,500 – To fund Girl Fit—Transforming Lives through Movement, Mindset, and Mentorship Program, which works with girls, particularly Black, Indigenous, and girls of color, to transform negative emotions of pain and repressed traumas into positivity using fitness activities. Sisters In Christ Global works to achieve social equity and justice for women and girls.

The Fields at Rootsprings (Annandale) | $7,500 – To support Black, Indigenous, and people of color who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community by providing a healing retreat space in the greater Minnesota area. The Fields at Rootsprings aims to nurture artistic and spiritual development especially for artists, activists, and healers through a foundation focused on building relationships between people and the land for healing.

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