Announcing $1 Million in Grants Inspired by George Floyd’s Life
In honor of George Floyd’s memory, the McKnight Foundation will award unsolicited $100,000 grants to 10 organizations that make Minnesota a more welcoming, supportive, and inclusive place.
These one-time trust-based grants recognize groups beyond our current grantees and affirm their work toward healing and systemic justice.
Each week for 10 weeks, we will announce a new award recipient that connects to our vision of a more equitable Minnesota—the type of place that would have sparked and enabled, not extinguished, the lives of George Floyd, Philando Castile, Jamal Clark, Daunte Wright, and so many more. These Black-led organizations in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota take a holistic and cultural approach to strengthening and healing the Black community by supporting individuals, families, and communities. Their work represents a sample of community solutions crafted to combat systemic racism.
Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association is a community building organization that has served South Minneapolis for 41 years. In service of its central mission to aid community health, the association advocates, in partnership with various stakeholders, for essential and adequate resources to reduce disparities and inequities. One example is with its emerging Racial Equity & Community Health (REACH) Twin Cities initiative. REACH is a digital publication seeking to amplify and highlight a broad range of efforts that center equity. In partnership members of the Lake Street Leadership Recovery Coalition, REACH emerged in service to fueling community health, recovery, and healing after the civil uprising that arose in response to the murder of George Perry Floyd, Jr.
የ Minnesota Healing Justice Network is an intergenerational community of healers and cultural workers that center Black and brown wellness through mutual aid, holistic care, and solidarity work. With its diverse community of wellness and healing justice practitioners, the organization supports individuals from all walks of life with care, support in health, and recovery through major life transitions, childbirth, surgery, trauma, and loss. The Network also consults and collaborates with organizations, universities, and government on health equity in maternal and infant health, mental health, insurance coverage, and access to culturally congruent care.
Philando Castile devoted his life to providing food and kindness to Saint Paul Public School children.
On July 6, 2016, he was killed in a police-involved shooting on Larpenteur Avenue in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. In response to this tragedy, the Philando Castile Peace Garden Committee inspires a new era of community healing, reconciliation, unity, and transformation by creating a contemplative and peaceful gathering space at the site of the shooting. This physical outdoor space is dedicated to peace and racial healing as a movement toward reconciliation and sustainable change. Local, national, and international visitors spontaneously provide donations, place artwork, and written messages, and many bring their families to experience the sense of healing that the space inspires. The space makes the community’s love of Philando visible and reminds us that we should never forget what happened.
የ Cultural Wellness Center is a multifaceted African American nonprofit organization centered on the idea that when culture and community knowledge are studied and valued, they are powerful tools for health, memory healing, community building, and economic development. Founded in 1996, the Center works with individuals, entrepreneurs, community groups, healthcare systems, and government agencies to help overcome challenges by better understanding their culture, their practices, and themselves. We recognize the Center’s work as critical to creating sustainable health and wellness in the community, and in helping many African American leaders across Minneapolis find their bearings and discover culturally based solutions to real-world problems.
“For 25 years, we’ve been tapping into the wisdom of our elders and our cultural teachings to heal ourselves and build a stronger community. As challenging as this past year has been since Brother Floyd’s murder, the support shown by leading institutions like McKnight gives me hope. Only together can we dismantle systemic racism.”
- Elder Atum Azzahir, executive director and founder of the Cultural Wellness Center