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Vibrant & Equitable Communities

Equity is one of the four core values in the McKnight Foundation’s Strategic Framework. It is a value we challenge ourselves to uphold in our internal policies and practices, and it is a value that guides us as we imagine the change we want to see in our broader society. This deeply held value will now anchor the development of a new program focused on advancing a more equitable and inclusive Minnesota. The goal: Build a vibrant future for all Minnesotans with shared power, prosperity, and participation. 

To build this vibrant future, this new program will honor and build upon what we’ve learned from the work we’ve supported in the community over many years while making space for new ideas. When those who have historically been excluded do well, every Minnesotan benefits. Business, community, and government leaders know firsthand, and research shows, that achieving equity enhances our state’s civic, cultural, and economic vitality. It strengthens our workforce, ensures that local firms can compete in the global economy, and enhances the quality of life for all communities.

Please note:

As we begin building this new program, there will be no future initial inquiry application cycles in either the Region & Communities or the Education program. We expect to announce the new Vibrant & Equitable program guidelines in fall 2020, at which time grantees who fit the criteria may apply for new funding.

Below are some resources that describe how we’re thinking about our new community program as it evolves.

Announcing Our
New Program

Learn more about our new commitment to building equitable and inclusive communities in Minnesota.

What Will it Take to Build an Equitable Minnesota?

As we develop the strategies that shape this new program, we will look beyond our Foundation walls and invite community input. Learn how.

Recommended Readings

The following resources helped inform our thinking.

The Curb-Cut Effect

This Stanford Social Innovation Review article from Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink shows how an investment in one group can improve the broader well-being of a nation.

Voices from the Field: Rural Organizers on What They Need from Funders

This scan released by Neighborhood Funders Group underscores the importance of rural and small-town communities in power building and organizing.

Minnesota’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model

This PolicyLink report documents the demographic shifts in Minnesota and shows how equitable policies would benefit our state economy.

All the People, All the Places: A Landscape of Opportunity for Rural and Small Town Civic Engagement

This report from the Wallace Global Fund explores the concern among funders and advocates about the widening divide between rural and urban America.

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