Thanks Project Equity!

In February, a group of Nexus staff and Minnesota community wealth builders headed out west to sunny Oakland, CA for Project Equity’s Employee Ownership Equity Summit. Our Minnesota delegation appreciated the opportunity to map out our national shared ownership ecosystem and the cross-sector learnings shared between policy makers, financial institutions and regional cooperators. Big thank you to Project Equity for hosting an energizing, connecting, and informative summit!

From Christina Nicholson, Cooperative Finance Developer at Nexus:

“The trip to Oakland was fantastic, and spending time with all the amazing folks from the Twin Cities was very work—and life—affirming. Mayor Carter’s keynote powerfully kicked off the conference, opening up rich discussion about the definition of Equity. What inspired me most was the amount of genuine commitment to financial and social equity, and ingenious ways people build it in the Twin Cities and beyond.


RFP: Legal Retainership

  • February 28, 2023
  • By: efireside
  • In: General

This request for proposal (RFP) is to contract for legal retainership in which an attorney will act as legal counsel and advisor to Nexus Community Partners. Read the full RFP here. Proposals must be submitted no later than 5:00pm (CST) on Wednesday, March 31st.

Nexus Community Partners is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to build more engaged and powerful communities of color. Through our work, we work to create a world where each and every person can flourish in a joyful and abundant life. For this to be possible, we must usher out the rigged rules, attitudes, and practices that concentrate wealth and power in fewer and whiter hands, and usher in ways of living, working, and making decisions together that nourish communities for this generation and generations to come.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Are joint proposals acceptable?
    • A: Yes, Nexus will accept and review joint proposals. If a joint proposal is selected, Nexus may wish to go into contract with only one entity.


  • Q: Will you accept proposals from attorneys/firms that cannot start by May 1, 2023?
    • A: Yes, Nexus will accept and review proposals from attorneys and firms with start dates later than May 1st, The start date will be considered during the evaluation of proposals.


  • Q: Will proposals from firms located outside of Minnesota be accepted?
    • A: Yes, Nexus will accept and review proposals from attorneys and firms located outside of Minnesota. Should Nexus need counsel licensed in the state of MN, Nexus would expect the selected attorney or firm to identify the appropriate local and licensed representation.


  • Q: What is the current organizational budget? Specifically, are you able to share the budget that has been set aside for the legal retainership? 
    • A: Our 2023 budget is $12, 640,052 with over $6 million of that being regranted to local organizations and individual community members. Proposals in the range of $45,000 to $60,000 are preferred, although there may be some flexibility if the scope expands, or additional services are needed.


  • Q: Understanding that this RFP is for a 4-year contract, our firm rates increase annually. Is it acceptable that our “price” section reflects the rate change? 
    • A: Yes. Submitted proposals should reflect your price structures.


  • Q: Are we able to suggest additional legal services that may not be called out in the RFP, but based on our experience working with similar organizations, will ensure overall organizational effectiveness and protection? 
    • A: Yes. If you have recommendations on additional legal services, please include them in the proposal.




Introducing the Advisory for the Black Community Trust Fund! These 11 folks are helping the Nexus team shape the Fund. They will be part of designing how the fund operates, reviewing and approving applications, and gathering and incorporating community feedback. Learn more about them here!

We’ll be kicking off Black History Month with another Black Study Session on Wednesday, February 1st, from 5-7pm on zoom. Registration link will be live soon!

Join us to learn about Black cooperatives, to meet other community members, and to learn more about community wealth building efforts, including the Black Community Trust Fund. These sessions are Black-centered, but all community members are welcome to come connect and learn. From housing collectives and social clubs to freedom farms and mutual aid, Black social, cultural, and economic solidarity IS Black History. Cooperation and collectivism live on as we fight for our liberation, and center our healing and joy.

Last fall we made a major announcement. Nexus Community Partners was selected by the Bush Foundation to establish a Community Trust Fund that directs $50 million to Black communities in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota over 8 years. We are thrilled for the opportunity to redistribute these deserved resources to everyday Black folks working to provide for their families, run small businesses, tend to their wellbeing, and so much more. And we know that we cannot do this alone. We need your help to decide what Black Wealth Building means, together.

Take the survey here!



What is the survey?

Nexus Community Partners is launching a survey to help inform the Black Community Trust fund. This survey will contribute to how we define Black wealth, and how the fund should be used. This community engagement effort is one important way that will help us include as many Black people’s input into the fund.

We will give five $50 gift cards randomly to survey participants and draw names weekly throughout the survey period. The survey closes January 31st 2023. 


Who is the survey for?

Black individuals from across the MN, ND and SD region are invited to take part in creating this fund. Our values, culture, and ideas about wealth are critical to creating the Black wealth fund we know Black people deserve. All qualifying Black residents in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are invited to submit feedback. This includes Black folks who are formerly incarcerated, LGBTQI+, poor, disabled, single, married, and more. By “Black” we are referring to descendants of formerly enslaved Black people (including descendants of Black families who experienced Jim Crow and 20th century redlining). 

“We are part of an ecosystem of community members, businesses, and organizations who have been doing this work for decades,” said Danielle Mkali, Nexus Senior Director “We recognize the generations of Black folks working to create economic justice, the many, Black-led organizations in our community that have been advocating on Black people’s behalf, and the ancestors who persevered in the face of impossible hardship. We thank them for creating the foundation we now stand upon. And we look forward to partnering with them throughout this process. We hope you will participate in the survey today.”

In the tradition of Black cooperation, we are not doing this work alone. Because these funds are for the Black community, we are trusting the community to shape the process. Engagement efforts like this survey, and the Black Community Trust Advisory Council are instrumental in building this fund together.  We are deeply engaging Black community members around the region to design the fund, from the application criteria to decision making structures. One thing is certain though: the Community Trust Fund will go directly to Black individuals and families to build wealth, not to organizations and institutions. 

Learn more about the Black Community Trust Fund