Currently, the fund is in its early stages of development. Many questions you may have about it will be answered over the next year, through our community design process. This FAQ reflects what we know so far. We will update it over the course of the year-long design phase.
- Who is Nexus Community Partners?
- What is the Community Trust Fund?
- How was Nexus selected to be a Community Trust Fund steward?
- Why Nexus?
- What is Nexus’ vision for the Community Trust Fund?
- Does Nexus consider the Community Trust Fund reparations?
- Why is the Community Trust Fund important?
- Who will the Community Trust Fund benefit?
- When will the Community Trust Fund resources be available?
- Who decides how the money will be redistributed?
- What will be decided during the design phase?
- Can Black businesses apply to receive funds from the Community Trust Fund?
- How will the Community Trust Fund impact Nexus’ work?
- What does this mean for solidarity between Black and Indigenous communities?
- How can the Community Trust Fund impact the field of philanthropy?
Who is Nexus Community Partners?
Nexus Community Partners is a non-profit organization that supports strong, equitable and just communities in which all residents are engaged, are recognized as leaders and have pathways to wealth building opportunities. We nurture the prosperity of our communities – and in this prosperity, our health, joy, peace, love, safety and the needs of future generations come first. Nexus is dedicated to building engaged and powerful communities so that each and every person can flourish in a joyful and abundant life. Nexus is based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
What is the Community Trust Fund?
In 2021, the Bush Foundation committed $100 million to seed two community trust funds that will address wealth disparities caused by historic racial injustice. These Community Trust Funds are directed to Black and Indigenous individuals in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. As a steward of the Community Trust Fund, Nexus is responsible for directing $50 million to Black folks within the region.
How was Nexus selected to be a Community Trust Fund steward?
Nexus learned of Bush Foundation’s intentions to launch a Community Trust Fund specifically for Black and Indigenous people in March 2021. We submitted an extensive proposal outlining the origins and impact of our work, as well as our commitment to community wealth building. We were interviewed by a panel of Black community leaders and the Bush Foundation who worked together to select us as stewards for the Community Trust Fund in the Fall of 2021.
Nexus has a legacy of advancing community wealth building, particularly for Black people. Across our 17-year history, Nexus has provided more than $20 million in grants to thousands of individuals and organizations, and many more capacity building organizations, to build engaged and powerful communities of color. Through programs like our North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, we’ve been able to focus on bringing owners of Black-led cooperatives together to build a future of Black wealth.
What is Nexus’ vision for the Community Trust Fund?
This $50 million Community Trust Fund belongs to the Black Community. This is an exciting opportunity to give Black folks the money they are owed. At Nexus, we believe that community wealth building is a necessary component for the process of healing. Building Black wealth provides space to secure prosperity for one another, as well as space to rest and explore and express the depths of who we are – celebrating our joys, and healing our pains.
Does Nexus consider the Community Trust Fund reparations?
No. This is not reparations and $50 million is not enough to correct all the harms done to the Black community over 400 years. However, we look forward to redistributing these resources toward the safety of our children, the wellbeing of our elders, and the strength of our communities. Building Black wealth provides us the space to secure prosperity for one another, as well as space to rest and explore and express the depths of who we are – celebrating our joys, and healing our pains.
Why is the Community Trust Fund important?
We believe this opportunity to invest in the building of Black wealth comes in direct response to the systemic inequities Black people have faced from slavery to the present today. We recognize the generations of Black folks working to create economic justice, the many 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 others in this work.
Who decides how the money will be redistributed?
Because these funds are for the Black community, we trust the community to shape the process for how they will be shared. Over the next year, we will convene Black community members from the region to design this process of redistribution. We are excited to listen to the community, as well as local organizations, and prioritize their voices in the shaping of this Community Trust Fund. We know that we cannot do this work alone and we are excited to welcome the input of our community.
What will be decided during the design phase?
This is the community’s opportunity to shape how the Community Trust Fund will be distributed. Collectively, community members will decide who is eligible, how much money folks will receive, what the application process will be, when folks can apply, and more.
Can Black businesses apply to receive funds from the Community Trust Fund?
The Community Trust Fund goes directly to Black individuals and families to build wealth, as opposed to regranting to organizations and institutions. That means organizations and businesses will not qualify for funds. However, individual Black business owners will be able to apply directly to the Community Trust Fund. Again, these funds are meant for individual people. We embrace the opportunity to directly impact the lives of Black folks who still face barriers to buying homes, starting businesses, saving for their future, and so much more.
How will the Community Trust Fund impact Nexus’ work?
This Community Trust Fund builds on the work we’ve been committed to since day one. These specific resources are restricted for Black community members in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. However, we look forward to continuing our work of ushering out the rigged rules, attitudes, and practices that concentrate wealth and power in fewer and whiter hands, and ushering in ways of living, working, and making decisions together that nourish communities – whether Black, brown, indigenous or immigrant – for this generation and generations to come.
What does this mean for solidarity between Black and Indigenous communities?
We are proud to be selected as stewards alongside NDN Collective, who also will be redistributing resources within the Indigenous community. For too long, white supremacist structures have benefited from the exploitation of Black and Native folks by pitting us against one another in an effort to divide our people and minimize our access to the resources we need to thrive. Today, we are proud to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives, utilizing this opportunity to access our shared liberation and greater prosperity across our communities. Read our joint statement.
How can the Community Trust Fund impact the field of philanthropy?
We hope that this is just the beginning of giving Black and Indigenous people money that they deserve. This as an opportunity for the broader philanthropic community to take bold action in righting the wrongs of white supremacist structures that have long exploited Black and Indigenous people.