Nexus Community Partners Awarded $50 Million to Redistribute to Black Residents in Upper Midwest
(December 14 – Saint Paul, MN) Nexus Community Partners is honored to announce we have been selected by the Bush Foundation to establish a Community Trust Fund that will direct $50 million to Black communities in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
The Bush Foundation created this fund in direct response to the systemic injustices Black people have faced from slavery and Jim Crow to police brutality, and to challenge the system of rules that robs Black people and communities of the wealth they create.
We’re proud to be working alongside NDN Collective, who will be redistributing $50 million within the Indigenous community. This is a powerful opportunity to stand in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives and to strive for our shared liberation and greater prosperity across our communities.
Throughout our 17-year history, Nexus has been deeply committed to community wealth building and the creation of sustainable, regenerative local economies rooted in cooperation. Nexus has redistributed more than $20 million in grants to thousands of community leaders, entrepreneurs, and organizations to build engaged and powerful communities of color. Through our programs like the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, we’ve been able to bring worker-owners of Black-led cooperatives together, grounded in Black cooperative history and culture, to live into a future of Black wealth.
Repa Mekha, President & CEO of Nexus Community Partners, said, “This fund is a powerful opportunity to scale up our work, and 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.”
The Community Trust Fund not only builds upon our own work at Nexus, but it also speaks to the impact of the work of local Black leaders and organizations who have been continually working towards economic justice, particularly in the Upper Midwest.
“We are part of an ecosystem of community members, businesses, and organizations who have been doing this work for decades,” said Danielle Mkali, Nexus Director of Cooperatives, Transformation, and Healing. “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,”
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. Over the next year, we will deeply engage 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. We expect to launch the Community Trust Fund in early 2023.
“This Community Trust Fund builds on the work we’ve been committed to since day one. It is an exciting opportunity to build momentum on giving Black folks the money they are owed,” said Mekha. “We also recognize that this is just part of our work and part of the work to repair over 400 years of harm—$50 million is both an incredible amount of resources, and it is also just one step on this journey. We hope others will join the Bush foundation in taking meaningful action to confront the legacy of white supremacy, repair harm done to Black people, and position our communities to thrive.”
In addition to operating this Community Trust Fund, Nexus will be continuing all its regular programs that build power with communities of color in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Contact: Elly Fireside-Ostergaard
Phone: (612) 547-9861
Secondary contact: Kathy Graves
Phone: (612) 242-3184
About Nexus Community Partners
In who we are and through what we do, Nexus Community Partners builds engaged and powerful communities so that each and every person can flourish in a joyful and abundant life. We hold central that, for this to be possible, we must usher out the rigged rules, attitudes, and practices that concentrate wealth and power in ever fewer and ever whiter hands, and usher in ways of living, working, and making decisions together that nourish communities for this generation and generations to come. For more information, visit www.nexuscp.org.
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