We have officially entered the next phase of the Open Road Fund 2023. We have informed all 11,000 of our applicants of their decisions. Our team felt excitement and hope as we reached out to the 100 finalists who were randomly selected to receive $50,000 to invest in their Black wealth plans. We were also filled with sadness turning so many people down. All Black folks’ dreams for their abundant futures are worthy and deserving of resources.
From the beginning, we have been clear that this is not reparations. While this $50 million is an important step towards cultivating black wealth, it is not close to enough to repair all the harm done to the Black community over the last 400 years. When we do get reparations, it should be for all descendants of enslaved African people, not just 800 folks from Minnesota and the Dakotas.
How were finalists selected?
We used a random selection process to choose finalists because of our inherent belief that all the eligible Open Road Fund applicant’s’ dreams and plans for creating and sustaining Black wealth deserved an opportunity to be chosen. For example, Oone family’s plan to buy a home does not have more or less merit than another person’s plan to invest in a business or to pursue higher education.
We worked with software developers to design a randomization tool built for our grantmaking process. Using this tool, we randomly selected finalists—50% of finalists are from the Twin Cities metro area and 50% are from Greater Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Will finalists be publicly announced?
For those of you who were not chosen this year, we understand the grief and the skepticism you may be feeling right now. With only 100 people selected across 3 states, some of us may not yet know anyone who was selected. Out of respect and concern for finalists’ privacy, Nexus will not make finalists names public, although finalists are free to share if they wish.
Phase 2 of the Open Road Fund includes finalists submitting their Black wealth plans, and once approved, disbursement of funds. After finalists receive their awards, we plan to consensually share grantee stories and evaluate grantee experiences in partnership with Research in Action, a Black-led research and evaluation firm.
The Open Road Fund will be distributing funds for the next 7 years. We hope you will continue to follow the Open Road Fund and Nexus Community Partners—across our organization, we work to nurture the prosperity of our communities, including our health, joy, peace, love, safety, and the needs of future generations. We will continue to share Black wealth building opportunities hosted by Nexus and our partners.
The Open Road Fund Team
If you have not heard back about your Open Road Fund application, please email us at ORFsupport@nexuscp.org. If you have questions, please reference our FAQ page.