Center for Economic Inclusion Lands $1M Grant from U.S. Bancorp
Tawanna Black, founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion. PHOTO BY CAROLINE YANG

Center for Economic Inclusion Lands $1M Grant from U.S. Bancorp

The St. Paul nonprofit aims to use the funds to boost Black and Indigenous employment in the region.
Tawanna Black, founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion. PHOTO BY CAROLINE YANG

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp is stepping up its commitment to the Center for Economic Inclusion, a St. Paul nonprofit focused on improving equity in the Twin Cities metro.

On Tuesday, the center announced that it has received a $1 million grant from U.S. Bancorp to help boost Black and Indigenous employment in the metro. The nonprofit’s goal is to increase jobs for Black and Indigenous people in the area by 10 percent over the next five years, according to a news release.

The grant from U.S. Bancorp is the largest that the center has received since it was founded three years ago. But it’s not the first contribution from the bank: In 2019, the bank provided a $500,000 grant to the center. A year later, U.S. Bank pledged “to expand its partnership with the center nationally,” according to the news release.

The funds were administered through the U.S. Bank Foundation, the bank’s philanthropic arm.

To help boost “careers paying family-sustaining wages” for Black and Indigenous residents, the Center for Economic Inclusion aims to promote anti-racist policies among local employers. The center also plans benchmark results with a peer council of employers and policymakers.

“Inclusive economic growth is good for business, and it requires intentional, sustained action and investment from corporations committed to the work of dismantling institutional racism within their organizations, instilling principles of anti-racism in every facet of the business, while investing in promising solutions in Black and Brown communities nationwide,” said Tawanna Black, founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion.

In 2020, the center had revenue of about $3.5 million, stemming from a mix of grants and consulting work. The nonprofit, which bills itself as the “first organization exclusively dedicated to advancing economic inclusion across all sectors in a major metropolitan area,” landed a $400,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase a year earlier.