U.S. Bank Awards $5M to Twin Cities Nonprofits
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing on May 25, U.S. Bank on Tuesday announced $5 million in grants to Twin Cities organizations that are addressing economic and racial inequities and rebuilding neighborhoods.
The state of Minnesota estimates that more than $500 million in property damage occurred in response to Floyd’s death. “Nearly 1,500 businesses in the Twin Cities were damaged by vandalism, fire or looting,” Gov. Tim Walz wrote in a July letter to President Trump. “The heaviest damage occurred along major corridors of commerce and public accommodation, including Lake Street in Minneapolis and in the Midway Area of St. Paul.”
Those corridors are addressed in U.S. Bank’s grant allocations, with $2 million of its funding going to organizations that can assist small businesses with rebuilding. Awards from the U.S. Bank Foundation are earmarked for Community Development Financial Institutions, known in development circles as CDFIs, and for nonprofits in three geographic areas.
The grant recipients are:
Lake Street corridor: African Development Center, Latino Economic Development Center, Neighborhood Development Center
University Avenue corridor: African Economic Development Solutions, Asian Economic Development Association, Neighborhood Development Center
West Broadway Avenue corridor: Black Women’s Wealth Alliance, Northside Economic Opportunity Network, West Broadway Business and Area Coalition
The foundation also awarded $3 million in multi-year grants to organizations that U.S. Bank says are “driving access to economic mobility by addressing structural systems that lead to racial disparities and inequities.”
The awards include several nonprofits that have long track records in tackling racial inequities in the Twin Cities. “We are providing general operating funds and investing in people because we trust community leaders to know how, when, and where to use these funds for the greatest impact,” said Reba Dominski, U.S. Bank’s chief social responsibility officer, in a written statement.
The grant recipients by category are:
Racial equity and housing: Hope Community, Nexus Community Partners, Philanthropic Collective to Combat Anti-Blackness & Realize Racial Justice, Urban League
Small business and economic development: Pillsbury United Communities’ Community Development Corporation—Justice Built Communities
Workforce advancement and education: Generation Next, Northside Achievement Zone, Summit Academy OIC
U.S. Bank was among the businesses affected by civil unrest this spring, with multiple branch banks damaged or burned. To continue serving U.S. Bank customers in the Lake Street and West Broadway areas, spokeswoman Susan Beatty said that a mobile banking unit has been deployed over the past several weeks. In addition, she said an ATM was added to West Broadway’s branch location about a week ago.
Last year, U.S. Bank made a $500,000 grant to the Twin Cities-based Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI). Two days after Floyd’s death, Tawanna Black, the center’s founder and CEO, issued a call to action to Minnesota business and policy leaders to “dismantle structural racism and economic disparities in Minneapolis-St. Paul.” On Tuesday, U.S. Bank said it “intends to expand its partnership nationally with CEI as part of its efforts to address economic and racial inequities.”