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Learn how the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation is taking action to partner with and support communities in Minnesota in this video with President & CEO Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D.

Things are heating up this summer. With temperatures high, our President & CEO Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., shares highlights of the Foundation’s latest work in the community.

Hello everyone. I'm Dr. Eric Jolly, president and CEO of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. It's hard to believe we are halfway through 2023.

The last time I shared an update, I talked about the importance of our role at the Foundation as being a connector. This time I'd like to talk about the importance of taking action.

As a community foundation, we are committed to taking actionable steps to partner with and to support our community to create the Minnesota that we all want to live in. For this update, I'd like to cover a few of our recent actions.

The East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, a project in cooperation with DEED, the Department for Employment and Economic Development. to get funds to rebuild and revitalize Saint Paul in the wake of civil unrest and the pandemic.

We recently announced the names of 42 Saint Paul businesses and nonprofits that are receiving $7 million. All of these recipients can be found on the Foundation's website.

What makes this program particularly unique is that all of the funded projects serve communities that have been historically underinvested in by traditional funding sources. This includes Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latino, new American immigrants, refugees, LGBTQI communities and low income communities.

In addition to this, more than 85% of the projects are owned or led by people of color. These grants are an investment in community vitality, and more importantly, in the healing of Saint Paul's business corridors, the livelihood and dreams of its residents, and in a more vibrant future for its businesses and nonprofits.

We also just announced the first of our two Building Community Capacity grant rounds. Along with our partners, the F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the Mardag Foundation, we awarded $9 million to nonprofits.

Grants will support dozens of projects addressing a range of community needs, from supporting our seniors to providing affordable healthcare, to supporting trans youth, to getting resources into the deaf Muslim community. And I'm just listening a few of the important initiatives and projects underway.

The next Building Community Capacity grant round is open for applications July 17th through August 9th. Check out our website for more information.

In September of 2021, Ramsey County announced that they would reduce reliance on non-public safety traffic stops - stops for things like broken taillights, items hanging from the rear view mirror. Instead of these traffic stops, law enforcement now issues letters to vehicle owners that offer financial assistance for repair or renewing registration. We are a proud funding partner of this initiative.

These changes have resulted in a two-thirds fewer traffic stops of Black motorists. 2,000 letters have gone out, and 60 lights on coupons have been issued for repairs. Non-public safety traffic stops are down by 86%. Non-public traffic searches are down by 92%, and the only changes noted in terms of impact on public safety is that the police were able to focus on stops that actually were about public safety.

This is innovation in action.

Thank you for taking a minute to hear about the important work happening at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

How We Take Action

Supporting communities historically underinvested in by traditional funding sources

The East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is a partnership with the Department of Employment and Economic Development. This program is particularly unique because all of the funded projects serve communities that have been historically under- and dis-invested in by traditional funding sources. This includes Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, immigrant, LGBTQIA+ and low-income communities.

Supporting community growth and development through grantmaking

Twice a year, the Foundation, along with partners F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation, provides Building Community Capacity grants to nonprofits. In our spring grant round, the foundations awarded $9 million to nonprofits to support projects that address a range of community needs.

Applications for the second grant round of 2023 are open July 17 - August 9.

Supporting Ramsey County’s initiative to reduce non-public safety-related traffic stops

In an effort to build trust and safety within our community, Ramsey County has implemented a new county-wide policy on non-public-safety stops. Instead of traffic stops for things like broken tail lights or items hanging from the rearview mirror, law enforcement now issues letters to vehicle owners that offer financial assistance for repair or renewing registration. This change has led to two-thirds fewer traffic stops of Black motorists.

The Foundation is a proud funding partner and host of the Ramsey County Public Safety Fund.

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