Where we go from here

Mural at George Floyd Square. Photo by Lorie Shaull

On Tuesday, 12 jurors cracked open the window of justice. And we see a little light.

To be clear, the verdict in George Floyd’s murder should never have been in doubt. But we had reason for pessimism. Only rarely do police-involved killings of Black, Brown and Indigenous people even make it to the doorstep of our courts. When they do, officers are almost never held accountable—even for the most abhorrent abuses of power.

Floyd’s murder is part of a chilling pattern where policing in communities of color leads to senseless death again and again. Our hearts are already heavy this week as 20-year-old Daunte Wright, another unarmed Black man killed by local police in Minnesota, is laid to rest. Again a family and community mourns. Again we hear pleas for justice and vows for change. Again we have reason to doubt justice will ever be served.
What will it take before we say as a state, enough is enough?

Right after George Floyd’s death, our state’s leaders stood up to declare that Black Lives Matter. A year later, we’re fighting for more than a hashtag. You can help us move lawmakers into action. We can’t wait for another tragedy before we act.

The Minnesota House has taken the courageous step with a public safety omnibus bill that builds on last year’s Minnesota Police Accountability Act. This slate of common-sense measures holds officers accountable for harmful actions and unties the hands of police chiefs in protecting life.

Stand with us in calling on Minnesota state legislators and Governor Walz to take immediate and decisive action on the following items:

  • HF1104: End qualified immunity. Help survivors of brutality or harassment by law enforcement get relief in the courts by ending qualified immunity for police officers.
  • HF1103: Rules on body cameras. Prohibit law enforcement from tampering with body camera footage of a deadly force incident and require footage to be released to family and representative within 48 hours.
  • HF640: Establish civilian oversight. Remove the current state law prohibiting citizen-led councils from imposing discipline on law enforcement officers.
  • HF593: Exclude white supremacists from police ranks. Change the Peace Officer Code of Conduct to prohibit anyone on the force from affiliating with, supporting, or advocating for white supremacist or other extremist groups.
  • HF1374: Track misconduct. Require police chiefs to report officer misconduct and help to identify officers with harmful patterns of behavior.
  • HF-TBD: Limit Traffic Stops. Limit authority for police officers to stop or detain drivers for certain vehicle equipment violations.

We encourage you to reach out to lawmakers to express your support for these important acts of legislation: 

We see the light of change peeking through. With your vocal support, Minnesota can throw the window wide open.

(Photo credit: Lorie Shaull)

Samantha Diaz Named Director of Office of Public Charter Schools

Welcome graphic for Samantha Diaz

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Pillsbury United Communities has named Samantha Diaz as its new Director of the Office of Public Charter Schools (OPCS).

In this role, Samantha will provide oversight and evaluation for all charter schools authorized by Pillsbury United Communities—supporting the operations, compliance, and efficacy of existing and prospective charters within the Pillsbury United network.

Additionally, Samantha will facilitate the OPCS’ ongoing work of developing a “community of practice” within the charter school sector, deepening best practices around authorizing standards; building awareness of policy shifts impacting the sector; and developing collaborative approaches to achieve the best educational experience for all students.

“Samantha is a fierce advocate for Black and brown children, with a deep commitment to equity and accountability,” said Adair Mosley, President & CEO of Pillsbury United Communities. “Given her immense knowledge of charter schools and policy, she was the ideal candidate to lead the continuing evolution of the OPCS in developing new and pioneering authorizing practices.”

Samantha previously served as Associate Authorizer Liaison for the OPCS and most recently served as the Education Legislation & Policy Director at the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs. Prior to Samantha’s work in Minnesota, she served as Legislative Director for the Chairman of the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizen Committee in the New Jersey State Legislature. She received her Master’s in Public Administration at Baruch College – Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, and a Bachelor’s degree in History at Kean University. Samantha is also an alumni of the National Urban Fellows leadership development program.

The OPCS authorizes 20 public charter schools throughout the state of Minnesota, including sites throughout the Twin Cities Metro, and in Rochester and St. Cloud. These schools are designed so that the children and families whose needs are not being met by traditional public schools have access to relevant education that supports each student’s personal, social, and academic achievement.

Data science, human services elevated within Pillsbury United leadership

An update from our leadership team

Pillsbury United Communities is pleased to announce several key moves in the agency’s executive leadership team, including the creation of a new executive-level position centered around data science and evaluation.

Tsega Tamene has stepped into the newly established role of Head of Data Science & Evaluation. In this role, she stewards Pillsbury United’s vision and strategy to activate data for impact—transforming how the agency defines, captures, and implements data toward systems change. She previously served as Senior Director of Population Health.

“Data will drive the evolution of our organization and our transformative impact in community,” says Adair Mosley, President & CEO of Pillsbury United Communities. “Pillsbury United Communities seeks to have a population-level impact on systems that create more equitable and just outcomes for our communities. Tsega, with her population health background, will drive upstream change and targeted and predictive program and services.”

Accompanying this new role, several additional Pillsbury United leaders have been named to new or elevated roles.

Ethan Neal has been named to the newly created position of Director of Food Systems. In this role, he oversees all of the agency’s food programs, including food shelves, community meal programs, and urban agriculture, and he drives all of the agency’s efforts towards the creation of a local, sustainable, equitable food system. He previously served as Food Systems Manager.

Awol Windissa has been named to the position of Director of Community Health. In this role, he oversees all community health and wellness programs, with a particular focus on removing barriers to health; promoting wellness; reducing disparities; and implementing place-based, community-centered and culturally-relevant approaches. Awol previously served as Community Health Manager at Brian Coyle Center.

Additionally, current leadership team members Miski Abdulle and Vickie Besch have received promotions to Director of Immigrant Services and Director of Community Accessibility, respectively.

Click here to view Pillsbury United’s strategic framework and learn more about our agency’s strategic priorities.

Food shelves meeting the challenge of COVID-19

Food shelf worker distributing produce to community members

As we reach the first anniversary of COVID lockdowns, it’s worth looking back at the vital response of our food shelves at Brian Coyle Center and Waite House—and the huge efforts they’ve undertaken to show up for the communities that have been hit the hardest in our city.

It’s hard to fathom the scale of their effort. When the first wave of stay-at-home orders began, our food shelves were serving more than three times their usual volume. We were serving more households, and more frequently, than ever before. We kept up that pace all year—and by the end of December, we had distributed nearly one million pounds of food to our neighbors.

“What we have to understand is the operational context of that volume,” says Ethan Neal, Director of Food Systems at Pillsbury United Communities. With changes to the food shelf’s operational model to facilitate social distancing, staff took on a more active role in packaging and distributing food to clients. “That’s a lot of pounds of food on the backs of our people,” Ethan says.

This was a truly unprecedented effort for Pillsbury United Communities. Here’s more about how we stepped up to the challenge—and how you can help us continue this work in 2021 and beyond.

A creative approach in times of crisis

Social distancing guidelines required our team to physically reimagine our food shelves—finding new spaces, and creatively repurposing others. At Waite House, the food shelf team expanded to utilize space in an unused gymnasium.

“We started seeing such an influx in the number of people we were serving,” Ethan says, “That we needed to stretch our legs and utilize one of the largest properties in Minneapolis Parks & Rec.”

And with the lockdowns also affecting our neighbors’ access to essential hygiene items, our food shelves significantly expanded their offerings of diapers, feminine hygiene products, and other household necessities. At Brian Coyle Center, we partnered with our neighbors across the street at Mixed Blood Theatre to organize essential supply drives as a supplement to our food assistance.

“We became much more than just a food shelf,” Ethan says, “and I think that evolution was important in our response.”

Justice and equity in food access

And while COVID-19 forced our team to think creatively and reimagine their work, it also underscored the importance of several long-standing commitments for our agency’s food programs.

“When you think of a food shelf, you think of a model that’s based on canned food drives,” Ethan says. “At Pillsbury United, we’ve pledged a lot of our dollars to source healthy, culturally specific foods to serve our communities.” That means more access to fresh produce, as well as culturally relevant staples that reflect the tastes of our Native, Latin American, and East African neighbors.

“[As an agency] we talk about food justice and equity,” says Jovita Morales, food shelf coordinator at Waite House. “And if we don’t reflect our diversity in our food shelves, that’s not equity.”

“And you don’t see that everywhere,” adds Luz Francisco, building and volunteer coordinator at Waite House. “People in the community can come to us and know that we have foods they’ll want to eat.”

This approach was central to our work pre-COVID, and only became more urgent in response to the pandemic. To that end, we redoubled our commitment to urban agriculture across our entire food system and installed a walk-in cooler at the Waite House food shelf to house more fresh produce. And for those culturally specific preferences that our food bank partners couldn’t meet, we established new relationships with local, minority-owned grocery stores to help fill the gap.

How you can help

There is so much more to be said about the vital response of our food shelves and our many other staff providing essential, frontline services.

Today, you can help support this work with a financial contribution. During the month of March, our partners at Minnesota FoodShare are offering a partial match for all donations to Pillsbury United food shelves. If you’re able, please give today. 

Food assistance is available via the food shelves at Waite House and Brian Coyle Center, as well as via our community meal programs at Waite House and Oak Park Center

Jihan Rashid named Director of Community Health Worker Hub

Community health worker and community members meeting outside Brian Coyle Center

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Pillsbury United Communities has named Jihan Rashid as Director of Community Health Worker Hub.

In this role, Jihan will oversee the agency’s Community Health Worker Hub, a new initiative aimed at elevating the role of community health workers in providing culturally informed, holistic, and coordinated care for communities that have been historically underserved by traditional health care systems.

As part of this effort, Jihan will drive the agency’s adoption of the Pathways Community HUB framework, a certified, evidence-based model for community care coordination that will reduce costs, improve health care outcomes, and center the cultural knowledge of community health workers. This work is being undertaken in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance, and many local health care systems.

“The Pathways Community HUB’s care coordination system is vital for our communities,” said Rashid, “Because it centers strong community relationships through community health workers, upholds accountability for outcome of health and wellness services, and emphasizes care for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Jihan brings to Pillsbury United a breadth of experience in public health, Medicaid transformation, coalition-building, and community participation in systems change,” said Tsega Tamene, Senior Director of Population Health at Pillsbury United Communities. “She understands the critical gaps and opportunities in healthcare sustainability. We are excited for her vision and leadership to drive this work.”

Jihan has been committed to public health since high school and has worked with a vast array of public health issues (including nutrition, HIV, lead exposure, and air pollution) through research, program management, and public health education.

In her past role as a program coordinator with the Somali Health Board, Jihan facilitated a one-of-a-kind community-led health model, supporting it from its infancy to its establishment as a community-based organization. Subsequently, she drove the establishment of a coalition of like-minded community health boards to collaborate across communities. In addition to her work in program management, community engagement, research and policy-system advocacy, she has also worked as a caregiver, tutor, peer educator, and victim advocate.

Introducing a policy platform for justice

A young person from Waite House attending the State Capitol

By Kenzie O’Keefe, Policy & Advocacy Director

If the catastrophes of 2020 (and now 2021) have taught us one lesson, it’s that dramatic, uncompromising structural change cannot wait a moment longer.

We need public policy that meets this moment. We need true, comprehensive healthcare, housing, healing, and justice for all. Now is the time for courage.

As a historically human services focused agency, Pillsbury United Communities is no longer content to influence public policy from the sidelines. We are entering into the new year with a brand new public policy agenda—the first of its kind for our organization. We are getting to work shaping public policy and government budgets to bring about the change our systemically oppressed communities have long deserved and been denied.

Our agenda is the product of over 100 conversations with our community members: our leadership, managers, frontline staff, program participants, clients, neighbors, and professional peers in the work. Our goal was to center community need, wisdom, love, and imagination in this roadmap for our governmental advocacy work.

Highlights of our 2021-22 commitments include:

  • Expanding access to affordable, culturally relevant models of holistic healthcare through the emerging field of community health workers, driving toward universal healthcare as an end result.
  • Increasing funding for culturally relevant, community-based programs and out of school time youth programming
  • Promoting equitable neighborhood development while protecting legacy residents with anti-gentrification measures
  • Tracking toward true public safety for all
  • Ensuring artists and the creative economy are economically stable
  • Dismantling the racial opportunity gap and incentivizing innovation in our public education system

Additionally, we commit to being anti-racist in our work, something we do humbly as a legacy institution that has at times been complicit in propping up the inequitable systems that we are trying to change through policy. We intend to be champions of shared power, advocating for policy that originates from, is co-designed by, and is evaluated after implementation by the communities it affects most.

In addition to our policy platform priorities, we’ve created a working document that details the specific ordinances, bills, and other policy items we are leading on, supporting, and endorsing at every level of government. This chart will be organically populated as opportunities arise and diminish. We invite you to reach out if there are items you’d like to see added or adjusted or items you’d like to fight alongside us to achieve.

Follow along with our work and sign up for email updates at pillsburyunited.org/policy.

View the full policy platform document (.pdf).

Join us at Greater>Together 2020!

It’s been a year like no other in our city. We’ve seen devastating loss and felt the reverberations of historic inequities throughout our communities. And yet, we’ve also seen the courage and collective will of our communities at work. A better future is possible. Now is the moment to stand together.

This year, we’re excited to announce Greater>Together 2020, an online event featuring artistic performances and courageous conversations led by our team of community-builders and change-makers. Join us on Facebook Live on December 3 at 7:00 p.m. CT to get a first-hand look at the impact we’re making in community and our ambitious vision of change.

The live broadcast will be free to all, but we are offering a variety of premium benefit packages to our close friends and supporters. We’re pleased to announce partnerships with Afro Deli, Mama Sheila’s, and Sammy’s Avenue Eatery, three Black-owned restaurants in our communities, to offer a delicious dinner for two, delivered to your door on December 3.

Donate today for premium benefits, or follow us on Facebook for the latest Greater>Together reminders as December 3 approaches.

Inside hydroponic farming at North Market

If you’ve visited North Market recently, you may have noticed a new neighbor in our parking lot. In partnership with Freight Farms, we’ve installed a hydroponic farm on-site, providing a year-round growing environment that will supply North Market shoppers with local, fresh greens and herbs.

But when we say that the Freight Farm at North Market is a “self-contained hydroponic growing environment,” what does that actually mean? What’s happening within these corrugated metal walls? What is the journey of a seed as it makes its way to the North Market produce aisle?

Step 1: Germination

The first step in the life of a plant is germination. We plant our seeds in a specialized “grow plug” made of coconut husk and peat moss. This eco-friendly growing material keeps its shape and holds water better than traditional soil, making it a better fit for our specialized hydroponic drip system.

Once the plug has been seeded, it is soaked in water and placed under red-and-blue LED lights. Our seeds require a lot of light at this stage—19 hours of sunlight every day over the next week—and the farmer closely monitors the growing environment to maintain an ambient temperature of 70° F.

Step 2: The Nursery

After seven days, our seeds have sprouted, and it’s time for their first move. Our baby seedlings are relocated to the upper level of the harvest table, which doubles as a nursery. Here, the tiny sprouts are watered every 12 hours with a special nutrient-rich solution to ensure they are free of disease and can begin to grow strong roots.

The baby plants continue to receive 19 hours of artificial sunlight per day. Depending on the particular crop, a seedling can spend anywhere between 2-4 weeks growing in the nursery before it’s ready for the next stage.

Step 3: Growing

Once a seedling has matured, it’s time to transplant. The young crops are carefully removed from their seed trays and transplanted to vertical grow towers. These grow towers take up the majority of space inside the Freight Farm. Each plant is carefully spaced out to avoid the spread of algae, insects, and plant diseases.

Although the grow towers are made of plastic, a felt wicking strip in the center allows water to drip down and hydrate the crops. The interior of the Freight Farm holds 256 vertical towers, each of which holds approximately 16 plants—meaning that the combined grow-area of the Freight Farm equals approximately 2-3 acres of outdoor field space.

Step 4: Harvest

Finally, after three weeks in the grow towers, it’s time to harvest. The farmer uses a special harvest knife to remove the plant from the tower. Although this is the shortest step, it requires very careful planning on the part of the farmer. Ideally, when one plant is harvested, a new seedling is ready to take its place in the grow tower. This ensures a steady supply of fresh produce for North Market shoppers.

After a quick inspection to ensure the plant is ready to go, the produce is packed and transported across the parking lot for sale at North Market.

Did you know?

  • The interior of the Freight Farm is climate-controlled, meaning that plants can grow year-round—from the hottest summer day to the coldest winter night.
  • The Freight Farm is slightly tilted! While it’s not noticeable to the farmer, the very slight (3°) angle allows for any excess water to drain back into the Freight Farm’s storage tanks. Reverse-osmosis filtering helps purify the water, making it safe once again for human (and plant) consumption.
  • The Freight Farm interior is equipped with 4 Bluetooth speakers, allowing the farmer and seedlings to listen to music all day.
  • “Daytime” for our crops actually takes place at night! The Freight Farm’s LED lights create a lot of heat and can damage the farmer’s eyes without special protective glasses—so it’s easier to run the lights during nighttime hours, when the farmer isn’t present. By using the majority of our electricity at night, we also reduce the farm’s operating costs.

Jimmy Loyd, MBA and MPM, named community development director

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Pillsbury United Communities has named Jimmy Loyd Director of Community Development for Justice Built Communities (JBC), a community development corporation. The purpose of JBC is to power equitable economic development in the black and brown communities of Minnesota that have experienced decades of disinvestment. To prevent further disenfranchisement of these communities as neighborhoods rebuild after the recent unrest, JBC will operate as community quarterback convening community leaders and local organizations to plan and implement a holistic approach that includes direct support to black and brown entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“Jimmy brings the real estate development and business acumen paired with a deep commitment to racial equity,” said Adair Mosley, President and CEO. “He shares our vision for building thriving communities, centering community’s voice, and we are honored to have him move this initiative forward.”

Jimmy is a graduate of DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management. His real estate planning and development experience includes four years with the City of Minneapolis during which time he was recognized for “Excellence in Economic Development” by the International Economic Development Council for the City of Minneapolis B-Tap Program. His experience also includes serving as Small Business Program Manager at Northside Economic Opportunity Network, Real Estate Director at YMCA – Greater Twin Cities, and most recently Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Brooklyn Center.

“I chose to join Pillsbury United because of the organization’s willingness to take bold action,” Loyd said. “I look forward to partnering with other CDCs, neighborhood associations, and business district councils to develop new land-based solutions that benefit the community.”

Justice Built Communities convenes stakeholders across sectors and prioritizes comprehensive approaches to neighborhood revitalization that will prevent gentrification and displacement while driving enterprise development and wealth creation in black and brown communities of greater Minneapolis. More information at justicebuiltcommunities.org.

2020 Election: Our Future Depends on Driving Safe Turnout

For many of us, this fall’s election will be the most consequential of our lifetime. The heath, safety, education, and opportunity in our communities look to be shaped for generations to come by the outcomes.

We know that justice for the most marginalized among us requires making all our voices heard in our political system. Our democracy cannot become truly representative until the demographics of voters and elected officials are reflective of all the people who live and work in our communities.

Because so much is at stake, Pillsbury United Communities is working to make voting as easy and safe as possible this year for our staff and the people we serve.

We will be closed on election day so staff can focus on casting their ballots and getting out the vote. We have also launched an aggressive, inclusive, non-partisan campaign to educate and assist voters in making a safe plan to vote between now and Nov. 3. Big thanks to our funders CAPI, Hennepin County, and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits for making this work possible.

Want to help us drive safe turnout during this election? Here are a few ways you can support our work.

  • Make sure your family, friends, neighbors, and other community members have a plan to vote safely. Voting options this year include:
    • Voting by mail/absentee: The CDC recommends voting by mail because of the pandemic. Offer to support folks in signing up for, completing and submitting their absentee ballots (by mail or by dropping them off at a ballot dropsite). FYI, you may only drop off three ballots in addition to your own in one election, according to state law.
    • Vote early at an early voting center between Sept. 18 and Nov. 2. Offer to drive people to the center if that’s possible for you. Early voting is 8am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday, with some weekend hours as the election gets closer.
    • Vote at your polling place on voting day. Offer to drive people to the polls on voting day. Look up a person’s polling place here. Polling places are open 7am-8pm. As long as you are in line by 8pm, you cannot be turned away.
  • Sign up for a non-partisan phone-banking shift with us and encourage others in your network to do the same. These are organized by CAPI and run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm-8pm. Be sure to note you were referred by PUC when you sign up here.
  • We have hired seven outreach specialists to do non-partisan GOTV work in our communities between now and Nov. 3. They speak English, Spanish, Oromo, Somali, and Hmong. If you’d like a specialist to attend an event or other safe gathering of people you are involved with, email KenzieO@pillsburyunited.org.
  • Share GOTV information from your personal social media accounts. PUC has hired two community-based artists to create a multi-lingual, visual GOTV campaign for us. We will distribute digital and physical assets by email and to our centers and enterprises as soon as they are ready.
  • Donate to Pillsbury United’s GOTV efforts here.

Intersecting People, Place, and Prosperity

Young girls playing on Broadway Ave during Open Streets

The Upstream Imperative, Volume 5

This article is part of “The Upstream Imperative,” a series exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the social services sector.

By Adair Mosley, President and CEO, Pillsbury United Communities

What future do we see for our neighborhoods in the Twin Cities?

Will they be places where everyone can raise families, build wealth, and live full, healthy lives? Or will they be exclusive enclaves where newcomers prosper and long-term residents are pushed to the margins?

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, this dilemma is stark. The damage to large sections of our city is further stressing a population — largely Black, brown, and indigenous — that was already in danger of displacement. Decades of systemic racism and inequity sparked the destruction. Now these pressures threaten an even greater crisis for our community.

We have a choice. We can prioritize rebuilding with and for Black and brown residents. Or watch as these neighborhoods rise again, but without those who have lived and labored there for generations.

A History of Erasure

We didn’t arrive at this point overnight. Starting a century ago, redlining and exclusionary lending practices shut Black and brown families out of many Twin Cities neighborhoods and the wealth-building opportunities they enabled. Black people built thriving communities in spite of these restrictions, only to see their neighborhoods bulldozed and cut off by interstate construction.

In the intervening decades, Black neighborhoods in the Twin Cities have been stuck with “lesser than” status. They are continually passed over for public and private investments — with devastating social and economic consequences. Now we see the pendulum swinging back. As outside developers move to “revitalize” areas of the city they long ignored, “white flight in reverse” threatens to erase the people and culture in these areas.

To be clear, we want investment in our neighborhoods. But unless Black, brown and indigenous people are driving the change, Minneapolis will continue to grow less equitable at their expense.

The Rise of Community Development

In a difficult moment, we see reasons for hope. Across the U.S., community development corporations are proving that inclusive neighborhoods are possible when communities work together.

These projects don’t arise from shallow or short-term community input. Developers must be willing to see vulnerable residents, meet them where they are, and center their voices and needs before and after ground is broken. Equitable development has to start from a place of deep understanding and connection.

That’s where we’ve lived for over 140 years. Pillsbury United Communities is committed to ensuring every person has personal, social, and economic power. Through a focus on solving big, upstream challenges, we create enduring change toward a just society.

That mission puts equitable economic development squarely on our agenda.<

Owning the Solution

Pillsbury United is making moves to prevent gentrification and displacement of marginalized residents with the creation of Justice Built Communities (JBC). A new community development corporation for the Greater Twin Cities and beyond, JBC acts as a community quarterback to prioritize integrated, inclusive approaches to neighborhood revitalization.

Our process starts by identifying underused buildings, vacant lots and other assets that can anchor neighborhood redevelopment. Then we bring together the partners, capital, and vision to realize their potential. JBC banks and secures these assets until properties are developed and Black and brown-owned enterprises take over.

Instead of outsiders telling people, “Here’s what you need,” we ask, “What can we do together?” JBC ensures the voices of our communities are heard alongside businesses, builders, and banks in the service of a shared agenda. Working together, we advance many priorities critical for our community, from neighborhood investment and beautification to education and job creation.

Arts and culture are central to that effort. Through artist-driven engagement and creative placemaking, we empower residents to define what thriving, beautiful neighborhoods look like to them. Artists and residents continue to collaborate as developments take shape to create spaces that honor the unique history and culture of the place.

Transformation from the Inside Out

Pillsbury United is not new to this work. In 2017, we led the development of North Market, a grocery store and wellness center in one of the country’s largest food deserts. Created with North Minneapolis community members and partners including North Memorial Health, our solution addresses multiple needs in one place, from fresh food to accessible health services.

The impact goes beyond essential services. North Market provides career-track jobs, buys from local businesses and entrepreneurs, and feeds the vitality of the neighborhood as a whole.

JBC works in the same way. We use the tools of community development to promote quality education, workforce training, small businesses investment, and land ownership, while awarding contracts to local people and organizations that will reinvest in the community. Our encompassing approach spurs the creation of generational wealth and helps put communities on the path to self-sufficiency.

To that end, JBC is advancing equitable policy side by side with equitable development. We use our access and partnerships to advocate for measures such as Renters Bill of Rights legislation and Community Benefit Agreements that protect local residents before and after projects open their doors.

Our goal is transformation from the inside out. We are banking on the creativity, talent, and energy that have always existed in our Black and brown communities. By amplifying their voices and letting their vision lead ours, we can eliminate racial disparities, remove urban blight, and help our communities of color equitably share in the vibrant economy of our state. JBC is how we reimagine not only our cities, but the systems that shape people’s lives here.

If we want strong neighborhoods that include everyone and work for everyone, we can’t leave it to outsiders. It’s up to us to build them.

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