$50 million to go to Black communities in Minnesota, the Dakotas

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The Bush Foundation has selected Saint Paul-based Nexus Community Partners to redistribute $50 million to Black residents across Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The funds will focus on building entrepreneurship, homeownership, and education.

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Feven Gerezgiher reports:

Former officer Derek Chauvin has requested to change his plea of innocence in his federal civil rights case in the death of George Floyd.

Meanwhile in the trial of former Brooklyn Center officer Kim Potter, a jury heard testimony Monday from a medical examiner and forensic scientists that investigated Daunte Wright’s death. An agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension observed that Potter had unlatched her firearm holster as she approached Wright’s car.

In other news, the Bush Foundation has selected Saint Paul-based Nexus Community Partners to redistribute $50 million to Black residents across Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Another $50 million will be distributed to Indigenous communities by the NDN Collective.

Nexus President and CEO Repa Mekha says the Community Trust Fund is a response to systemic injustices faced by Black people.

“Foundations have not spent a lot of resources going directly to individuals and families... particularly geared towards wealth creation,” said Mekha. “We see this as not only an opportunity to do so in terms of getting dollars to individuals and families, but a modeling of how philanthropy can release dollars to the community, and not all [funds] have to go to organizations.”

Mekha says the funds will focus on things like entrepreneurship, homeownership, and education.

Danielle Mkali is the community wealth building director at Nexus. She says $50 million is an incredible amount for any one foundation to give and share.

“As an organization, we don't view these funds as reparations,” she said. “We do view them as an important contribution to our community's ability to create some space, to build some wealth to do the healing and to continue to build connections to move our communities closer to being more free and self-determined together.”

Mkali says Nexus plans to establish an advisory committee over the next year to help design a community engagement process that will most benefit and most impact Black communities. Nexus anticipates launching the Community Trust Fund by early 2023.

For questions on Nexus’ stewardship of the Community Trust Fund or to learn how to get involved, people can reach out to trustfund@nexuscp.org.

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