FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MINNEAPOLIS (April 30, 2021) – Greater Twin Cities United Way is hosting “Together We Thrive” on May 6, a free, virtual event that will feature community changemakers, bold ideas and equitable solutions to address systemic racism and oppression in the Greater Twin Cities region.
“The last 14 months have been a challenging time for our community, yet together, there is hope,” said John Wilgers, President and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way. “This event is one way we’re continuing to do the work of healing, but also of disrupting divisions, disparities and poverty. We look forward to discussing how each of us can advance equity both in the short- and long-term.”
Broadcasted live from U.S. Bank Stadium, the event will feature keynote addresses from Beth Ford, President & CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc; Joan Gabel, President of the University of Minnesota; and Kevin Warren, Commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. Maya Moore, activist, four-time WNBA Champion and Olympic gold medalist also will share why she left the WNBA to pursue criminal justice reform and how her work is advancing equity.
In partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), United Way created the Community Impact Accelerator grant program to foster sustainability and equity in the Twin Cities region and to provide $100,000 in funding to nonprofits doing impactful work in the community. Nonprofits applied through a capacity building RFP, and United Way and BCG selected three finalists.
Leaders of each organization will present their work during the event, and the audience will have the opportunity to vote in real-time. The first-place winner will receive $40,000 and support from BCG, and the two finalists will each receive $30,000.
Ain Dah Yung Center (ADYC) provides a healing place within the community for American Indian youth and families to thrive.
Its Youth Entrepreneurship Program teaches workforce skills that reinforce Indigenous culture and traditions, and it includes a food pantry, clothing closet and store. Residents can work in these spaces by stocking shelves, inventorying, or cleaning to earn credits they can use at the store. Many of ADYC’s youth are artists who want to sell their art at pow-wows, and the program also teaches them business basics, with a pathway toward greater economic stability.
Division of Indian Work strengthens urban American Indian people through culturally based education, traditional healing approaches and leadership development.
DIW’s Minozekwedaa healthy food program (“Let’s Cook Well” in Ojibwe) includes a Nutrition Coordinator/Native Chef who prepares and serves healthy, traditional meals. DIW is looking to expand by developing a catering program to diversify its income stream and by creating a culinary apprenticeship program for Natives ages 16 to 21 who are interested in catering or becoming a chef.
Ujamaa Place provides holistic transformation for young African-American men experiencing inequity at the intersection of race and poverty.
The organization implemented the Home Chores program during COVID-19 – when employers were not hiring – to prepare young African American men for future work. Ujamaa introduced participants to curriculum, including Money Management, Time Management, Being Respectful, Problem Solving, Sex Education, and Racial and Social Injustice. Participants received a stipend which contributed to their family’s financial needs.
United Way invited the community to share their perspective on how the region can best unite as changemakers to create an equitable, thriving community. Juxtaposition Arts – a teen-staffed art and design center, gallery, retail shop, and artists’ studio space in North Minneapolis – created an artistic mural representing those voices, which will be unveiled at the event.
“Together We Thrive” – with entertainment from DJ Advance – takes place on May 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. To register for this free event, go to www.uwthrive.org.
About Greater Twin Cities United Way: Greater Twin Cities United Way unites changemakers, advocates for social good and develops solutions to address the challenges no one can solve alone to create a community where all people thrive, regardless of income, race or place. For more information, visit www.gtcuw.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.