The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation has announced the launch of a grant program focused on advancing equity as well as an updated strategy for its climate solutions program.
Part of a new strategic focus announced by the foundation last year and developed with input from more than a thousand community members and expert advisors, the Vibrant & Equitable Communities program will work to create "a vibrant future for all Minnesotans" through four strategies: improving economic mobility, building community wealth, cultivating a fair and just housing system, and strengthening democratic participation. To that end, the program will support "solutions that meet community-defined needs, address local context, and shift policies, practices, and institutions in lasting ways." The application period for the program's first grantmaking cycle will open October 1.
With the goal of "dramatically cutting carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030," the foundation also announced an updated strategy and guidelines for its Midwest Climate & Energy program. Among other things, the program will work closely with the Vibrant & Equitable Communities program to build a civic space in which all residents have voice and power to impact the issues affecting their lives and livelihoods, and it will also expand its efforts to electrify transportation and buildings and sequester carbon on working lands.
Going forward, the two programs together will account for the largest share of the foundation's grant allocations.
"There couldn't be a more critical moment for accelerating equity in Minnesota and climate solutions in the Midwest," said McKnight Foundation vice president of programs Kara Inae Carlisle. "We know frontline organizations have long been hard at work in our communities. We're thrilled to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and bring forth additional resources while proudly continuing our long-term support in the Arts, International, and Neuroscience programs."