The Minneapolis-based Medtronic Foundation has announced a $16 million commitment in support of efforts to advance social justice and racial equity.
The commitment comprises three long-term initiatives aimed at driving social change — including a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in support of scholarships for low-income students studying engineering, biomedicine, and business at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as well as opportunities for students engaged in STEM fields at HBCUs to learn more about medical technology.
A second, local partnership with the Northside Achievement Zone will focus on efforts in North Minneapolis to address educational disparities in that neighborhood. Through the partnership, Medtronic employees will volunteer their skills to help low-income families upgrade their job skills, boost their household income, and support their children through high school and college.
And a third partnership with People's Center Clinics & Services will work to build the capacity of community-based frontline health workers and local healthcare teams working to address health disparities, improve diabetes and hypertension management, and provide COVID-19 education and support to the city's East-African and African-American populations. To that end, Medtronic volunteers will contribute their time and expertise to groups working to establish COVID-19 testing centers in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
The partnerships build on Medtronic's initial response in June to the civil unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd.
"Understanding and impacting social inequities and systemic racism is a long-term journey, requiring a long-term commitment," said Medtronic Foundation president Paurvi Bhatt. "The perspectives of Medtronic's African Descent Network, together with insights from community leaders, helped us shape these meaningful actions which not only support communities under crises, but also support long-lasting, community-driven changes."