The Headwaters Foundation for Justice Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of David Nicholson as the new Executive Director of the Foundation. Many of you know David, as he has served as the HFJ Program Director for the last nine years.
On November 14, Headwaters Foundation for Justice will celebrate Give to the Max day along with nonprofits around the state. This year, our goals is to raise $20,000 for the racial, social, economic and environmental justice issues that are important to all of us. As a team we can make it happen.
Headwaters Foundation for Justice was selected as one of three partners to work with the Bush Foundation to support community innovation across their funding region. The Consensus Council (ND), South Dakota Community Foundation (SD), and Headwaters Foundation for Justice (MN) will co-design and administer Community Innovation Small Grants programs in each of their geographic regions. These programs will provide flexible, responsive grant dollars to grassroots, rural, and constituency-led organizations working to create and implement great ideas that make their communities better.
We’re excited to let you know about a transition in the Development Department at Headwaters.
Jodi Williams has received her real estate license and is moving out of professional development work and into real estate. Jodi will work with us for the next couple months to make a smooth and orderly transition for the organization, working jointly with Suzanne Murphy, who has joined the staff as Development Officer. Suzanne previously served on the Headwaters Board of Directors and Development Committee. We are thrilled to have Suzanne working with us in this new capacity and excited for Jodi in her new endeavor.
To everyone who sent gifts to The Fund of the Sacred Circle in Ron's memory. Our family has been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to us since his passing. Ron would be so pleased that you have chosen to remember him through your gifts.
Today we mourn the loss of an elder in the Headwaters Foundation for Justice community. We are sad to announce the passing of Ron McKinley, proud member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and long-time supporter and leader within the Native community and within Headwaters. We received the news that Ron passed away after a traffic accident in Washington State. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time.The Headwaters Staff and Board are mourning Ron’s passing and honor his legacy.
The Headwaters Foundation for Justice is proud to announce its Social Change Fund grantees for 2013. The Foundation is distributing $180,000 to 19 Minnesota-based not-for-profit organizations in the areas of Economic Justice, Social Justice, Environmental Justice, and Racial Justice.
The Saint Paul-based Northwest Area Foundation awarded a one-year $500,000 grant to the Headwaters Foundation for Justice to support the regional development and expansion of the African American Leadership Forum.
•Allies for Justice Thursday, May 16
•Act for Marriage Equality
•Social Change Fund Site Visits
•Donor Briefing - April 25
•Community Voices: MN Coalition for the Homeless
•Give Out Day - May 9
•Allies for Justice early bird prices!
A spirit of joyful rebellion. That, according to Executive Director Dan McGrath, is a common trait of TakeAction Minnesota’s thousands of members. “The idea is that we are up against some big challenges, but we’re also going to have fun as we go do it”, he says. The large and bustling office space surrounding him seems to be testifying to his point: a constant stream of people breezily walk by, stop for a cup of coffee, hold impromptu hallway meetings or poke their heads into one of the office’s many conference rooms. The dynamism of the environment is striking, inviting, and undoubtedly energizing. Perhaps that is the secret behind TakeAction Minnesota’s tremendous growth since its inception seven years ago—membership has multiplied tenfold, social media presence is booming and victories from the past legislative session remind all members of just how much can be achieved in this ‘joyful rebellion’.
“TakeAction is a state-wide people’s network”, explains Dan. “We connect individuals and organizations to make change in a way that wasn’t possible before.” As big and complex as TAMN is as a coalition, it can be summed up in one word: interconnectedness. A young organization with deep roots, TakeAction was started when two progressive coalitions, Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action (MAPA) and Progressive Minnesota, joined forces after having an important wake-up call: “They realized,” says Dan, “that we’ve got to be better than the sum of our parts. Let’s be real, they said, we are not winning a lot as a movement right now. We need to find a way to operate on a bigger scale and be better connected to each other if we are going to turn things around.” TakeAction provides a space and a focal point where people from all walks of life can rally together to push forward the movement for social, economic and racial justice. The organization’s members are excited to have a place to go where they can feel connected and feel like a part of something larger. There’s a lot of people out there who, says Dan, feel like “I’m the only one on my block, or in my neighborhood, or on my cul-de-sac that thinks this way.” When people are able to find each other, there is not only a sense of hopefulness—a sense of possibility—but a sense of joy, a sense of “we can do this, we can actually make a difference”.
The issues that TakeAction takes on are as interconnected as its members. Minnesota is infamously home to the nation’s worst racial job gap in the nation, a key problem TakeAction is ceaselessly fighting against. The organization also works on healthcare access and quality, fair revenue, voting rights, voter engagement and expanding grassroots democracy. Results are concrete: in the 2013 legislative session, TakeAction was involved in passing the “Ban the Box” bill, the new Health Insurance Exchange, the closure of milllions in corporate tax loopholes and a major expansion in the MinnesotaCare program.. Despite such impressive victories for the progressive movement, Dan’s attitude about the road ahead is very clear: “Our movement is getting stronger and we are winning huge policy victories for Minnesotans. But the truth is—life is not getting better for most of the people we are accountable to. It’s getting worse. Things in this country and this world are getting harder, especially for people at the low end of the economic ladder.”
That honesty, says Dan, is why the movement for equity and justice is moving away from empire-building and towards outcome-oriented collaboration. A new generation of leaders is emerging, leaders who are honest about the fact that not a whole lot has been won, leaders who are way more interested in changing things than in building a resume, and who above all are experimenting with new ways to rise to the challenges they face. “And Headwaters has been at the front of that,” adds Dan. “Whenever we have wanted to take a risk, Headwaters has been the first one to jump in with us. And that is very unique. When you are thinking about what is going on in MN, you can trace a lot of that back to the sort of risk Headwaters was willing to take with a set of organizations that were just emerging, not yet proven, but had some sort of conviction and belief that something could change.” Today, the cycle continues: after all, those who best know the ebbs and flows of the ever-changing justice landscape are members from the very communities that are affected. And when these members are brought together by organizations such as TakeAction Minnesota, there are plenty of reasons to believe that we are not in an era of ‘talk the talk’ but in, as Dan says, an era of “walk the talk”.
I like to see measurable change not through a survey per se, but through personal accounts where it is trickling down so it is actually measurable in people's lives and you can see it in their lived experience.