Last spring, we shared our plan to address racial wealth gaps caused by historic racial injustice. With $100 million in new funding, the Bush Foundation committed to seed two community trust funds, to be stewarded by organizations that have deep understanding of and connection to Black and Native communities across our region.
As co-leaders of this initiative, we are thrilled to announce that NDN Collective and Nexus Community Partners have been selected to serve as the steward organizations for the community trust funds.
The Indigenous-led NDN Collective, based in Rapid City, SD, builds power through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking and narrative change. Nexus Community Partners, based in St. Paul, MN, supports strong, equitable and just communities in which all residents have a voice, are recognized as leaders, and have pathways to opportunity.
Throughout the rigorous selection process, we were impressed by NDN Collective and Nexus’s passion, clarity and commitment. They know how to engage and energize their communities. They have the trust and respect of the people they serve. And they are deeply committed to building wealth for Black and Native people.
In the coming months, NDN Collective and Nexus will begin designing programs that will eventually provide grants directly to individuals to help them with wealth-building opportunities such as furthering their education, buying a home or starting a business. Sometimes access to money – in the right spirit, in the right moment – can make all the difference.
While NDN Collective and Nexus are rolling up their sleeves to start planning, they need time to shape effective grant programs. The community trust funds will not open for applications from individuals until late 2022 or early 2023. We encourage you to stay informed by signing up for NDN Collective's newsletter and Nexus Community Partners' newsletter.
We believe the community trust funds are a powerful way to address the pervasive racial wealth gaps in our region. Those gaps are the result of generations of unjust policies targeting Native and Black communities. There are direct through lines from broken treaties to unemployment rates, slavery to incarceration rates, redlining to homeownership rates. NDN Collective and Nexus understand this reality, and they have the talent, creativity and commitment to use these community trust funds for reparative action.
We are grateful to the many people who helped us shape this initiative, from our early advisors who worked with us to test this community trust idea to the panel who guided selection of our steward organizations. This is a milestone moment for the Bush Foundation, and we are thankful to have had the wisdom and insights of many Black and Native leaders.