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Lieutenant Governor and Commissioners of Administration and DEED Hold Virtual Roundtable on Importance of Inclusive Grantmaking  in Minnesota's Economic Recovery   


March 31, 2021

St. Paul – Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota Department of Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis and Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove held a virtual roundtable to discuss the importance of inclusive grantmaking for workforce training and other programs as Minnesota continues to recover from the pandemic recession. This roundtable is part of the “The Next Minnesota Economy” series of roundtables on rebuilding a more equitable economy, for everyone.  

“We know that Minnesotans from BIPOC communities have experienced the deepest employment impacts of the pandemic,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Disproportionate and devastating impacts on BIPOC communities make it even more critical to ensure we have systems and processes in place that are efficient, equitable and transparent for the community partners we work with every day.”

“The Office of Grants Management and grant-making agencies have created a framework and policies, including diversity and inclusion requirements, to ensure that communities of color are given notice when RFPs [requests for proposals] go out and a method for ensuring that communities of color have a presence for reviewing RFPs when they come back in,” said Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis, who noted that there is a proposal before the legislature this year that would create an Office of Equity in Grantmaking to help in creating an inclusive funding environment.

“We have been on a journey to get grantmaking right from an equity perspective,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We are drastically increasing our community awareness so that organizations know what funding is available, and we’re making our process much more transparent – making a seat at the table for community reviewers to help decide where taxpayer dollars go to grow our economy.”

“There are a few sets of data to overlay if we really want to be great at is understanding of where the needs are…and where are we getting applications…and where are we making awards, and how does that relate to where are we getting applications and where the needs are,” said Jennifer Ford Reedy, President of the Bush Foundation.

“We need to center on those who are most proximate to the issue in the decision making process, the community reviewers are one aspect of that, and I would ask how are you engaging young people in the review process for grants related to young people,” said Marcus Pope,  President and CEO of Youthprise.

“Rural communities are being isolated from these discussions, so is there a way for us to double down in trying to help expand racial equity and inclusion in places where the diversity may not necessarily be as intense but where we will still need diverse mindsets and a diverse and equitable culture,” said Tonya Allen, President of the McKnight Foundation.

Organizations interested in vying for a DEED competitive grant for workforce development training in Minnesota are invited to attend any of the five upcoming virtual events every Tuesday from April 27 through May 26, from 10:00 -11:00 a.m.

A recording of the Virtual Roundtable on the Importance of Inclusive Grant making is available online on DEED’s YouTube page.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website or follow us on Twitter.


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