GroundBreak: $900 Million Investment to Boost Black Wealth in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A groundbreaking coalition of more than 40 institutions in Minneapolis-St. Paul is determined to create a more equitable region with the announcement of more than $900 million investments to expand wealth-building opportunities. The goal of GroundBreak is to mobilize a total of $5.3 billion over a decade to support Black homeowners, entrepreneurs, and commercial developers in the area.

Black Minnesotans face severe wealth disparities amongst the nation’s most prominent, with an income gap of around $46,500 when looking at the median income distribution. GroundBreak, launched in May 2022, is hoping to parlay this initial investment in order to shift how capital flows in the region and create broader economic opportunities for those systemically wronged.

Jen Ford Reedy, president of the Bush Foundation, elaborates on the huge implications of this venture, saying it will “unlock” an additional $4 billion in private capital that could fill multiple financial roles, such as purchasing homes or starting businesses. “The biggest part of what GroundBreak is about is making money that’s already in the system, more readily available to communities that need it,” she explains.

GroundBreak formally announced their effort in April 2023 after releasing a report on the progress and the initial commitment of $926.75 million, with the aim to provide equitable access to financial tools and products by the end of 2024. Tonya Allen, president of the McKnight Foundation and founder of the coalition, expressed the notion best when she said, “We want anyone seeking to buy a home or start a business to get the support they need for their dream to become a reality.”

Donating institutions include Bremer Bank, Bush Foundation, GHR Foundation, Huntington Bank, M.A. Mortenson Companies Inc. Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, McKnight Foundation, Pohlad Family Foundation, Securian Financial and U.S. Bank. Additionally, the investments also included an estimated $175 million in state funding for first-time home buyers, as well as Minnesota Housing mortgage lending.

The monetary pledges from the private financial institutions will be projected to a three to ten year period, with the coalition continually attempting to secure additional funding from both local and national sources.

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