The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and its national partners Friday announced a collective five-year commitment of $100 million to strengthen economic security for low-income women and their families. Funding will fuel local progams that provide access to job training and child care, among other support services.
Prosperity Together, a partnership of 27 U.S. women’s foundations, pledged the large donation at the White House Summit on Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color in Washington, D.C., which focuses on building pathways to equal opportunity for low-income women.
In Minnesota, money will be allocated to bolster education and job training services, as well as child care, to help women secure higher-wage, stable work, officials said. Funding also will be used for research to inform best practices for policy change.
“A special focus must be placed on women of color, who are on the bottom rung of every economic indicator in Minnesota, just as they are in many states in the nation,” said Lee Roper-Batker, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, which will commit $15 million to the effort over the next five years.
The funding comes after U.S. Census data released in September showed household income for blacks in Minnesota plummeted. From 2013 to 2014, the median income for black households fell 14 percent, while income and poverty for other racial groups remained stable.
In light of the survey data, “It’s even more important that we double down and focus our efforts to ensure that we’re creating opportunities for women of color, for rural women, for low-income women and girls throughout our state, so their families can thrive,” Roper-Batker said.