The St. Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations on Monday honored one man and one group for fighting to eliminate racism in Minnesota.
Inside the Ordway Center in St. Paul, the foundations gave Facing Race awards to St. Paul Promise Neighborhood, an education advocacy group pushing to get more students of color into college, and to Hamse Warfa, a community builder involved in economic empowerment for people of color.
"They do this work day in and day out and tonight we celebrate their tireless commitment to racial equity," said Nadege Souvenir, associate vice president of community impact at the foundations.
St. Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN) works with students and families in the Frogtown, Rondo and Summit-University neighborhoods.
Their goal is to "ultimately, ensure that families in our neighborhood can build a positive fire for their children," the organization said in a statement. SPPN works with dozens of organizations to support academic success through outreach and culture programs.
Muneer Karcher-Ramos, executive director of SPPN, said the organization works in areas where historically there has been disinvestment.
"All these things have cumulative effects to the children in our neighborhoods," Karcher-Ramos said in a video presentation before he received the award on behalf of the organization.
Warfa, a refugee from Somalia, works on various levels to diversify leadership across the state.
"In a time where we are seeing contentious issues of xenophobia at home and abroad, this work is as important as ever," Warfa said in a video presentation.
His work also seeks to help immigrant leaders achieve financial success.
"I'm deeply passionate about creating economic opportunities, changing the system and rules that marginalize a lot of communities," Warfa said in the video.
The Facing Race awards, in their 11th year, are part of the foundations' commitment to racial equity in Minnesota. Last year, the foundations honored six individuals, including St. Paul City Council member Dai Thao.