U.S. Bancorp will make a $1 million grant to help the Twin Cities-based Center for Economic Inclusion increase Black and American Indian employment in the region.
The move adds to an effort announced by the Minneapolis company, which runs U.S. Bank, of $100 million in additional credit to Black-owned businesses and related grants that was announced last summer after the police killing of George Floyd.
The grant is the largest in the center's three-year history and comes after one of $500,000 that U.S. Bancorp made in 2019. The center collaborates with businesses, government, nonprofits, community colleges and nonprofits to focus on "inclusive growth."
"Inclusive economic growth is good for business, and it requires intentional, sustained action and investment from corporations committed to the work of dismantling institutional racism within their organizations … while investing in promising solutions in Black and brown communities," Tawanna Black, founder and chief executive of the center, said Tuesday.
"Our solutions are grounded in data and economic results and great for communities of color, including low-income communities," she said.
Labor-force growth in the Twin Cities area is now chiefly driven by people of color, including immigrants.
"Tawanna knows how to get things done and drive results," said Reba Dominski, chief social responsibility officer at U.S. Bancorp. "The goals of the center are to drive equity, regional prosperity and increase employment. That aligns with our focus on economic development, workforce advancement and helping families gain greater stability."
U.S. Bank is rebuilding two of its bank branches that were destroyed in riots after Floyd's death.
It is financing other redevelopment in neighborhoods damaged in the violent aftermath.
The Center for Economic Inclusion plans to boost through employers Black and Indian employment in "family sustaining wages" by joining with a growing group of employers and policymakers on "transparent regional goal setting and benchmarking," equipping employers to dismantle institutional racism and building a "good-jobs" campaign.
The center last year had revenue from consulting and grants of about $3.5 million and employed 20. It expects to increase employment to 25 by July and expects revenue this year to rise by 30 to 40%.
"We've seen demand for our services from Connecticut to San Diego," said Black, though she is cautious about offering expertise in other markets. "We've been reticent, beyond speaking engagements," she said.
Neal St. Anthony • 612-673-7144