Policy Works

#008: A place-based experiment to address racial equity - Minnesota's GroundBreak Coalition ft. Tonya Allen & Alex West Steinman

June 28, 2023

On this episode, we talk to two trailblazers from GroundBreak Coalition (GBC), a group of over 40 corporate, civic and philanthropy leaders who are trying to make a case that within our resources, a racially equitable and climate-ready future is possible. GBC is building a platform to mobilize and aggregate capital, and provide pathways for corporations, financial institutions, government, philanthropy, and even individuals to equitably and efficiently invest in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. What's interesting about this coalition is not just what they're trying to do, but also how they're doing it.

Tonya Allen is President of the McKnight Foundation, and the Founder and orchestrator of GBC. Alex West Steinman is CEO and Co-founder of The Coven, a network of radical spaces for changemakers to connect, learn, and grow. She is a member of GBC's working group on BIPOC entrepreneurship. 

GBC deploys its capital in four areas: BIPOC homeownership; stable & affordable rental housing; community-led commercial development; and BIPOC entrepreneurship. Their goals are ambitious and wide ranging to launch 11,000 BIPOC owned businesses,, enabling 45,000 new BIPOC homeowners and so on. While they're starting out in Minnesota, they hope to inspire action across the country.

 In this two part conversation, Tanya and Alex talk about:

- the formation of the GroundBreak Coalition, and what it takes to bring together this vast network of stakeholders

- GBC's vision for creating racial and economic justice, and what it means to create wealth for BIPOC communities

- the role of philanthropy and other forms of blended finance capital in driving systemic change

- how the goals of the Coalition have evolved over the past year

Learn more about the Reimagining the Economy project: http://reimagining-the-economy.hks.harvard.edu

The GroundBreak Coalition

McKnight Foundation

The Coven

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