Catalyst Initiative of the George Family Foundation awards $365,070 in latest grant round


MINNEAPOLIS – (May 2, 2017) – The Catalyst Initiative of the George Family Foundation awarded 17 grants for a total of $365,070 to community-based organizations throughout Minnesota in its grant round announced today. The grants reflect the Catalyst Initiative’s focus on supporting culturally relevant, holistic models for healing from trauma.

Founded by Penny and Bill George in 1994, the George Family Foundation is a $61 million private family foundation with interests in integrative health and healing, authentic leadership, spirituality and mindfulness, community, environment and youth development. The Catalyst Initiative is the Foundation’s multi-year integrative health initiative designed to support grassroots engagement within various groups throughout Minnesota.

“We are proud to support this diverse group of grantees that do important work within their respective communities,” said Suzanne Koepplinger, director. “We are striving to foster a culture of wellbeing from the ground up, building on successful work in the American Indian communities and among youth of color, to deepen their own healing capacity.”

The complete list of grants awarded in this round includes: 

Alia – $20,000 for Healing Guidebook for Permanence Services Practitioners. This resource guide will provide insight into relational trauma along with activities and approaches to heal trauma of both youth and caregivers in the child protection system.

African American Community of Practice – MAP for Nonprofits as fiscal agent – $25,000 for From Culture of Trauma to Culture of Healing: African Americans Healing Ourselves; Healing the Healers. This project will provide training resources to African American professionals and paraprofessionals to create a continuum of culturally specific, trauma healing practitioners working to reduce the impacts of toxic stress. 

Face to Face Health and Counseling Services, Inc. $25,000 for Face to Face Self-Care Integration Project. This phased-in project will build resiliency, self-care and trauma healing practices across this organization serving high risk youth in St. Paul.

The Family Partnership $20,000 for Transformational Leadership Development Program. This program will pilot a new holistic leadership and strengthen leadership and self-care capacity for staff in the PRIDE Program, a direct service program working with women and children who have been trafficked into prostitution.

Family Values for Life – $17,240 for Jump Start to New You: Mind-Body Connections. This project will provide a series of mind/body/spirit healing trainings to staff and participants in this east metro program serving low income women and children, and nurture an organizational core competency focused on self-care.

Hold Your Horses – $15,000 for Restorative Workshops. This project will develop curriculum based on mind/body/spirit self-care for system caregivers, including parole officers, child protection workers and social workers, to help them better manage vicarious trauma, and enhance staff professional development in holistic self-care practices.

LION Community Enrichment Programs, Inc. – $19,830 for Women’s Integrative Transformational Healing Program in St. Cloud. This pilot project will demonstrate the effectiveness of integrative health approaches for vulnerable women of color with histories of trauma.

Manitou Wellness – $25,000 for Holistic Mind Body Self-Care for Building Resilient Communities in Winona. This project will teach mind/body/spirit resiliency skills to disadvantaged youth ages 7–12, their caregivers and the staff who work with the families. They will share lessons learned with fellow Winona grantee Solomon’s Song to increase the impact on area youth.

People Serving People – $20,000 for Culturally Reflective Trauma Healing Practices. This is a new project that will create culturally resonant mind/body/spirit self-care practices as the foundation for a new early learning program in South Minneapolis that will reach early learners, their families and the staff who work with them.

People’s Movement Center – Pangea World Theater as fiscal agent – $20,000 for Connecting with ME: Creating a Youth Mindfulness Engagement Hub. This project will engage youth in demystifying mindfulness and create accessible, culturally and age-appropriate tools and resources to increase the acceptance and practice of self-regulation with youth.

Progressive Individual Resources, Inc. – $25,000 for Changing Directions, Changing Lives: Building African Mind-Body Healing Practices in Communities. This is a layered engagement of the African Diaspora community in breaking down taboo around mental illness and building acceptance of mind/body practices that are culturally grounded as a first tier of healing. 

Solomon’s Song – $23,000 for Solomon’s Song Road to Resiliency. This program will partner with Catalyst grantee Irreducible Grace Foundation youth to engage high risk youth in Winona between the ages of 12 and 18 in building self-regulation skills to manage stress and enhance leadership. The program also creates mentorship with Winona State University students as part of its strategy of expanding impact. They also will share lessons learned with fellow Winona grantee Manitou Wellness.

St. Paul Youth Services $25,000 for YouthPower: Healing and Identity. This is a multi-tiered project designed by youth of color to create a culturally responsive curriculum for community change. It includes building resiliency, self-care and trauma healing practices for the youth advisors/co-creators and staff across this organization serving high risk youth in St. Paul.

St. Stephen’s Human Services – $15,000 for St. Stephen’s Human Services Journey to Equity, Health and Healing. This project will transform organizational culture, and embed health and healing practices with staff across the organizational spectrum. They will include mind/body/spirit trainings and convenings using the Marnita’s Table Intentional Social Interaction model to connect staff and key stakeholders with the lived reality of historic trauma, and create a healthy, inclusive and forward-looking agency.

Touchstone Mental Health – $25,000 for Touchstone Mind Body Skills Project. This project will deepen and expand capacity of this mental health and housing agency to better manage vicarious trauma and provide more integrative healing approaches to their service population.

Tubman – $25,000 for Culture of Wellness, a project to strengthen organizational capacity for embedded self-care, cultural wellness and holistic health and healing for this community-based anti-violence agency.

White Earth Land Recovery Project – $20,000 for Mending the Circle of Life: White Earth Indigenous Mindfulness Empowerment. This project builds off existing work to provide training to tribal members in mindfulness and meditative practices across systems. A core group of tribal professionals will become trained in the Center for Mind Body Medicine (CMBM) model to complement mindfulness skill building they have begun in the schools with Dr. Michael Yellowbird. They will continue to partner with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center to deepen skills and expand awareness.

For more information, visit the George Family Foundation and Catalyst Initiative websites.