Catalyst Initiative of the George Family Foundation awards more than $264,000 in third grant round

For Immediate Release

MINNEAPOLIS — (April 21, 2016) — In its third round of seed grants, the Catalyst Initiative of the George Family Foundation continued its support of the development of mind-body healing practices in a diverse range of communities in the Twin Cities and beyond. Several foundation grants in this round focused on implementing culturally relevant models for healing from trauma.

Founded by Penny and Bill George in 1994, the George Family Foundation is a $60 million private family foundation with interests in integrative health and healing, authentic leadership, community, advancing women and girls, the environment, spirituality and youth development.

“The Catalyst Initiative continues to help communities experience their capacity to support health and well-being using mind-body approaches that are culturally meaningful,” said Suzanne Koepplinger, director. “We are so inspired by the amazing work of our grantees, and we are honored to be working in partnership with them as they transform the health care model in their own communities.”

In this latest round of grants, the foundation's Catalyst Initiative awarded 12 grants for a total of $264,875. Grants to Olmsted County, CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio), Lower Sioux Indian Community and Perspectives provide support for the development and implementation of trauma self-care models to promote healing and physical, mental and emotional health. Additional grants enable organizations to continue to incorporate mind-body-spirit healing practices in a variety of diverse communities.

The complete list of grants awarded in this round includes:

CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio) – $20,000 for Responding to Secondary-Traumatic Stress in the Workplace: An Integrated Approach to Staff Wellness. This project will develop organizational competency and protocols around staff wellness and traumatic stress management for more robust staff self-care, and enhance skill building for client case management.

Hawthorne Neighborhood Council – $17,500 for Health and Wellbeing in North Minneapolis. This project will host a series of engagement dialogues in North Minneapolis to promote self-care and volunteerism, and train additional residents in the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) model.

Healing Place Collaborative (Springboard for the Arts as fiscal agent) – $24,000 for a planning grant to fully develop the Villa Maria site in Frontenac, Minnesota as an integrative healing retreat space for veterans and Native people in Minnesota.

Irreducible Grace Foundation – $22,000 for Youth Leaders Learning to Utilize Mind-Body Medicine Project, which will develop youth leadership as mind-body medicine-trained facilitators in the east metro.

Leech Lake Tribal College – $20,000 for Seeking Mino-Bimaadiziwin (the good life) within the Leech Lake Community through Mind-Body Medicine Practices. This project will expand the Mind-Body Medicine in Indian Country project with the Leech Lake Tribal College community.

Lower Sioux Indian Community – $25,000 for Building Wicozani Practitioners and Healers, which will build upon the opening of the community clinic and their previous work to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with strong cultural resiliency models, by embedding mind-body healing practices throughout the Health & Human Services department.

Multicultural Kids Network – $20,000 for Bantu Healing for Minnesota, to help raise awareness and practice of traditional Bantu healing in African Diaspora communities, and to train the executive director in the CMBM model of mind-body healing to incorporate healing into African drumming sessions.

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center – $23,700 for Partnering to Create a Healthier Community: Mind-Body Medicine Skills Training at NorthPoint. This project will create organizational standards for self-care and deepen clinicians' capacity to practice and share mind-body healing practices in this North Minneapolis community clinic.

Olmsted County – $18,175 for Olmsted County Employee Wellbeing Initiative, implementing a secondary trauma self-care model with Olmsted County Community Services, Public Health and County Attorney's offices. This project will enhance and deepen existing systems' wide effort to build self-care and wellness into county service teams through regular mind-body medicine trainings.

Perspectives – $24,500 for Mind-Body Trauma Care Integration Project, providing an opportunity for increased awareness and access to mind-body medicine interventions to improve physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of staff and families served by this west metro social service organization.

TPT/ECHO – $25,000 for Somali Women: Weaving Stories of Circles of Health & Well-being -- a Train the Trainer Model. This grant will provide planning and seed money to develop a culturally based train the trainer health and well-being model for and with Somali women.

VRP (Veteran Resilience Project) – $25,000 to promote connecting veterans statewide with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. VRP will utilize multiple forms of media, such as podcasts, to connect veterans as well as raise community awareness across the state. VRP has developed a statewide network of independent trauma therapists to help carry out this work and offer therapies to veterans free of charge.

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

Media Contact:
Mary Lilja
Lilja Communications for George Family Foundation

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