ST. PAUL — The Bush Foundation is committing $100 million to seed a small number of community trust funds with resources to directly support wealth building for Black and Native communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native Nations that share the same geography.
The funding is in addition to the foundation's regular grant-making work.
The foundation is in the process of finding one or two steward organizations that will receive the funds and design and operate programs to distribute the $100 million.
The steward organizations will be selected by the end of the year.
The foundation dollars are intended to help people who need a financial boost to access wealth-building opportunities such as education, homeownership and entrepreneurship.
"Our purpose is to make our region better for everyone, and we believe that addressing racial wealth gaps is one of the most important things we can do for our region," said Bush Foundation Grantmaking Director Jackie Statum Allen.
Allen is co-leading the initiative with fellow Grantmaking Director Eileen Briggs.
Foundation officials said the financial commitment is an effort to address racial wealth gaps that reflect the impacts of the taking of land, slavery, and other race-based policies throughout U.S. history.
According to the foundation, in 2019 the median Black household in the U.S. had 13 cents of wealth for every $1 in a typical white household.
As of 2000, the last year Native American wealth was measured systematically, the typical Native American household had 8 cents of wealth for every $1 owned by white American households, according to the foundation.