There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.
— Archbishop Desmond Tutu
education, economic stability, and other social determinants of health account for 80% of health outcomes. We focus our efforts on these to maximize our impact.
Our youth deserve safe, nurturing spaces to grow, learn, and realize their full potential. This is why GMCC invests in the education and development of our youth.
No one should go hungry. We bring people together to close the gap on immediate food insecurity while working toward long term sustainable solutions.
Founded in 1981, Minnesota FoodShare is a long standing brand of GMCC’s food security and justice work. Our annual March Campaign engages thousands of people to raise food and funds for our food shelf partners across Minnesota. During March Campaign and throughout the year, Minnesota FoodShare raises and distributes funding to food shelves and other partners addressing urgent issues of food security.
The 43rd March Campaign will run February 26th – April 6th, 2024.
Launched in 2021, Genius Labs and Tech Teens brought together technological access, studio learning, and youth-centered design to create opportunities for middle and high school youth that fostered creativity, independence, critical thinking, and self-awareness.
Genius Labs and Tech Teens take place in GMCC’s Digital Café, located on the top floor of our facility on East Lake Street in South Minneapolis.
In Spring 2023, we are offering a Family Workshop Series. Providing parents with guidance on how to support their children’s education, understand teacher expectations, build self-esteem, support mental health, and advocate for their child to improve success in school. Concurrently, youth will engage in a variety of out of school experiences focused on hands on STEAM programming.
Now announcing Genius Labs 2023 Summer Camp! A no-cost, all-day summer camp for students entering 1st-8th grade. Experiences include STEM activities, outdoor exploration, art, reading, field trips, and more!
Face The Facts: Poverty Simulation Training
Our award-winning poverty simulation, Face The Facts, focuses on education and awareness around the complexities and root causes of poverty, privilege, and social justice issues within our communities.
Food Distribution Initiatives
When COVID-19 resulted in food access challenges for some communities, GMCC partnered with faith and community leaders to launch a food distribution initiative. We opened a kitchen and prepared and delivered daily, culturally appropriate nutritious meals to seven Twin Cities communities.
Since 2020, GMCC has continued to feed our communities. Our food distribution efforts have included meals and food bags for families who participate in our programming; pop-up food shelves through which we distribute food to anyone who needs it; and distribution of food and meals at partner faith communities.
GMCC Health & Well-being Community Co-Design
In development, GMCC Community Co-Design is a consultancy that supports healthcare systems, community organizations, government agencies, and users of our healthcare systems to turn community lived experiences into organizational strategy and action. GMCC Community Co-Design uncovers perspectives and experiences that are not currently captured and thus not considered. Unlike traditional research and engagement approaches, GMCC Community Co-Design provides an innovative structure to turn understanding of lived experiences into practical and powerful solutions.
Youth Innovation Labs
In development, Youth Innovation Labs provides underinvested youth with paid positions that inform systems change. Youth design more equitable and innovative products, services, policies, and solutions with community organizations, government agencies, and corporations.
Minnesota Venture Farms
Seeded by GMCC in partnership with local leaders, Minnesota Venture Farms (MVF) is a BIPOC-led response to inequities in our food system that further disparities in health, housing, education, and wealth. MVF is an enterprise that is led by a collective of BIPOC farmers, agricultural leaders, and food entrepreneurs. MVF builds a new, equitable food ecosystem including BIPOC land ownership, new distribution channels, and co-designed microenterprises.
As MVF spins off into its own entity, we are excited to see what impacts our investments make in the food system.
GMCC presents WBAC Summer Festival (Summer 2022)
GMCC presents WBAC (West Bank Athletic Club) Summer Festival was an exciting new collaboration. What had been an annual soccer tournament expanded in 2022 to include an international artist-in-residence and a variety of culturally-specific youth arts activities.
The 2022 soccer tournament took place June 21-25. The live music performances took place at Ted Mann concert hall on June 25th and First Avenue on July 1st. We were happy to work alongside WBAC to resume this important community event.
In fall 2020, our Learning Pods initiative provided 70 Somali youth with twice-weekly distance learning and tutoring support and engaged mothers in courses in nutrition, computer literacy, women’s health, and financial planning. We also provided weekly take-home food and supply boxes to 20 families. The Learning Pods initiative served as a proof of concept for our new youth and family services model.
Kinship Greater Twin Cities
In 2020, we completed an intensive research process that included evaluation of our 65-year running Kinship mentoring program. This six-month process included engaging paid co-designers in a three-part studio session; conducting one-on-one interviews; reviewing historical surveys; administering new surveys; meeting with partners working in the same areas; and reviewing published, external research. Results informed a reimagination of our youth development and family services to ensure we are best serving our communities. As these initiatives continue to develop, the kinship program and name will be phased out to transition to new programming.
For 25 years, Urban Immersions, engaged groups from around the midwest about the complexities and root causes of poverty and social justice issues within our communities through service learning and education. Due to COVID-19 all immersions and in-person trainings paused. As of 2021, we will no longer be offering overnight immersions as we utilize our building for other initiatives.