Promise Zone: Grants and Updates

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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May 17, 2017

Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates:

  • Promise Zone VISTA Applications Now Open
  • For the Love of Food and Hip-Hop
  • Deadline Extended for IT-Ready Career Program
  • Juxtaposition Arts
  • Minneapolis Green Zones
  • News and Events
  • Recent Federal Grant and Partnership Opportunities 
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

AmeriCorps VISTA Logo

Promise Zone VISTA Applications Now Open

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members bring their passion and perseverance where the need is greatest: to organizations that help eradicate poverty. The most pressing challenges we face as a nation require the most courageous and creative people to address them. An AmeriCorps VISTA member serves as a catalyst for change, living and working alongside community members to advance local solutions. 

There are currently 7 AmeriCorps VISTAs who will be ending their year of service with the Promise Zone (PZ) at the end of July. Applications are now open for five VISTA positions in the PZ. 

Applications are due by June 16, 2017.

Please contact current Promise Zone VISTA Leader Tina Weitzel with questions. 

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Gerard Klass, Regional Chef at Cascade Hospitality, CoOwner of Fit2Praise and Klassics
Gerard Klass, Regional Chef at Cascade Hospitality, CoOwner of Fit2Praise and Klassics

For The Love of Food and Hip-Hop

Written by Mariah Mendoza, Northside Fresh Assistant Coordinator

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

I am the Regional Chef at Cascade Hospitality as well as I run Klassics and Fit2Praise. I was born here in Minneapolis. I finished high school and college here, but grew up in Seattle. I have some family in Seattle. My mom moved out there, my older brother [and Uncle] was there and so I ended up going out there. I wanted to go to culinary school and they didn't have one in Seattle. My dad still lived here so I ended up coming back [to Minneapolis] and staying. 

What were some of your fondest memories with food?

My grandparents on my mother's side - they had the hospitality house in the neighborhood. Anytime they did a barbecue or were cooking out, tons of people would come over. I grew up around that and got to see how food could have a positive impact on people. It was subconscious at the time, the things I learned. My mom and my step-dad used to do a lot of catering and cooking for church so at a young age I was helping out. My parents let me have some responsibility early, you know, getting in the kitchen and using a knife. Those things were fun for me so I stuck with it.

Do you have a favorite food?

I'm still in love with my mom's mac & cheese. Anything pretty much "soul food" is near and dear to me. My grandparents would have more barbecues and fish fries. Things that were outdoorsy and fun.

Read more 

Deadline Extended for IT-Ready Career Program

In partnership with local employers and metro area workforce agencies, Creating IT-Futures screens, trains, certifies and places individuals in six-month, paid, on-the-job work experience that can lead to permanent full-time employment with family-sustaining wages as a skilled IT worker.

IT-Ready primarily serves:

  • Lower income adults due to unemployment or underemployment
  • Displaced workers whose skill sets are no longer in high demand
  • Veterans and their spouses
  • Groups under-represented in the ranks of IT workers, such as women, African-Americans and Latinos

At no cost to students, IT-Ready includes an eight-week, full-time classroom training program that covers a technical computer curriculum gears toward the CompTIA A+ certification. In addition, participants learn professional skills to ensure their success for the interviewing process and on the job.

Downtown Minneapolis classes begins on June 12, 2017.

Applications are due by May 23 at

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Juxtaposition Arts 

From Pollen, written by Maya Beck

Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) is an education program, teen-staffed design enterprise and locally rooted cultural development center founded in 1995. Since 2005, JXTA has worked with residents and stakeholders toward a vision of improved access to educational, economic and decision-making opportunities that create health, beautiful and safe physical environments in the city, with a focus on North Minneapolis.

Read more

    Minneapolis Green Zones

    On April 17, 2017, the City Council's Health, Environment and Community Engagement Committee received the Green Zones Workgroup's recommendations (PDF) and unanimously passed a Resolution Establishing Green Zones in the City of Minneapolis (PDF). The resolution establishes a Northern and a Southern Green Zone, with initial pilots in both sectors (see the Green Zones map (PDF)).

    On April 28, 2017 the resolution was unanimously approved by the full City Council, with an amendment by Council Member Reich. The amendment adds environmental education as a goal for the Green Zone implementation and includes coordination with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on the RiverFirst initiative in the Northern Green Zone. The final resolution and related documents are available on the Green Zones file webpage.


    'Bike Cops For Kids' Program Using Books To Connect Mpls. Officers To Kids (05/15 - CBS)
    Nearly a decade ago, two Minneapolis police officers has a simple idea: hand out free bike helmets to kids as a way to connect to the community.

    Farmers markets introduce new startups (05/15 - Southwest Journal)
    The Farmers Markets are back for the season. Here is a look at a few of the new vendors.

    First food truck lane opens in north Minneapolis (05/11 - MPR)
    An effort to bring dining options to north Minneapolis kicked off Thursday with the neighborhood's first food truck lane on West Broadway Avenue. 

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    Eat of the Avenue Image


    Eat on the Avenue
    Weekly until September 18, 2017
    Thursdays from 11:00am-2:00pm

    West Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis
    More information

    Seeds for All: Plant Distribution
    Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 9:00am-1:00pm
    St. Olaf - 2901 N. Emerson Avenue, Minneapolis
    More information

    Renters' Meet & Greet
    Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 6:00-8:00pm
    Fairview Park - 621 N 29th Ave, Minneapolis
    More information

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    Recent Federal Grant and Partnership Opportunities

    The following content is for informational purposes only. For additional details on the opportunities below, and to find additional opportunities, please visit

    Promise Zone Preference Points

    If a discretionary funding opportunity indicates Promise Zone (PZ) preference points are available, please visit for additional information on forms and contacts to request preference point certification from the City of Minneapolis Promise Zone. Please submit your preference point request at least two weeks prior to the application deadline for Promise Zone certification approval consideration. 

    If a funding opportunity does not indicate PZ preference points, you are still encouraged to contact the Promise Zone Manager, Julianne Leerssen (612-225-7721), about potential partnership opportunities to strengthen your application.


    USDOT: Department of the Treasury

    Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system for taxpayers who are low income or speak English as a second language (ESL) by:  Providing pro bono representation on their behalf in tax disputes with the IRS;  Educating them about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers; and  Identifying and advocating for issues that impact low income taxpayers.


    DOC: Department of Commerce

    EDA is committed to fostering connected, innovation-centric economic sectors which support the conversion of research into products and services, businesses, and ultimately jobs through entrepreneurship. See Section 27. Funding is available for capacity-building programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and for operational support for organizations that provide essential early-stage funding to startups. Under the RIS Program, EDA is soliciting applications for two separate competitions: the 2017 i6 Challenge; and the 2017 Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition. Applicants may, but are not required to, submit proposals for more than one competition under the RIS Program. Applicants must provide a matching share from non-Federal sources of at least 50 percent of the total project cost. 

    SBA: Small Business Administration

    The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to invite proposals for funding from eligible state entities interested in and capable of providing assistance and guidance to eligible small business concerns to increase the number of such firms that export and the value of small business exports.

    To provide procurement training and management support services including curriculum development, graduate mentoring and counseling, logistical preparation for course, to include participant registration, marketing and promoting the VFPETP program to potential veteran and service-disabled veteran candidates seeking training for government contracting opportunities.

    HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

    The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage small businesses (SBCs) to develop next generation wearables and supporting mobile applications to identify digital biomarkers associated with reinitiating drug use and relapse, and create a model for just-in-time intervention.

    This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose exploratory and confirmatory clinical trials focused on promising interventions, as well as biomarker-or outcome measure validation studies that are immediately preparatory to trials in stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery.


    HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

    Today, in communities across the country, young people are living on the streets after running from or being asked to leave homes characterized by abuse, neglect, family conflict, or parental drug and alcohol abuse. Once on the streets, such youth are at risk of being sexually exploited or abused for pleasure or profit. In addition, youth may engage or forced to participate in shoplifting, survival sex, or drug dealing in order to provide for their basic needs. Since 1996, the Family and Youth Services Bureau's (FYSB) SOP has been aiding young people living on the streets or other unsafe living conditions by funding grantees to provide street-based services to runaway, homeless, and street youth who have been subjected to or are at risk of being subjected to sexual abuse, prostitution, sexual exploitation, and severe forms of trafficking in persons. These services, which are provided in areas where street youth congregate, are designed to support and assist such youth in making healthy choices and providing them access to shelter and related services.

    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) will award one cooperative agreement on a competitive basis for a period of three years to operate the Runaway and Homeless Youth National Communication System (NCS) Program.The NCS Program is a dedicated toll-free, U.S. national communication system that provides information, referral services, crisis intervention, prevention approaches, and communication services to vulnerable, at-risk, and runaway and homeless youth and their families or legal guardians.

    STEM Education, Innovation, and Commercialization (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

    DOD: Department of Defense

    The SMART Scholarship Program was established by Congress as a means to strengthen the DoD science and technology workforce with highly skilled science and engineering professionals. This unique and prestigious program provides scholarships, which include tuition and stipend support to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in the technical fields listed in the overview of the funding opportunity. While in school, participants perform research as summer interns at DoD laboratories and return to those laboratories after graduation to complete a period of obligated employment service. This provides scholars with a unique opportunity to perform research in their respective area of interest that they would not have otherwise been able to do. The post-graduation employment commitment is equal to or greater than the amount of time the student received scholarship funding under this program.

    NSF: National Science Foundation

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output to facilitate the application of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society. In order to maintain, strengthen and grow a national innovation ecosystem, NSF has established the Innovation Corps - National Innovation Network Teams Program (I-Corps Teams). The NSF I-Corps Teams Program purpose is to identify NSF-funded researchers who will receive additional support in the form of entrepreneurial education, mentoring and funding to accelerate innovation that can attract subsequent third-party funding.


    DOS: Department of State

    The Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/PE/V), United States Department of State (DOS), announces an open competition for up to eight assistance awards to administer the FY 2018 International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging leaders. These visits support U.S. foreign policy goals and reflect the participant's professional interests.


    DOT: Department of Transportation

    The DOT hereby requests applications to result in awards to eligible entities to develop model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. These model deployments are expected to provide benefits in the form of: reduced traffic-related fatalities and injuries; reduced traffic congestion and improved travel time reliability; reduced transportation-related emissions; optimized multimodal system performance; improved access to transportation alternatives, including for underserved populations; public access to real time integrated traffic, transit, and multimodal transportation information to make informed travel decisions; cost savings to transportation agencies, businesses, and the traveling public; or other benefits to transportation users and the general public. 


    HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

    The purpose of this FOA is encourage applications that seek to examine processes of recovery and relapse in the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders. Applications high in innovation and significance are highly encouraged that address the following potential topics: 1) defining recovery; 2) Examining new and innovative methods to examine precipitants of relapse; 3) Understanding mechanisms of mutual help and recovery; 4) Evaluating recovery systems of care; and 5) Examining processes of extended treatment for AUD 

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act: Building Communities of Recovery (Short Title: BCOR). The purpose of this program is to mobilize resources within and outside of the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery support from substance abuse and addiction. These grants are intended to support the development, enhancement, expansion, and delivery of recovery support services (RSS) as well as promotion of and education about recovery. Programs will be principally governed by people in recovery from substance abuse and addiction who reflect the community served.

    THE PURPOSE of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to award one cooperative agreement to an organization to develop a state-of-the-art foster/adoptive parent training program to include intensive preparation and development components that reflect the capacities required of successful foster/adoptive parents. This is intended to be a product that could be utilized free of charge by all states, tribes, and territories and consistently applied wherever implemented.

    The purpose of this forecasted funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to provide competitive grant funds for up to 5 years for projects authorized by the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Pub. L. 112-34). This Act includes a targeted grants program (section 437(f)) that directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reserve funds for regional partnership grants (RPGs) to improve the well-being of children affected by substance abuse. These targeted grants will be awarded to regional partnerships that provide, through interagency collaboration and integration of programs and services, activities and services that are designed to increase the well-being of, improve permanency outcomes for, and enhance the safety of children who are in out-of-home placements or are at risk of entering out-of-home placements as a result of a parent's or caretaker's substance abuse.

    The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite research project applications to support biomedical and behavioral research that will provide scientific data to inform regulation of tobacco products to protect public health.

    The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite R03 applications to support biomedical and behavioral research that will provide scientific data to inform regulation of tobacco products to protect public health.

    The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to solicit applications proposing research that can lead to advancements in the understanding of elder mistreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse; financial exploitation; abandonment; and neglect) and lay the foundation for the future design of mechanistically focused interventions for individuals at risk for mistreating elders, for promoting recovery and resilience in the maltreated and their families, and for preventing re-perpetration for those who have inflicted harm. 

    This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages R21 grant applications for research that will employ rigorous scientific methods to test theoretically derived hypotheses to increase understanding of the science of drug use prevention within diverse populations and settings and across the lifespan. The FOA seeks applications that encompass investigations of cognitive, behavioral, and social processes as they relate to: 1) development of novel prevention approaches; 2) efficacy and effectiveness of prevention interventions or programs; 3) processes that optimize the selection, integration, implementation and sustainability of science-based prevention, including systems-level and health economic factors; and 4) methodologies appropriate for studying complex aspects of prevention science.

    This notice solicits applications for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program. The BHWET Program aims to develop and expand the behavioral health workforce serving populations across the lifespan, including rural and medically underserved areas.

    USDOJ: Department of Justice

    Develop information and data collection strategies to identify current utilization of sanctions and incentives by community corrections practitioners. Develop a white paper outlining research findings, identifies and prioritizes the knowledge and research gaps. Develop research agenda to build an accumulative body of research to support the effective use of sanctions and incentives within community supervision models. 

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    About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

    Promise Zones are federally designated, high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, and leverage private investment. The Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) plan is a comprehensive, community-driven revitalization strategy that builds on and aligns numerous initiatives to address the persistent unemployment, crime, housing blight, and poor educational outcomes that affect that area.

    Contact information: Juli Leerssen, (612) 225-7721

    For more information, please visit

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    To contribute news, events, or stories, please send content to Christina Manancero

    For reasonable accommodations, alternative formats, or to add content please contact Christina Manancero at or by phone: 612-673-2958. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. 

    TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

    Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

    Welcome to North Minneapolis" mural by youth artists from Juxtaposition Arts and TATS CRU