Promise Zone: Grants and Updates

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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October 16, 2017

Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates:

  • Coders and Community Organizers Work Together to Disrupt Inequity  
  • Minneapolis Homes Development Assistance RFP
  • Doing Good in the Hood: Jordan Neighborhood Scholarship
  • Public Works Seeks Applicants for Trainee Program
  • Winter Warmth
  • News and Events
  • Recent Federal Grant and Partnership Opportunities 
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Coders and Community Organizers Work Together to Disrupt Inequity at Code Switch

CodeSwitch Logo

On Saturday September 23rd, hundreds gathered in the second floor of the Union Depot in Saint Paul for the first day of Code Switch; a two-day hackathon where people used data and technology to collaborate on projects aimed to disrupt inequity in Minnesota. Community organizers and coders combined their different knowledge bases to innovate around five topic areas: civic engagement, economic opportunity, health and wellness, public safety, and immigrants and refugees. Students, entrepreneurs, city employees and members of the community came forward to share their project proposals. Kellen Rashad Nins was one of the many who shared; he has developed an app called Uposit which connects people to relevant social services, uplifts people, and emphasizes the value of the "human experience". At lunch members of the Minneapolis Promise Zone learned more about Kellen's story. After working at New Lens with predominantly African American youth of Baltimore, Maryland, Kellen was inspired to create a platform to counteract negative discourses surrounding communities of color through the dissemination of positive narratives. Kellen was one of many who utilized technology to combat systemic racial inequity. Learn more about Kellen Rashad Nins here

Minneapolis Homes Watermark

Minneapolis Homes Development Assistance RFP

The Minneapolis Homes program requests proposals for Development Assistance for new construction homes on City-owned vacant lots. 

Important dates are: 

  • Monday, September 25, 2017 - RFP posted. 
  • Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - In person training at North                Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411. 
  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 - Due date for question submittal. 
  • Friday, October 27, 2017 at 12 p.m. - Due date for electronic submittal of proposals.  

More Information

Doing Good in the Hood: Jordan Neighborhood Scholarship

"Doing Good in the Hood" a Jordan Area Community Council Youth Scholarship. Are you a Jordan Resident between the ages of 12-20 years old? Are you involved in your neighborhood? Tell Jordan Community Council what a safe healthy community means to you and what you are doing. Write a brief paragraph to win a JACC scholarship. Please submit your entries by 5 p.m. on Monday October 16 to

Public Works Seeks Applicants for Trainee Program 

Do you know somebody who would like to work for the City of Minneapolis? Public Works is hiring for service worker 1 positions and service worker trainee positions. See the required qualifications and experience here. Applications will be accepted through October at

Winter Warmth

Join Hawthorne Neighborhood Council in their mission to help keep the children in need warm this winter by donating winter apparel. All sizes and styles are accepted. This event is first come, first served basis. Children must be present. Only items with tags will be accepted through December 2. 

Drop-off sites are:

  • Hawthorne Neighborhood Council: 2944 Emerson Avenue N. 
  • Farview Park: 621 29th Avenue N. 
  • Fourth Street Saloon: 328 W. Broadway Avenue 
  • WBC office: 1011 W. Broadway Avenue Street 202 

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Keep it Fresh! City Council Candidate Forum on Local Food - Hosted by Northside Fresh 
Tues, October 17: 5:30-8 p.m. 
Cora McCorvey Health & Wellness Center- 1015 4th Avenue N., Minneapolis 

Appetite For Change Community Cooks  
Thu, October 19: 5-7:30 p.m. 
Breaking Bread Cafe- 1210 W. Broadway, Minneapolis 

Jordan Area Community Council Annual Meeting  
Thu, October 19: 5:30 p.m. 
Location TBD 

Instigating Racial Healing in MN 
Sat, October 28: 10:30 a.m.- 12 p.m. 
North Regional Library- 1315 Lowry Avenue N., Minneapolis 

Minneapolis Homes Information: Buy-Build-Rehab  
Wed, November 8: 6-7:30 p.m.
Davis Center- 1250 W. Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis 

Minnesota Black Authors Expo  
Sat, November 18: 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. 
Northside Economic Opportunity Network- 1007 W. Broadway, Minneapolis 


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.


HUD: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Purpose: The purpose of the Jobs Plus Pilot program is to develop locally-based, job-driven approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. The place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program addresses poverty among public housing residents by incentivizing and enabling employment through earned income disregards for working families, and a set of services designed to support work including employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling. Ideally, these incentives will saturate the target developments, building a culture of work and making working families the norm. The Jobs Plus Pilot program consists of the following three core components: Employment-Related Services Financial Incentives; Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID) Community Supports for Work Applicants are encouraged to develop key partnerships to connect participants with any other needed services to remove barriers to work. An Individualized Training and Services Plan (ITSP) should be developed for each participant to establish goals and service strategies, and to track progress. Background HUD, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the MDRC, through a public-private partnership, designed and supported the Jobs Plus program model between 1998 and 2003. HUD has issued two separate evaluation reports on the demonstration, in an effort to identify and document the most promising approaches to increasing employment among families in public housing. Each evaluation showed ongoing positive effects for residents when the program was well-implemented and included the three core elements. More information on the findings can be found at


Treasury: Department of the Treasury

Through the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) supports FDIC-insured financial institutions around the country that are dedicated to financing and supporting community and economic development activities. The BEA Program complements the community development activities of insured depository institutions (i.e., banks and thrifts) by providing monetary awards for increasing investments in CDFIs and for increasing qualified lending, investment, and service activities within economically distressed communities. Providing BEA Program awards for increasing community development activities leverages the CDFI Fund’s dollars and puts more capital to work in distressed communities throughout the nation.

DOC:Department of Commerce

This Broad Agency Announcement is a mechanism to encourage research, education and outreach, innovative projects, or sponsorships that are not addressed through NOAA’s competitive discretionary programs. This announcement is not soliciting goods or services for the direct benefit of NOAA. Funding for activities described in this notice is contingent upon the availability of Fiscal Year 2018, Fiscal Year 2019, and Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations. Applicants are hereby given notice that funds have not yet been appropriated for any activities described in this notice. Publication of this announcement does not oblige NOAA to review an application beyond an initial administrative review, or to award any specific project, or to obligate any available funds


EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (“Brownfields Law”, P.L. 107-118) requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish guidance for grants to assess and clean up brownfield sites. EPA’s Brownfields Program provides funds to empower states, communities, tribes, and nonprofits to prevent, inventory, assess, clean up, and reuse brownfield sites. Under these guidelines, EPA is seeking proposals for Revolving Loan Fund Grants only. If you are interested in requesting funding for Assessment Grants and/or Cleanup Grants, please refer to announcement EPA-OLEM-OBLR-17-07 (Assessment Grant Guidelines) or EPA-OLEM-OBLR-17-09 (Cleanup Grant Guidelines) posted separately on and

The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (“Brownfields Law,” P.L. 107-118) requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish guidance to assist applicants in preparing proposals for grants to assess and clean up brownfield sites. EPA’s Brownfields Program provides funds to empower states, communities, tribes, and nonprofits to prevent, inventory, assess, clean up, and reuse brownfield sites. EPA provides brownfields funding for three types of grants: Brownfields Assessment Grants, Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grants, and Brownfields Cleanup Grants. Under this RFP, EPA is seeking proposals for Cleanup Grants, only, to provide funds to carry out cleanup activities at a specific brownfield site owned by the applicant.

BUSINESS, EDUCATION, and STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

NSF: National Science Foundation

The LEAP HI program challenges the engineering research community to take a leadership role in addressing demanding, urgent, and consequential challenges for advancing America's prosperity, health and infrastructure. LEAP HI proposals confront engineering problems that are too complex to yield to the efforts of a single investigator --- problems that require sustained and coordinated effort from interdisciplinary research teams, with goals that are not achievable through a series of smaller, short-term projects. LEAP HI projects perform fundamental research that may lead to disruptive technologies and methods, lay the foundation for new and strengthened industries, enable notable improvements in quality of life, or reimagine and revitalize the built environment. LEAP HI supports fundamental research projects involving collaborating investigators, of duration up to five years, with total budget between $1 million and $2 million. LEAP HI proposals must articulate a fundamental research problem with compelling intellectual challenge and significant societal impact, particularly on economic competitiveness, quality of life, public health, or essential infrastructure. One or more CMMI core topics must lie at the heart of the proposal, and integration of disciplinary expertise not typically engaged in CMMI-funded projects is encouraged. LEAP HI proposals must highlight engineering research in a leadership role. LEAP HI proposals must demonstrate the need for a sustained research effort by an integrated, interdisciplinary team, and should include aresearch integrationplan and timeline for research activities, with convincing mechanisms for frequent and effective communication.

Engineering for Civil Infrastructure (ECI) program supports fundamental research that will shape the future of our nation's constructed civil infrastructure, subjected to and interacting with the natural environment, to meet the needs of humans. In this context, research driven by radical rethinking of traditional civil infrastructure in response to emerging technological innovations, changing population demographics, and evolving societal needs is encouraged. The ECI program focuses on the physical infrastructure, such as the soil-foundation-structure-envelope-nonstructural building system; geostructures; and underground facilities. It seeks proposals that advance knowledge and methodologies within geotechnical, structural, architectural, materials, coastal, and construction engineering, especially that include collaboration with researchers from other fields, including, for example, biomimetics, bioinspired design, advanced computation, data science, materials science, additive manufacturing, robotics, and control theory. Research may explore holistic building systems that view construction, geotechnical, structural, and architectural design as an integrated system; adaptive building envelope systems; nonconventional building materials; breakthroughs in remediated geological materials; and transformational construction processes. Principal investigators are encouraged to consider civil infrastructure subjected to and interacting with the natural environment under "normal" operating conditions; intermediate stress conditions (such as deterioration, and severe locational and climate conditions); and extreme single or multi natural hazard events (including earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis, storm surges, sinkholes, subsidence, and landslides). Principal investigators are expected to bear in mind broader impacts associated with, for example, economic, environmental, habitant comfort, and societal benefits, which may include implications for resource and energy efficiency, life cycle, adaptability and resilience, and reduced dependence on municipal services and utilities.

The DMR Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials Research (PREM) program aims to enable, build, and grow partnerships between minority-serving institutions and DMR-supported centers and/or facilities to increase recruitment, retention and degree attainment (which defines the PREM pathway) by members of those groups most underrepresented in materials research, and at the same time support excellent research and education endeavors that strengthen such partnerships.

The purpose of the Cyberlearning for Work at the Human-Technology Frontier program is to fund exploratory and synergistic research in learning technologies to prepare learners to excel in work at the human-technology frontier. This program responds to the pressing societal need to educate and re-educate learners of all ages (students, teachers and workers) in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content areas to ultimately function in highly technological environments, including in collaboration with intelligent systems. Innovative technologies can reshape learning processes, which in turn can influence new technology design. Learning technology research in this program should be informed by the convergence of multiple disciplines: education and learning sciences, computer and information science and engineering, and cognitive, behavioral and social sciences. This program funds learning technology research in STEM and other foundational areas that enable STEM learning.

HHS: Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide opportunities for eligible small business concerns (SBCs) to submit STTR grant applications to develop interactive digital media science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) resources that address student career choice and health and medicine topics for: (1) pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12) students and pre- and in-service teachers ("Teachers") or (2) Informal science education (ISE), i.e., outside the classroom, audiences. Interactive digital media (IDM) are defined as products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user's actions by presenting content such as text, moving image, animation, video, audio, and video games. There is a large body of evidence that IDM technology has the potential to support learning in a variety of contexts from primary and secondary schools, to universities, adult education and workplace training. IDM is widely used to train, educate, and encourage behavioral changes in a virtual world format where progressive learning, feedback on success and user control are combined into an interactive and engaging experience. It is anticipated that this STTR FOA will facilitate the translation of new or existing health and medicine-based, P-12 STEM curricula and museum exhibits into educational Interactive Digital Media STEM (IDM STEM) resources that will provide a hands-on, inquiry-based and learning-by-doing experience for students, teachers and the community.

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The over-arching goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nations biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. To this end, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages the development of innovative educational activities for pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12), pre-service and in-service teachers (Teachers) and students from underserved communities with a focus on Courses for Skills Development, Research Experiences, Mentoring Activities, Curriculum or Methods Development and Outreach. To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Information on current SEPA projects can be found at: and Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the SEPA Scientific/Research Contact to be advised on the appropriateness of the intended P-12 STEM or ISE project for SEPA program objectives and the priorities of the NIGMS.


HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

This announcement solicits applications for the Health Center Program's Service Area Competition (SAC).  The Health Center Program supports patient-directed public and private nonprofit organizations that provide primary and preventive health care services to the Nation's medically underserved.  The purpose of the SAC funding opportunity is to ensure continued access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services for communities and vulnerable populations currently served by the Health Center Program.

National Institutes of Health

In this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), we invite prospective applicants to propose research addressing treatment of pregnant women with opioid use disorder and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of medications used for maternal treatment.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications to study the ethical, legal and societal issues (ELSI) of human genome research in African populations. Of particular interest are projects that propose focused bioethical, legal, and social science analyses of new or emerging issues. 


USDA: Department of Agriculture

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase.

The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) amended Section 18 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to establish a Farm to School Program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. To fulfill the farm to school mandate in the HHFKA, $5 million is provided to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on an annual basis to support grants, technical assistance, and the Federal administrative costs related to USDA’s Farm to School Program. The USDA Farm to School Program is housed within the Food and Nutrition Services’ (FNS) Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS). This request for applications (RFA) provides additional details regarding the grants component of the USDA Farm to School Program. Authorizing language in the HHFKA directed the Secretary of Agriculture to award competitive grants for: (i) Training; (ii) Supporting operations; (iii) Planning; (iv) Purchasing equipment; (v) Developing school gardens; (vi) Developing partnerships; and, (vii) Implementing farm to school programs. The Secretary of Agriculture was also directed through the HHFKA to ensure geographical diversity and equitable treatment of urban, rural, and tribal communities, as well as give the highest priority to funding projects that, as determined by the Secretary – (a) Make local food products available on the menu of the eligible school; (b) Serve a high proportion of children who are eligible for free or reduced price lunches; (c) Incorporate experiential nutrition education activities in curriculum planning that encourage the participation of school children in farm and garden-based activities; (d) Demonstrate collaboration between eligible schools, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, agricultural producer groups, and other community partners; (e) Include adequate and participatory evaluation plans; (f) Demonstrate the potential for long-term program sustainability; and, (g) Meet any other criteria that the Secretary determines appropriate.


NEH National Endowment for the Humanities

The Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) program helps cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration, prolong the useful life of collections, and support institutional resilience: the ability to anticipate and respond to natural and man-made disasters. Cultural institutions, including libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations, face an enormous challenge: to preserve humanities collections that facilitate research, strengthen teaching, and provide opportunities for life-long learning.

Debate, exchange of ideas, and working together—all are basic activities that advance humanities knowledge and foster rich scholarship that would not be possible by researchers working on their own. The Collaborative Research grant program encourages collaboration that proposes diverse approaches to topics, incorporates multiple points of view, and explores new avenues of inquiry that lead to publications and other resources for scholarly audiences and/or general audiences. Collaborative Research grants support groups of two or more scholars engaging in significant and sustained research in the humanities. The program seeks to encourage interdisciplinary work, both within the humanities and beyond.

IMLS: Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Museums for America (MFA) program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. 

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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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For reasonable accommodations, alternative formats, or to add content please contact Jennifer Melin at or by phone: 612-597-3406. 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