Promise Zone Grants

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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April 19, 2018

Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates:

  • Wilkins Community Fellows Program 
  • Grant Spotlight 
  • Recent Federal Grant and Partnership Opportunities 
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Wilkins Community Fellows Program 

The Roy Wilkins Community Fellows program is an intensive one-week boot camp that provides individuals and nonprofit organizations serving Minneapolis communities of color an introduction to policy analysis and methods of evaluation to assess the effectiveness of programs specifically targeted at those communities. The annual workshop is led by Professor Samuel Myers, director of the Roy Wilkins Center for Social Justice and Human Relations at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

  • The 2018 program will take place June 4 - 8

Fellows are selected through a competitive process, and there is no cost to attend the workshop, which includes reading materials, parking, light breakfast, and lunch.

  • How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online by 10 p.m. CDT on April 30, 2018. For more information contact Blanca Monter at

Applicants must obtain approval from their employer to participate in this workshop if accepted. Applicants will be notified of the final decision via email on May 15, 2018. 

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Grant Spotlight 

Enhance Job Creation and Business Development for Individuals with Low Income

The Community Economic Development program seeks to fund projects that address the personal and community barriers that must be overcome to help individuals with low incomes become self-sufficient. Funds can be used for costs associated with participating business start-up or expansion activities. OCS is encouraging projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative, Choice Neighborhoods Program, or under-served Communities Zones Initiative. 

  • Deadline: June 15, 2018   
  • Award Ceiling: $800,000

Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Action Grants

The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood

  • Deadline: June 12, 2018
  • Award Ceiling: $1,300,000

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: US Department of Housing and Urban Development

With this publication, HUD is making available up to $5,000,000 for Planning Grants, including Planning and Action Grants.1. Planning Grants are two-year grants that assist communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented.2. Planning and Action Grants are three and a half year planning grants that pair planning with action. Experience shows that tangible actions taken early on help communities build momentum for further planning and the eventual transition from planning to implementation of that plan. These actions improve neighborhood confidence, which in turn sustains the community's energy, attracts more engagement and resources, and helps convince skeptical stakeholders that positive change is possible. Under these grants, the planning process activities would take place during the first 24 months of the grant period. The planning process will identify Action Activities that will be carried out during the latter portion of the grant period. Action Activities must build upon the planning for the target housing and neighborhood.


DOL: Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

The project aims to accomplish increasing and expediting attainment of state occupational licenses by veterans and transitioning service members (TSMs) by identifying gaps between military education and training in specific military occupations as compared to the education required for related licensed civilian occupations. For example, credit recommendations sometimes identify military education as equivalent to 1 or 2 credits of a 3-credit course—leaving gaps that are portions of courses. Where these identified gaps represent portions of multiple required courses the project will develop a bridge curriculum, as open educational resources, to address those gaps such that veterans can enter and complete a program of study required to obtain a state license needed to achieve their career objectives. Furthermore, the project seeks to identify instances in which civilian education programs can waive required courses by awarding credit for military training or giving veterans and TSMs advanced standing within an existing training program.


USDOJ: Department of Justice

Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention

This solicitation will support field-initiated, methodologically rigorous research and/or evaluations focused on interactions between law enforcement and youth, with practical implications for the identification and development of programs and policies that ensure officer, youth, and community safety. This solicitation encourages researchers to propose studies that contribute to the development of scientific evidence about factors that facilitate or inhibit positive police-youth interactions, as well as evaluations of the implementation and effectiveness of trainings, programs, practices, or policies designed to facilitate productive law enforcement and youth engagement.

Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention

This program will support states and localities in developing and implementing strategies to ensure that youth involved with the juvenile justice system have fair and equal access to quality legal representation; ensure that offenders involved with the juvenile justice system have resources that address the collateral consequences of justice system involvement; and/or provide training for the juvenile indigent defense bar, including public defenders and court-appointed counsel working on behalf of juvenile indigent defendants.


DOS: Department of State
U.S. Mission to India

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (PAS Mumbai) seeks proposals for a project entitled “Basketball and Leadership Camps for Empowering Underprivileged Youth.” Through its network with schools or social organizations in the western India region (Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra), the selected grantee will secure partners and sporting venues for the camps and obtain/procure equipment such as hoops, balls, and other gear as needed. The grantee would also identify one U.S. basketball coach with experience conducting such camps to travel to India for the programs. (Please refer to the full announcement available under 'related documents' tab)

Department of State
Bureau Of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Sports Diplomacy Division, in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for the FY 2018 Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP). U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) may submit proposals to conduct two separate month-long professional development mentorship programs, Sport for Community GSMP and the espnW GSMP, and a reciprocal overseas exchange involving approximately 80 international and American participants in total. By empowering women and people with disabilities, the GSMP directly supports U.S. foreign policy goals, promotes social inclusion, and elevates the status of marginalized populations. Through the mentorship experience, the GSMP encourages mutually beneficial relationships between American sports executives and leaders in the sports sector overseas. Further, the GSMP engages alumni from previous years through sustained U.S. Embassy relationships, follow-on individual grants, and monitoring and evaluation. Tapping into the power of public-private partnerships and founded on participant-led business plans, the GSMP positively impacts communities at home and abroad and creates a more secure and democratic global playing field for all.

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

DOS: Department of State

Bureau Of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Office of Citizen Exchanges, Professional Fellows Division, of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA or “the Bureau”) invites proposal submissions for the FY 2018 TechWomen program to empower, connect, and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The exchange program uses a mentorship model to support emerging STEM leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa. Organizations applying for this federal award should demonstrate the capacity to recruit, select, and place in mentorships a total of approximately 100-110 women from select countries in these regions to participate in a five- to six-week intensive peer-mentoring program in the United States. The mentoring experience should focus on advancing the status of professional women in the STEM fields through project-based peer mentorships, skill building, networking opportunities, and enhancement activities. Funding will also support follow-on activities in the participants’ home countries that inspire and encourage girls and university-age women interested or working in STEM-based careers, engage young women using technology in their professions, and support former participants of the program (“alumnae”). Special emphasis should be placed on finding creative ways to involve alumnae in strengthening a network of female STEM professionals, building professional standards and capacity, and inspiring the next generation of girls interested in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models. Award applicants must exhibit their ability to manage all program logistics and overseas follow-on programming.

U.S. Mission to Vietnam

The U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce funding is available through the Public Diplomacy Federal Assistance Awards program for the American Center in Ho Chi Minh City. Through this funding opportunity the U.S. Consulate General aims to provide American Center patrons high quality opportunities to practice their English and to learn more about American culture. The program should be based on sound English Language Teaching pedagogy, combining some structured instruction along with ample time for speaking practice. Having a trained teacher is a critical criterion for all proposals and preference, due to their cultural knowledge, will be given to projects working with trained American teachers. All projects will need to run during the regular office hours of the American Center, from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

U.S. Mission to India

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi (PAS New Delhi) seeks proposals for a project entitled “Let’s Get Serious: Comic Videos to Promote Study in the U.S.” Under this project, a grantee will partner with a well-known Indian comedian(s) to create a series of short videos responding to frequently asked questions about higher education opportunities in the United States, the application process and student life in the United States. The grantee will be responsible for identifying and securing a comedian (or comic personality), drafting and editing scripts, hiring supplementary actors if needed, arranging all A/V and filming support, shooting the footage, editing and obtaining all copyrights/permissions for dissemination. The grantee will create a minimum of 10 short videos, lasting between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, edited for best viewing on a smartphone screen (vertical). All videos will be in English and subtitled in English, with a Department of State and EducationUSA watermark. PAS New Delhi will disseminate the videos on EducationUSA India and Mission India’s official Facebook and YouTube pages. The target audience will be Indian students, aged 17-35, who speak English and have aspirations to study abroad. (Please refer to the full announcement available under 'related documents' tab.)


HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Community Living

This funding opportunity is for competitive grants to be awarded under the OAA Title IV authority to increase the evidenced based knowledge base of nutrition providers, drive improved health outcomes for program recipients by promoting higher service quality, and increase program efficiency through innovative nutrition service delivery models. Funding will support innovative and promising practices that move the aging network towards evidenced based practices that enhance the quality, effectiveness of nutrition services programs or outcomes within the aging services network. Innovation can include service products that appeal to caregivers (such as web-based ordering systems and carryout food products), increased involvement of volunteers (such as retired chefs), consideration of eating habits and choice (such as variable meal times, salad bars, or more fresh fruits and vegetables), new service models (testing variations and hybrid strategies) and other innovations to better serve a generation of consumers whose needs and preferences are different. Innovative and promising practices may include the testing and publishing of positive outcomes in which nutrition programs provide a meaningful role in support of the health and long-term care of older individuals. Outcomes should focus on methods to improve collaboration with local health care entities, decrease health care costs for a specific population or decrease the incidence of the need for institutionalization among older adults. Through this program, funds may be used to help develop and test additional models or to replicate models that have already been tested in other community-based settings.

USDA: Department of Agriculture
National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers.


HHS: Department of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families - OCS 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award approximately $17.2 million in Community Economic Development (CED) discretionary grant funds to Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for individuals with low income. CED grants will be made as part of a broader strategy to address objectives such as decreasing dependency on federal programs, chronic unemployment, and community deterioration in urban and rural areas. CED projects are expected to actively recruit individuals with low income to fill the positions created by CED-funded development activities, to assist those individuals to successfully hold those jobs and to ensure that the businesses and jobs created remain viable for at least one year after the end of the grant period. CED-funded projects can be non-construction or construction projects, however, short-term construction jobs associated with preparing for business startup or expansion are not counted when determining the number of jobs created under the CED program as they are designed to be temporary in nature. OCS is encouraging applications from CDCs to target hurricane disaster areas, rural areas, and underserved areas: 21 states and territories that do not have active CED projects: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Island of Guam, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Oregon, Rhode Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming. Furthermore, OCS is encouraging projects that align with the Promise Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program, underserved Communities Zones Initiative or Choice Neighborhoods Program.

National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage developmental and exploratory research focused on determining the mechanisms for the variation in the prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and understanding and reducing disparities in opioid care in minority health and health disparity populations in the U.S. This initiative will also seek to identify multi-level intervention strategies at the institutional and systems level for addressing OUD in these populations.

Centers for Disease Control - NCIRD

The purpose of this NOFO is to provide support for communication and education activities to promote and maintain accurate information about vaccines among stakeholders and the general public Education of USDA/WIC staff about the latest vaccine recommendations and vaccine access points to facilitate vaccination referrals to WIC participant

Centers for Disease Control - NCIPC

Violence is a major public health problem. Over 64,000 people died violently in the U.S. in 2016. These violent deaths included 44,965 suicides and 19,911 homicides. Violent deaths have been estimated to cost nearly $214 billion in medical care and lost productivity. Violence is preventable. Interventions, strategies, and policies are increasingly available that stop violence before it happens. Preventing violence is a critical public health goal because violence inflicts a substantial toll on individuals, families, and communities throughout the US. In order to prevent violence, we must first know the facts about violent deaths. This NOFO builds on previous and current work within the Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct surveillance of violence and to prevent violence.


NEH: National Endowment for the Humanities

The Research and Development program supports projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources. These challenges include the need to find better ways to preserve materials of critical importance to the nation’s cultural heritage—from fragile artifacts and manuscripts to analog recordings and digital assets subject to technological obsolescence—and to develop advanced modes of organizing, searching, discovering, and using such materials. This program recognizes that finding solutions to complex problems often requires forming interdisciplinary project teams, bringing together participants with expertise in the humanities; in preservation; and in information, computer, and natural science. All projects must demonstrate how advances in preservation and access would benefit the cultural heritage community in supporting humanities research, teaching, or public programming. Research and Development offers two funding tiers in order to address projects at all stages of development and implementation.

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (DHAG) support digital projects throughout their lifecycles, from early start-up phases through implementation and long-term sustainability. Experimentation, reuse, and extensibility are hallmarks of this program, leading to innovative work that can scale to enhance scholarly research, teaching, and public programming in the humanities. This program is offered twice per year. Proposals are welcome for digital initiatives in any area of the humanities. Through a special partnership with NEH, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) anticipates providing additional funding to this program to encourage innovative collaborations between museum or library professionals and humanities professionals to advance preservation of, access to, use of, and engagement with digital collections and services. IMLS and NEH may jointly fund some DHAG projects that involve collaborations with museums and/or libraries. Digital Humanities Advancement Grants may involve • creating or enhancing experimental, computationally-based methods, techniques, or infrastructure that contribute to the humanities; • pursuing scholarship that examines the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture and its impact on society, or explores the philosophical or practical implications and impact of digital humanities in specific fields or disciplines; or • revitalizing and/or recovering existing digital projects that promise to contribute substantively to scholarship, teaching, or public knowledge of the humanities.

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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