Black Owned Business, Oakland, Atlantic city

The Groundbreak Coalition Has Raised $1B In Funds To Help Boost Black Ownership of Homes and Businesses In Minneapolis

The Groundbreak Coalition (Groundbreak), a group including more than 40 philanthropic organizations and corporations, has reportedly raised almost $1B toward boosting Black ownership of homes, businesses, and developments in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. The coalition has hit the milestone in less than a year, putting it closer to its overall goal of $5.3 billion in funds dedicated to closing the racial wealth gap, the Star Tribute reports.

“What makes this unique is that we’re not trying to raise a fund, we’re trying to create fundamental change,” said Tonya Allen, president of the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis.

“This is about changing the rules and changing the way that capital grows, and I think that those are game-changers.”

The coalition was created in 2022, aimed at rebuilding areas destroyed in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent riots that followed. The funds are also intended to address the longstanding racial wealth gaps for Black and Indigenous Minnesota residents.

“We’re really doing this work because we believe that every person, no matter their race or their background, should have the opportunity to have incredible prosperity,” Allen said.

“And we know if we do this work together and if we do it smartly, it’s not just about those individual people, it’s about the magnifying, the amplifying effect that will happen in our region.”

There is a wide gap in the state between white and Black residents when it comes to homeownership, the outlet reports. Only 1/3 of Black Minnesotans own homes, while 78% of white residents are homeowners. In fact, Black people make up the racial group least likely to own a home in the state, the outlet reports.

The coalition is also working to fix issues that face not only Black Minnesotans but many members of the community in other states who face discrimination from banks and other lending institutions when trying to purchase a home. Groundbreak has focused on implementing tools to provide special loans with financial assistance, startup funding designed specifically for Black entrepreneurs, and commercial mortgage loans to even the playing field for Black-led neighborhood developments.

“People are just being creative, innovative, and bold in their thinking,” Allen said. “If we can … change the rules in the way that banking institutions work, what we aim to do is really create this long-term, systemic change.”

Minnesota is one of few states still making good on the promises made in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, something that Allen attributes to fully understanding the importance of closing the racial divide to prevent further tragedies.

“We know the ramifications if we do nothing,” she said. “We will be the scene-setters for the rest of the country on how we solve these challenges.”