Author Archives: Lilja Communications

  1. Nikole Hannah-Jones to discuss the 1619 Project at Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series

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    Investigative journalist and award-winning writer Nikole Hannah-Jones will be the next speaker in the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series, a forum that brings world-renowned speakers to Minnesota to spark conversations that contribute to the intellectual life of the greater Twin Cities community.

    Hannah-Jones will discuss her groundbreaking work on the 1619 Project, which re-examines the legacy of slavery in the United States, in conversation with Star Tribune Assistant Managing Editor of Diversity and Community Kyndell Harkness on Dec. 6, 2022, at 6 p.m. CST. The event will be held at Northrop at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

    Learn more about the event.

    About Nikole Hannah-Jones
    Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. She has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice, and her reporting has earned her the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius Grant; a Peabody Award; two George Polk Awards; and the National Magazine Award three times. 

    The Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series is presented by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs with support from Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation.

    An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones: Truth, History, and the 1619 Project
    Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, 6-7:15 p.m. CST
    7:30 p.m. book signing

    Admission is free and open to the public; tickets are required.

    Event Registration

    Photo Credit: James Estrin, New York Times

  2. Carlson Family Foundation supports Minnesota entrepreneurs at MN Cup

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    The Carlson Family Foundation is proud to support MN Cup, an annual competition that connects emerging entrepreneurs from across the state with tools and resources to launch and accelerate their ventures.

    This year’s competition reached a great milestone — it included the biggest and most diverse set of contenders since its inception 18 years ago. Out of 2,595 total participants, 47% were women and 40% were entrepreneurs of color.

    We were happy to sponsor three divisions of the competition: best woman-led startup, best veteran-led startup and best Greater Minnesota startup.

    Best woman-led startup: BenchK12

    BenchK12 uses technology that powers the gig economy to match substitute teachers with schools to ensure a great substitute teaching experience. It was founded by Brooke Barrett, who started her teaching career as a substitute teacher.

    Best veteran-led startup: Parlaty

    Parlaty’s patented technology simplifies complex procedures for workers on the factory floor to increase safety adherence and productivity outcomes. Parlaty breaks down each step of a procedure with visual and audio components presented in a time-based fashion.

    Best Greater Minnesota startup: Pneumeric

    Based in Rochester, Minnesota, Pneumeric is a medical device company focused on developing the “gold standard” for tension pneumothorax (collapsed lung) care to reduce treatment failure and death. Its device, called Capnospot, provides visual detection for needle thoracostomy, a procedure to decompress tension pneumothorax.

    Learn more about MN Cup and this year’s winners.

  3. Grants awarded to support youth development and unite communities

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    The Carlson Family Foundation is pleased to announce 2022 grants awarded for:

    • Constellation: K-12 Schools, Out-of-School and Parents & Caregivers
    • Vibrant Communities: Youth Access, and Economic and Social Health
    • Special Opportunities

    Constellation seeks to surround young people with a constellation of caring adults to help them realize their dreams. Out-of-School grantmaking focuses on providing access to high-quality out-of-school programs centered on young people’s development and agency.

    Vibrant Communities seeks to bring peoples’ collective assets together to unite, enhance and inspire the community. Youth Access grantmaking supports inclusive access to arts, culture, and environmental experiences that affirm their identities. And our Economic and Social Health grants support arts, culture, and environmental experiences that contribute to the economic and social health of the community and shine a light on Minnesota.

    Special Opportunities grants address unique opportunities to meet immediate needs in the community.

    Constellation Grants


    30,000 Feet


    Funding supports after-school academic support programming for Black K-8 students in St. Paul.

    Above the EDGE


    Funding supports after-school leadership programming for middle and high school youth of color.

    Banyan Community


    Funding supports year-round leadership, and academic and SEL support for K-8 youth from the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities


    Funding supports general operations for one-on-one mentoring, career and college readiness support for mentored teens, and arts-based mentoring in partnership with community organizations.

    Bolder Options


    Funding supports general operations for one-on-one mentoring for middle school-aged youth.

    Centro Tyrone Guzman


    Funding supports year-round, culturally centered programming for Latinx youth in grades six through 12.

    Change Inc.


    Funding supports Crossroads, a school-based mentoring program focused on African American youth.

    Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota


    Funding supports expanding training and support for partners in CDF’s Freedom Schools network in the Twin Cities.

    College Possible Minnesota


    Funding supports services to low-income high school and college students pursuing college admissions and graduation.

    Cookie Cart


    Funding supports a youth social enterprise that teaches life, leadership and employment skills to teens of color in North Minneapolis and the East Side of St. Paul.

    Cultural Wellness Center


    Funding supports the Rites of Passage program for African American boys and young men.



    Funding supports the expansion of quality mentoring, academic support and hockey development for youth in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

    Division of Indian Work


    Funding supports year-round out-of-school academic support, and cultural and recreational activities for urban American Indian youth ages 5 to 17.



    Funding supports the North 4 program, which provides jobs and mentorship for young men in North Minneapolis.

    Friends of the Children


    Funding supports the launch of Friends of the Children’s evidenced-based, long-term professional mentoring model in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

    Girl Scouts River Valleys


    Funding supports girls and families of color through staff and volunteer-led Girl Scouts programming and engagement.

    Greater Minneapolis Community Connections


    Funding supports Genius Labs and GMCC Tech Teens, which provide tutoring support, digital learning experiences, mentors and career exploration opportunities.

    Hospitality House Youth Development


    Funding supported the Urban Learning Center, which serves students by providing supplemental, educational after-school services.

    InnerCity Tennis Foundation


    Funding supports general operations that utilizes tennis as a vehicle to positively impact the physical, emotional and mental well-being of youth.

    MENTOR Minnesota


    Funding supports expanding the mentoring movement through engagement of youth voice, and increasing culturally relevant and trauma informed learning experiences to mentoring staff and volunteers.



    Funding supports general operations for academic and cultural support for Native American middle and high school youth.

    Minnesota Alliance With Youth


    Funding supports interventions for youth in grades six through 12 most at risk for dropping out of school.

    Minnesota Urban Debate League


    Funding supports resources and programming to support competitive academic debate in Twin Cities middle and high schools. 

    New Vision Foundation


    Funding supports general operations for out-of-school STEM programming for East African and BIPOC youth in the Twin Cities.

    NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center


    Funding supports the improvement of quality, professional development and the expansion of current youth programming.



    Funding supports general operations for a leadership development program that equips youth with communication, community-building and SEL skills.

    Page Education Foundation


    Funding supports Minnesota students of color who pursue post-secondary education in Minnesota.



    Funding supports out-of-school programming for K-12 youth in St. Louis Park.

    Pillsbury United Communities


    Funding supports the Youth and Future Focus programming that engages K-12 youth through after-school clubs and camps, internships and academic support.

    Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC)


    Funding supports year-round youth development and academic programming for North Minneapolis K-5 youth.

    Project DIVA


    Funding supports general operations for personal development programming for Black girls ages 11-18.

    Project Success


    Funding supported general operations to provide students with equitable access to developmental support and experiences that increase their academic achievement and engagement.

    Propel Nonprofits


    Funding supports the Youth Leadership Institute, which provides leadership development for youth and training for youth-serving organizations.

    Propel Nonprofits


    Funding supports Bridgemakers, which focuses on building the capacity and leadership opportunities of marginalized young changemakers in the Twin Cities.

    QUEERSPACE collective


    Funding supports a mentorship program serving LGBTQ+ youth ages 12-17 across the Twin Cities metro.



    Funding supports training and resources for youth-serving organizations in St. Paul.

    St. Paul Youth Services


    Funding supports leadership development and advocacy programs for Black youth in the St. Paul area.



    Funding supports out-of-school programming and support for teens in the Twin Cities metro.

    Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation


    Funding supports educational, tutoring and mentoring programming for youth in primarily low-income neighborhoods in Minneapolis.

    YMCA of the North


    Funding supports the Beacons Program, which provides free academic and enrichment for youth through high-quality out-of-school programming.



    Funding supports building the capacity of community-based, youth-serving out-of-school programming in Minnesota.

    YWCA Minneapolis


    Funding supports girls and youth programs that equip youth with skills and experiences that nurture their confidence, relationships and power to be leaders in their lives and communities.

    K-12 Schools

    Great MN Schools


    Funding supports a pilot with K-12 schools focusing on strong, student-centered and relationship-rich cultures that advance student outcomes.

    Parents & Caregivers



    Funding supports efforts to disrupt the current child welfare system by co-creating new ways of keeping families safely together.

    Vibrant Communities Grants

    Youth Access

    An Opera Theatre


    Funding supports ongoing Opera Immersion Residencies with Twin Cities schools.

    Children’s Theatre Company


    Funding supports free access to, and enrichment surrounding, a live theatre experience for all second-grade students in the Minneapolis Public School District.

    The DIAL Group


    Funding supports providing at-risk Southeast Asian youth arts access and training, a safe space and mentorships with caring adults.

    History Theatre


    Funding supports four Seats to Stage school-based residencies in the 2022-23 school year.

    Hopewell Music Cooperative North


    Funding supports providing students on Minneapolis’ North Side the opportunity to work individually with a professional musician. 

    Illusion Theater


    Funding supports the Theater Access for Youth (TAY) program during the 2022-23 school year.

    Indigenous Peoples Task Force


    Funding supports training for Native teens, and travel expenses for actors and artists performing original, group-devised works celebrating Minnesota Native culture and teachings.

    Juxtaposition Arts


    Funding supports comprehensive youth arts training and creative sector employment.

    Kulture Klub Collaborative


    Funding supports the design of engaging artistic activities for youth experiencing homelessness.

    MacPhail Center for Music


    Funding supports connecting with K-12 schools throughout Minnesota to offer high-quality music education support and resources.

    Minnesota Children’s Museum


    Funding supports general operations for programming at the museum.

    Minnesota Orchestral Association


    Funding supports live, professional classical music performances to 30,000+ students.

    Muslim American Society of Minnesota


    Funding supports the establishment of a Youth Media Program to engage youth from immigrant and refugee families.

    The Southeast Asian Diaspora Project


    Funding supports general operations for arts and culture programs, and leadership development with Southeast Asian youth.

    TaikoArts Midwest


    Funding supports bringing the art form of taiko to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ homeless youth.

    Twin Cities Public Television


    Funding supports the empowerment of teens through media creation and nurturing relationships.

    Victoria Theater Arts Center


    Funding supports a team of youth to guide and produce youth-centered programming for the Victoria Theater Arts Center, with support from adult mentors.



    Funding supports general operations for inclusive access to arts and arts education.

    Walker West Music Academy


    Funding supports general operations to provide culturally relevant music education.

    Young Dance


    Funding supports general operations to provide creative movement and dance activities to underserved populations.

    Economic and Social Health

    The Great Northern


    Funding supports general operations for the Great Northern winter festival.

    Minnesota Orchestral Association


    Funding supports a suite of innovative community engagement and artistic initiatives to bring diverse communities together through musical exchanges.

    Special Opportunities Grants

    Lee Carlson Center for Mental Health & Well-Being


    Funding supports general operations for affordable mental health services for families, children and youth in the Twin Cities.

    Relate Counseling Center


    Funding supports general operations for school-based prevention and early intervention mental health services.

    Washburn Center for Children


    Funding supports general operations to provide mental health care for children and families.

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