Author Archives: Lilja Communications

  1. Grants awarded to prevent sex trafficking and support positive youth-adult relationships

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

    • Sex Trafficking Prevention
    • Constellation: K-12 Schools and Parents & Caregivers

    Sex Trafficking Prevention seeks to provide youth with quality sex trafficking prevention education in schools, out-of-school programs and at home, and access to culturally responsive, trauma-informed mental health services. Additionally, it gives service providers access to actionable research so they can offer evidence-based prevention services to youth in high-risk situations.

    Constellation seeks to surround young people with a constellation of caring adults to help them realize their dreams. Our focus on K-12 Schools expands innovative, evidence-based models that strengthen relationships between students and adults to advance student outcomes. And our Parents & Caregivers focus area supports parenting adults to aid young people’s development in all areas of their lives.

    Sex Trafficking Prevention Grants

    180 Degrees, Inc.


    Funding supports culturally appropriate, trauma-responsive mental health services to sexually exploited youth.

    Advocates for Human Rights


    Funding supports work to analyze current laws, policies and practices to address and prevent sex trafficking in Minnesota.

    Ain Dah Yung Center           


    Funding supports emergency shelter services for sexually exploited youth.

    Children’s Minnesota Foundation


    Funding supports comprehensive strengths-based home visiting, case management and group support to runaways who have been sexually abused and/or exploited.



    Funding supports research focused on child sexual exploitation prevention for boys in Minnesota.



    Funding supports delivering the Not a Number human trafficking prevention curriculum in Minnesota.

    Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota


    Funding supports outreach to youth experiencing or at high risk of experiencing sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as high-quality training to professionals working with this population.

    Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center


    Funding supports mobile outreach to youth who are at high risk of sexual assault and sexual exploitation.



    Funding supports general operations for a full array of services for young people in need of mental health support, and young people who are experiencing homelessness.

    Rainbow Research


    Funding supports the evaluation of the youth mentorship program for youth at risk for sex trafficking.

    The Family Partnership


    Funding supports the expansion of existing anti-sex trafficking programming for BIPOC, male-identified and LGBTQ+ youth.

    The Link     


    Funding supports sex trafficking prevention and intervention services for highly vulnerable youth.

    Constellation Grants

    K-12 Schools

    BARR Center


    Funding supports an effort to support, scale and evaluate the implementation of a K-12 evidenced-based teaching model in Twin Cities schools.

    Black Men Teach


    Funding supports the recruitment, placement, training and retention of Black male teachers in low-income elementary schools.

    Cristo Rey Jesuit High School


    Funding supports a high school that provides rigorous college-prep coursework paired with corporate work experiences.

    Reading Partners Twin Cities


    Funding supports one-to-one literacy and reading skills tutoring for low-income elementary students by trained volunteers.

    Saint Paul Public Schools


    Funding supports efforts to dismantle racial bias by improving student-teacher relationships. 

    Teach for America – Bay Area


    Funding supports the recruitment and retention of interested individuals to teach in low-income schools in the Bay area.

    Teach for America – Twin Cities


    Funding supports efforts to find, develop and support a diverse network of teachers in the Twin Cities.

    Thrive Ed


    Funding supports efforts to reimagine K-12 education by bringing together students, educators and community members to co-design new ways for students to learn.

    University of St. Thomas


    Funding supports the expansion of trauma-informed professional development courses for K-12 staff, educators and administrators.

    World Savvy Inc.


    Funding supports the integration of global competence into K-12 teaching, learning and culture.

    Parents & Caregivers



    Funding supports efforts that provide wraparound services and mentoring for parents at risk of out-of-home placement.

    Northside Achievement Zone


    Funding supports classes designed to provide parents with the skills and tools to better understand their child’s development.

    Project for Pride in Living Inc.


    Funding supports a holistic supportive services model for parents and children.

    St. Paul Promise Neighborhood


    Funding supports an education partnership that puts children in the Frogtown, Rondo and Summit-University neighborhoods on the path to college and career success.

    Way To Grow


    Funding supports a holistic home visiting model focused on closing the academic achievement gap.

  2. Dana Jensen promoted to program director

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    Dana Jensen

    We’re excited to announce that Dana Jensen has been promoted to program director at the Carlson Family Foundation!

    In her four and a half years at the Foundation, Dana has been instrumental in reviewing and recommending grants across multiple program areas. Dana oversees Sex Trafficking Prevention, which seeks to end sex trafficking and exploitation of young people; and Vibrant Communities, which supports local arts, culture, and environmental experiences.

    She worked closely alongside our Board and Foundation staff throughout our strategic planning process, which led to our refreshed grantmaking priorities and the development of our Constellation focus area. She also helped the Foundation shift our funding approach and processes in reaction to COVID-19, ensuring critical resources were available to our grantee partners and the community.

    Through her leadership, Dana is an essential part of the Foundation’s commitment to working together with the community to create opportunity, hope and a sense of belonging for every young person. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating her!

  3. Tools and resources to build a relationship-rich culture

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    What does it mean to build a relationship-rich culture? What happens when organizations that work with young people center their work on youth-adult relationships?

    The Search Institute set out to answer these questions in their State of Relationships study. Funded by the Carlson Family Foundation, the study sought to find gaps and opportunities to invest in youth-adult relationships in Minnesota.

    As part of the study, the Search Institute developed a Relational Culture Checkup. This free five-minute online self-reflection tool can be used by leaders and staff to help identify what your organization is doing well while helping you discover areas for improvement.

    Organizations that work with young people can also take advantage of the briefs that came out of the study. This set of four briefs share the study’s findings on supporting structures, and intentional, inclusive and equitable relational climates.