MINNEAPOLIS— The American Swedish Institute (ASI) announced its latest summer round of awards made through the ASI Community Fund, which offers short-term aid to service-oriented organizations primarily in the Phillips and adjacent Minneapolis neighborhoods. This funding cycle, KRSM Radio and Whittier Community Education will both receive $3000 grants from ASI.
The ASI Community Fund was founded in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and seeks to help respond to emerging needs and support ASI neighbors to build, invigorate, and reimagine our shared community. More than $40,000 in awards have been given since the Fund’s establishment in June 2020. Donations are intended to support organizations and initiatives aligned with ASI’s general mission and vision.
ASI Community Fund recipients for Summer 2023:
KRSM is a low-power FM radio station based out of the Phillips neighborhood in South Minneapolis. Broadcasting at 98.9 FM, this is a hyper-local platform for amplifying the voices, stories, cultures, and conversations happening in our neighborhoods. Their focus is on communities that are marginalized, misrepresented, and erased by traditional media. An award from the ASI Community Fund will support upgrading their recording equipment to allow their host with sight impairments to be independent in the studio. Also, the funds will be used to update their website to highlight the narratives and stories created by their majority BIPOC volunteers.
Whittier Community Education creates pathways for young people to thrive, builds lifelong learning opportunities, connects students to nature, and delivers high quality enrichment led by diverse staff and volunteers. They are a hub in the center of Whittier, steps away from the highest concentration of children in Minneapolis with over 24 languages spoken and represented. An award from the ASI Community Fund will support the building of their “Grow Your Own” initiative by hiring a high school student (or students) who grew up in the neighborhood and has overcome significant challenges. They will work together with other talented leaders to uplift their neighborhood and themselves: leading bike rides, planting native wildflower habitats, playing sports, cooking international foods, learning cultural dances, and hopefully inspiring a passion for educating others.
The ASI Community Fund was established with independent donations, mostly by individuals, with an ASI staff committee selecting recipients. It is rooted in ASI’s founding by Swedish immigrants and reflects a commitment to sharing stories of migration among many immigrant-based organizations in the Phillips neighborhood, celebrating mutual support and collective well-being.
ASI has built longstanding community relationships during the past 15 years through collaborative programs including the Pippi Project at Andersen and Bancroft elementary schools, PICA Head Start graduations and the Story Swap program with Wellstone International High School. ASI also hosts scheduled U.S. naturalization ceremonies and National Night Out, always recognizing that there is more we can do to build bridges for cross-cultural understanding. Future gifts will allow the Fund to grow and continue to serve the community. To contribute to the Fund, please visit asimn.org/giving.