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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension to help underserved communities access federal funding

University of Minnesota Extension and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs will lead a multi-state effort to help rural, tribal and underserved communities access federal funding for energy and environmental improvement efforts.

The University has been selected as an Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center to help communities navigate federal grant application systems, provide guidance on community engagement, and help communities in securing funds to address legacy pollution and invest in clean energy technologies. The University will oversee efforts in Minnesota and five other states.

The formation of technical assistance centers is in direct response to feedback from communities and environmental justice leaders who have long called for technical assistance and capacity-building support to access critical federal resources. The center’s role is to ensure that the billions of dollars the federal government has committed for infrastructure and energy improvements are shared equitably.

The project will be led by associate professors Bonnie Keeler and Gabe Chan of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Extension Associate Dean Stephen Jeanetta.

“Extension brings important ‘boots on the ground’ experience to this work, and the timing could not be more critical. Whether we’re talking about rural areas and their distinctive climate adaptation needs or the communities dealing with decades of neglect, there is a lot of work to be done,” said Jeanetta.

Read more about the project and its funding.

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