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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Action Learning Seed Fund

In 2019, the University of Minnesota Extension launched the first round of the Action Learning Seed Fund (ALSF). The initiative provided $50,000 to fourteen community-based projects led by black, indigenous, or people of color not representing well-resourced organizations seeking to build more power for communities of color through food systems change. Through the shared gifting process and online cohort meetings, the ALSF has fostered connections across the state and provided flexible funding to advance equity-based food system work. 

We recently assessed what worked well with the ALSF and what could be improved. Participants appreciated feeling connected with others doing similar work, being supported with resources and ideas, and receiving funds that were relatively flexible to use. Suggestions for improvement included longer term funding, more support for project sustainability, anonymous announcements of funding decisions during shared gifting, and at least one in-person gathering. 

We are excited to announce that we are on our way to launching the second round of the Action Learning Seed Fund! Please donate to help us obtain a $25,000 match from the Minnesota Food Charter Network. 

“I loved being a part of this. I hope the university and its stakeholders find a way to fund this moving forward.”

“Next time hopefully a pool of more diverse candidates apply. I would like to see a good blend of youthful individuals and ideas mixed with the more experienced individuals and ideas. I am grateful to have been apart of this cycle of the action learning seed fund. Thank you ladies!”

Reviewed in 2020

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