Photograph of the group of women that comprises CEPROSI.

Nicaraguan Women at the Heart: A Story of Accompaniment

“At the heart of our work are the women,” explains Gilda Larios, ESPERA Team Lead. This is the profoundly intentional notion behind our work.

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A group of seven women, some iraqi and some from the united states, stand in front of a golden statue on top of the Minnesota State Capitol building.

Grants

Iraqi and American Minnesota Women Form Intercultural Friendships

“From the start when we gathered in the rotunda until the end when we parted ways outside of the visitor’s office, greetings, laughing, and hugs abounded among the women. The presence of caring and respect for each other was apparent. It was an uplifting and educational experience.”

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Photograph of a classroom of young girls from the back, the teacher stands up front and two girls are raising their hands.

Grants

Young Women’s Empowerment Through Mary’s Pence Grantees

All participants reported increasing demand for their programs that help inspire and empower young women and girls. Their organizations are growing at a fast pace, gaining popularity, recognition, and traction at an increasing rate. A cultural shift to building up and investing in young women is happening and these organizations are on the front lines.

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Salvadoran woman wearing a light blue apron sits on the edge of a hammock. Behind her in the hammock a toddler lays drinking a bottle.

ESPERA

Salvadoran Women’s Will to Thrive

Ambrosia explained what they learned from this experience, “We have definitely learned to be more careful with the time we set for our loans, and at the same time we are grateful to have access to these funds.” The commitment they feel towards the community of women who participate in their local ESPERA community lending pool is very powerful and helps Ambrosia and her daughters not to give up.

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Four women - 2 iraqi, 2 white americans - smile with their arms around one another. The women on the ends hold umbrella's over the group.

Grants

Connecting Grantees Supporting Immigrants and Refugees

Although there are challenges, support from individuals and communities continues to grow. So do opportunities to increase organization reach due to flourishing demand for services and strategic partnerships.

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Photograph of several latina women in graduation caps and gowns sitting in rows.

Grants

CREAting Dignity for Spanish Speaking Adults at Centro de Recursos Educativos para Adultos

CREA is a woman founded/directed organization. While all are welcome, 80% of learners are women. The women who founded CREA understand the need for a place where immigrants could learn English and augment their education. Many were unable to attend school in their home country because of poverty or gender discrimination.

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A middle aged woman smiles broadly, she is standing in front of a wall painted in bright colors in the traditional salvadoran style.

ESPERA

Emotional Health and Healing: a New Journey for the ESPERA Program

An increase in violent gang activity over the past several years, thanks in part to US deportation policy, has lead to an atmosphere of fear. These stressors, in addition to the hardship that rural women living in poverty inherently experience, have led many ESPERA women to experience anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

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Photo of two women embracing, holding up a certificate of achievment.

Grants

Beyond the Money: Solidarity with Small Social Justice Organizations

Our grantees bring together the community to respond to issues of justice. We’ve supported Black mothers launching a food security project in Cincinnati, young women from North Carolina presenting at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Latina immigrants in Wisconsin organizing to change unjust immigration laws, and women helping other women to navigate the Missouri social and legal systems upon being released from prison.

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Several people sit outside on chairs with the Temazcal (steam bath) in the background.

ESPERA

Rescuing the Temazcal Tradition

The temazcal is a place for purification and rebirth; it is a point of connection between human beings and the transcendent—but also with the others. Songs and prayers may be part of the ritual which builds bonds of harmony and mutual support.

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Exodus Lending staff hold up a map of exodus lending clients, which are spread across Minnesota but mainly concentrated in Minneapolis.

Grants

Exodus Lending Lights a Path Out of Payday Loan Debt

Exodus Lending provides more than just a concrete pathway to financial stability. They also provide hope. Just look at Deb. She had fallen into a payday debt trap, but with the support of Exodus lending, she was able to regain control and build her savings. According to Deb, “It has helped my self-esteem. I’m taking responsibility. I’m taking the steps necessary to move forward. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, and so now I do see that.”

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