Focus Area: Youth Development
Grant Amount: $12,500
Located in north Minneapolis. Liberty (formerly Kwanzaa Community Church) opened as the first African American led Presbyterian congregation in Minnesota in 2002. Its mission promotes community, justice, social change and empowerment for the children and families of north Minneapolis. The church operates the 21st Century Academy, a year-round afterschool program for grades 6-12.
Grant supports creation of Shared Experiences, for youth ages 5-12, which focuses on relationships between youth participants and caring adults. The experiences build community, enhance relationships, and develop a sense of support. The entire church community has received training in addressing trauma, and the programming has a strong parent engagement element. Its trauma-based focus is appropriate for children impacted by gang violence and the sex trade that operates in the area.