In light of pressing needs to address social justice reform and (re)build Longfellow, Minneapolis, and the broader Twin Cities, the following volunteer opportunities are ones we encourage everyone to consider
SHARE YOUR LOVE FOR GREATER LONGFELLOW
The Longfellow Community Council is the neighborhood organization for the Greater Longfellow community. Racial equity is central to the work we do. We will rebuild a stronger and more just community. Our initial assessment finds that 31 buildings have been completely destroyed, including 3 major grocery stores, and 2 pharmacies. Beyond that at least 49 other businesses sustained significant damage. Many are locally- and minority-owned.
We are raising money to implement a three-pronged strategy to aid in rebuilding our community: (1) Food Security, (2) Safety & Security, and (3) Business Restoration (details below.) COVID-19 has already taken an economic toll throughout the US, including Greater Longfellow. Without financial assistance, many of these small businesses are unlikely to recover. The potential loss of these businesses would negatively impact the whole community (Note: many business insurance policies don’t cover damage caused from rioting). Thank you for your compassion and donations.
Du Nord Craft Spirits is establishing this fund to support black and brown companies affected by the riots. In the coming days we will add to the leadership team to bring in more business owners and community leaders. We are dedicated to rebuilding Minneapolis in a way that ensures our cultural beacons are restored.
Anita and Wally had their paintings on display at Gandhi Mahal restaurant during the week of the protests. Gandhi Mahal went up in flames and along with it all of their artwork. So much that was cherished was tragically lost. The art, and all it symbolized to them can never be replaced. I hope that people can help ameliorate the pain and donate something to assist these two fine artists. All of the funds will go to Anita and Wally.
Gandhi Mahal burned down on Thursday night following 3 days of protests at the nearby 3rd precinct. We were not going to set up a go fund me page, but realize that a number of the things we lost are not able to be replaced by insurance. When we rebuild we want to be able to replace our aquaponics system in the basement. And we want to be able to continue to provide a community space for people to gather. If you donate here, we will also use the funds to make food to support others in our community during this challenging time. We are looking into a temporary kitchen so that we can continue to provide take out food.
Thanks for your outpouring of support. And for continuing to demand justice for George Floyd.”
After assessing the damages, we have had to raise our donation goal. The type of damage we sustained is not likely to be covered by insurance since the building itself appears to be structurally sound. However, the losses we suffered, following so soon after the losses from COVID-19, were heartbreaking. All of our doors and windows were shattered. Our storage room was decimated, our walls riddled with holes. Most of our dishes and our food was lost. The kitchen floor, heavily damaged, is in need of replacement. Though we salvaged a small portion of our equipment, we will not know if it is still functional until our utilities are restored. Our nearly eighteen years of important business documents were destroyed by water, beer, blood, and ash, then trampled into the debris.
An excerpt from a 2016 Nokomis Longfellow Messenger article:
Both John and Midori are art school graduates and chose the restaurant’s name as a reference to a style of Japanese art called Floating World. As the street has pulled itself up by its bootstraps in the last fifteen years [as of 2016], businesses have flourished in what is known as, “The East Lake Renaissance.”
Business owners have raised millions to rebuild, but workers have no recourse until reconstruction. We are raising money to provide aid to hundreds of workers until they can return to their jobs.
Let’s rebuild together. The money you donate will have a direct impact on rebuilding a community and providing for the families who will rebuild it. We hope you visit soon and celebrate with us, the community you helped to save in this historic time of need.
100% of the funds will be distributed to workers who have lost their jobs and divided equally based on the amount of the fund and number of applicants. Eligibility will be determined by proof of loss of employment, impact of events, and ineligible status for unemployment benefits. Funds are managed by The Awood Center , a trusted East African community-led organization worker center founded in 2018 and serving 100,000 recent immigrants and their families.
REBUILD LAKE ST.
The Lake Street Council (501c3) will utilize 100% of funds to help rebuild Lake Street, starting with direct support to small businesses and nonprofits to help them rebuild their storefronts, reopen their businesses and serve our neighborhoods.
TWIN CITIES-WIDE RECOVERY
Meet like-minded people in new or familiar parts of the city, focused on a wide array of overlapping needs.
In partnership with the Minneapolis Foundation and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, we’ve [Greater Twin Cities United Way] established the Twin Cities Rebuild for the Future Fund to provide immediate support for small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color that were damaged due to the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.