Nominations open for awards honoring racial equity work

Nominations are being accepted from now through midnight on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 for the Facing Race Ambassador Awards. Presented by The Saint Paul Foundation, these annual awards celebrate and honor the leadership of individuals working toward racial equity and supporting the vitality of communities of color in Minnesota.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Ambassador Awards. In the past decade the foundation has recognized 36 champions of racial equity in Minnesota. This year, six award recipients will be honored from across six areas of community vitality identified as priorities for the foundation: 1) community connectedness; 2) economic opportunity and security; 3) education; 4) health; 5) housing and transportation; and 6) human services and family support.

“Racial inequity cuts across many facets of our society, limiting access, opportunity and quality of life wherever it goes,” stated Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president and CEO of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, of which The Saint Paul Foundation is an affiliate. “We want to recognize people across the state and from every walk of life who are raising awareness of racial inequity and its destructive impact, and finding ways to eliminate it from our systems and practices. We want to honor their work.”

The six Ambassador Award recipients will be recognized at a public event featuring Bill Strickland, transformational founder of Pittsburgh’s Manchester Bidwell, to be held the evening of May 9, 2016 at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel, in downtown Saint Paul.

At least one recipient will be recognized for contributions in the East Metro Area that includes the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey, Dakota and Washington counties, and at least one award recipient for contributions in Greater Minnesota.

Award winners will be selected by a panel of 11 volunteer community leaders who bring a shared commitment to racial equity work in Minnesota, as well as knowledge and experience in the foundation’s six areas of community vitality.

Nominations must be submitted through the foundation’s online portal. Nominees may be adults or youth. The six award recipients will each receive a direct cash award of $5,000 to a nonprofit(s) or a public entity (entities) to further work in their field to create racial equity in Minnesota. At least one cash award is designated to benefit a nonprofit or public entity specifically in the East Metro area and one in Greater Minnesota.


For further information, visit If you have questions about the eligibility of a potential nominee or would like guidance on completing the nomination form, contact Kayva Yang at 651-325-4270 or For assistance submitting the application online, contact Tiffany Yang at 651-325-4214 or