Coalition of Asian American Leaders on behalf of the LinkingLeaders Partnership

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Coalition of Asian American Leaders on behalf of the LinkingLeaders Partnership
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
June 2020
End Date
September 2021
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

Understanding interconnected social justice histories is foundational to build solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities to address systemic inequalities. LinkingLeaders Partnership will integrate solidarity practices by creating and integrating resources, tools, and modules for teaching BIPOC histories in our programs. Resources will be shared as models for practicing solidarity to be used and adapted by others doing solidarity and racial justice equity work.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Savita Katarya (Rochester, MN) Savita works in cross-cultural leadership development and was connected to the CEO Tour in 2019. She identifies as an immigrant from India.

Jose Losada-Montero (Marshall, MN) Jose was a contact of a former MHC staffperson (Kirk MacKinnon Morrow). He is a Spanish professor at SMSU. He identifies as an immigrant from Spain. 

Juan Fernandez-Iglesias (Winona, MN) Juan Fernandez-Iglesias is a Winona State University Global Studies and Languages professor, and has blogged for MHC previously. He identifies as an immigrant from Spain. 

Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact

Laura Benson

Minnesota Humanities Center


Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minn. State Legislature Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 8, (d)
Appropriation Language

$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Humanities Center must operate a competitive grants program to provide grants to programs that preserve and honor the cultural heritage of Minnesota or that provide education and student outreach on cultural diversity or to programs that empower communities to build their identity and culture. Priority must be given to grants for individuals and organizations working to create, celebrate, and teach indigenous arts and cultural activities and arts organizations and programs preserving, sharing, and educating on the arts and cultural heritage of immigrant communities in Minnesota.

2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The following project outcomes provide guidance for the group. It is our hope that these serve only as a starting point and that the group will identify and achieve additional outcomes as part of the process. Throughout implementing the Practicing Solidarity Framework the group will reflect on the processes, projects, and activities to inform the groups’ learning as well as assist in creating and refining by asking: What happened?, How did it feel?, What options become apparent? And What will we do more of, less of, start, stop as a result?

  • Share resources, learning, and training modules that enhance our focus on solidarity and enrich our programs
    • Create a shared resource library with the potential to share beyond our Partners
    • This work will be the collective effort of the group. They will decide what type of information is needed to expand and deepen learning as well as formats that will work well for their leadership programs as well as translate well for external programs to adapt.
  • Commit to a practice of unlearning and learning the histories.
    • Develop a process, generate ideas for how to practice and determine accountability measures.
    • Document the process to inform the creation of a tool or module that can be used by others.
    • Document pre/post learning to demonstrate shifts in learning and understanding.
  • Create space to teach one another those histories.
    • Track the ways that this occurs as a way to document and share as examples for both internal and external application. We will have multiple approaches integrated to honor the different ways of learning – readings, articles, websites, videos, in-person, virtual, interactive, individual, large and small group.
  • Create an artifact that demonstrates the context of each Partner’s organizational, cultural and local histories and the peoples.
    • Each Partner will create a minimum of one artifact with the potential for more depending on how each team approaches the activity.
  • Implement a process for integrating learning and sharing the artifacts.
    • Each CoP member is the director of their leadership program and will work with their team of staff, volunteers, and trainers to implement a plan and practice for embedding tools and resources into their training curriculum. We will have four different plans/processes that exhibit different and culturally relevant ways to integrate learning and practice solidarity. These plans will include evaluation elements to track and understand how the process works as well as learning of the organization and program participants.
    • The CoP will partner with the Solidarity team to create similar processes.
  • Understand how power is organized and where our communities are advantaged and disadvantaged by system designs.
    • We will create specific learning modules that highlight this area as well as reflection and discussion questions that will facilitate understanding for participants.
    • This can also be integrated into program evaluations to gauge depth of understanding and implications for systems change.
  • Leverage alignment to target oppressive systems and strengthen solidarity.
    • Leadership program participants will identify 2-3 pressing issues to inform the Partnership on shared efforts.
    • This can also be integrated into program evaluation and/or through facilitated discussion.
Measurable Outcome(s)

The most significant outcomes of our project were that we created a Community of Practice and Solidarity work groups work group who met consistently despite this time. We were also able to hosts a Solidarity event, help CAAL integrate a session on cross-racial solidarity, and completed a video. Beyond these things, we've had many insights about the challenges of building solidarity in the midst of a systems that continue to harm and make Black, Indigenous, Asian and Latinx communities vulnerable. What we strived to do in 18 months has taken 400 years of systemic oppression and our work will not end these structural oppressions. We learned how to find feasible and short term wins while we move to confront and rebuild systems that build on our communities' assets.

Recipient Board Members
Bilal Alkatout, Suzi Kim Scott, Michelle Tran Maryns, Nonoko Sato, Margie Jo Eun Joo Andreason, Fei Wong McKhann, Anil Hurkadli, Marcq Sung, Dr. Rose Chu, Samantha Sencer-Mura, Shoua Lee
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Coalition of Asian American Leaders
Street Address
941 Lafond Ave
St. Paul
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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