The Medtronic Foundation today announced a $16 million commitment to partnerships with organizations working to bring about social justice and equity, improve the lives of Black Americans, and help heal and advance the broader community.
The foundation is entering into long-term, multi-year partnerships with the following organizations:
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund, to fund scholarships for low-income students studying engineering, biomedical, and business at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the U.S. The partnership also includes opportunities for students engaged in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at HBCUs to learn more about medical technology.
- Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), to help impoverished families living in North Minneapolis to upgrade skills, increase household income and support their children through high school and college. Medtronic employees will have year-round opportunities to volunteer their skills and support NAZ families to improve education disparities in Minneapolis.
- People’s Center Clinics & Services, to build the capacity of community-based frontline health workers and local healthcare teams so they can reduce health disparities, improve diabetes and hypertension management, and provide COVID-19 education and support for Minneapolis’ East African and African American populations. Medtronic volunteers will provide their skills and support to help establish COVID-19 testing centers in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, where many East African families reside.
The foundation also committed to extend its associations with Minneapolis-based organizations focused on rebuilding local neighborhoods and on supporting people affected by the civil unrest following the police killing of George Floyd on May 25. They include:
- Twin Cities Rebuild for the Future Fund, to rebuild micro- and small-sized minority-owned businesses damaged by the violence following Floyd’s death.
- Minnesota Central Kitchen and the Neighborhood Development Council, in partnership with a company devoted to Indigenous foods, The Sioux Chef, to support delivery of emergency meals and support kitchen staff, food and supplies.
- YWCA Minneapolis, to support a large-scale, volunteer-driven distribution center with food and supplies at its Midtown location, the heart of one of the neighborhoods hardest hit during the recent uprisings. The YWCA partnership also includes community healing conversations and workshops.
- Hennepin Healthcare Foundation, to deliver immediate COVID-19 support to underserved patients by supporting community health workers.
- Salvation Army Harbor Light, to honor Floyd, his service and his connection with other patrons and staff.
“Understanding and impacting social inequities and systemic racism is a long-term journey, requiring a long-term commitment,” said Medtronic Foundation president Paurvi Bhatt in a news release. “The perspectives of Medtronic’s African Descent Network, together with insights from community leaders, helped us shape these meaningful actions which not only support communities under crises, but also support long-lasting, community-driven changes.”
In addition to the financial contributions, Medtronic is organizing a global “Day of Action for Racial Equity Progress” for its 90,000 employees to learn more about advancing racial equity, to virtually volunteer and to support non-profit organizations responding to social justice and racial disparities in Black communities.
The Medtronic Foundation will match 2:1 Medtronic employee and retiree donations to nonprofit organizations including social justice organizations of their choosing until Oct. 30, 2020.
“We are delighted the Medtronic Foundation is committed to partnering with TMCF to provide financial support and opportunities for HBCU students to learn more about medical technology,” said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents 47 member-schools. “During these difficult and uncertain times, we applaud the Medtronic Foundation for their commitment to health disparities, education, social justice and equity to improve the lives of Black Americans.”
Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic is the sole funder of the Medtronic Foundation, whose focus is on improving health for underserved populations worldwide, as well as supporting communities in which Medtronic employees live.
“As a global healthcare leader, our mission calls us to maintain good global citizenship as a company,” said Medtronic CEOGeoff Martha. “Today, it’s critical that we actively promote social justice and racial equity progress to address inequities and health disparities in our communities. The Medtronic Foundation’s commitments come as an extension of the Medtronic journey to consistently improve and advance these efforts.”