Our mission is to amplify the power of community to advance equity and justice.

Our History

Headwaters Foundation for Justice (HFJ) was established in Minnesota in 1984 when a group of progressive donors got together. They believed the people who directly experienced society’s injustices were the people who knew the way to liberation. Those donors used that belief to change philanthropy’s landscape, and created a new grantmaking model—one that shifted power away from funders and placed decision-making in the hands of the people. This was the start of a community-centered, trust-centered model.

Today, HFJ still relies on that model to guide all of our work. Our participatory fundraising and grantmaking programs prioritize community organizing that centers Black People, Indigenous People, and people of color. To date, we have awarded more than $10 million to grassroots organizations across Minnesota.

Changemakers Gala 2016 For Print By Anna Min Of Min Enterprises Photography LLC 144
GP Cohort 2

Our Four Core Values

Advance Equity

Our work supports movements and systems change that lead to individual resiliency and community power.

Demand Inclusion

People who are most affected by inequity are often left out of decision-making work. We insist on changing that—nationally, regionally, and locally.

Transform Power

We grow power through community-led grantmaking, donor education, and leadership development.

Trust In Community

A community knows itself best, and its people need to lead the way to collective liberation. Our job is to listen to and support the solutions that will improve life for all Minnesotans.