Announcing the 2023 Wellspring Fund Grantees

Resourcing organizations with deep roots and long horizons 

Headwaters is proud to celebrate this year’s Wellspring Fund grantees and grantmakers. The Wellspring Fund supports multi-year projects and campaigns within BIPOC-led organizations actively working towards strengthening the ecosystem of social justice movements in Minnesota. 

The Wellspring Fund, stewarded by a group of 7 community grantmakers, moved over $1.4 million to ecosystem-strengthening organizing throughout Minnesota. With this funding, Headwaters will provide 4 organizations with four-year, project-based grants of $360,000 to support a multi-year strategic campaign or project. 

“Being able to deeply resource these powerful organizations for four years is so meaningful for HFJ – this is what trust-based funding looks like,” says Interim Executive Director Bilal Alkatout, “These organizations are running complex, evolving programs and campaigns in their communities throughout Minnesota. They are making significant impacts on the broad, interconnected fights for justice and we are here to stand with them.” 

The 2023 Wellspring Fund grantees are: 

Each of these organizations is using innovative and effective approaches to build community power and advocate for social change in Minnesota. Through their work, they are strengthening the ecosystem of social justice movements in Minnesota. 

“These organizations are powerful changemakers, exemplifying what the Wellspring Fund is about: deeply resourcing organizations that have deep roots and long horizons,” says Wellspring Program Officer, Kate Vickery, “These organizations are each grounded in their base, are growing leaders from that base, and are in deep relationships with other organizations that are addressing the root causes of injustice. We are proud to resource them with these grants.”   

The Wellspring Fund is unique in Headwaters’ slate of grantmaking funds in its scope and scale. Not only is the grant amount the largest ever offered by Headwaters at $90,000 per year, but it is also the longest grant term at four years. This significant and steady investment from Headwaters will allow these organizations to continue their steadfast work in their communities and movement ecosystems to advance equity and justice throughout Minnesota. 

When making its funding decisions, the Wellspring community grantmaking committee was asked to consider how organizations are working to strengthen the larger movements throughout Minnesota for social change. They also considered how organizations reflect and develop their base – or community – and how their base centers those most impacted by the issues organizations are organizing around. Each of the 2023 grantees exemplifies these approaches and are cornerstones in the ecosystems they organize within.  

Read on to find out more about each grantee and the work that the Wellspring Fund grant will support: 

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL)   

CTUL is a worker-led collective where low-wage workers organize, educate, and empower each other to fight for a voice in their workplaces and in their communities. Using tactics like coalition building, leadership development, direct action, popular education, member-led advocacy, and community organizing, CTUL has been a leader in the movement to win racial and economic justice in Minnesota for over 15 years. CTUL is a critical member of the worker justice movement ecosystem, actively working to support other BIPOC-led worker projects and helping to launch ecosystem-strengthening projects like Tending the Soil and the Workers Confluence Fund. 

Over the next four years, CTUL’s members will implement the Building Dignity and Respect (BDR) campaign, which will create and maintain protections for low-wage, non-union construction workers.  

Dream of Wild Health  

Dream of Wild Health (DWH) is restoring health and well-being in the Native community by recovering knowledge of and access to healthy indigenous foods, medicines, and lifeways. Founded in 1998, DWH is one of the Twin Cities’ longest continually operating Native American organizations. Through youth leadership development, growing and selling Indigenous foods, and community organizing around reclaiming cultural traditions and policy and systems change, DWH is powerfully building food sovereignty for Native people. They are a key player in rebuilding health and indigenous lifeways in the ecosystem of Native communities.  

Over the next four years, DWH will build out their leadership of the Indigenous Food Network (IFN), a movement to reclaim indigenous foods and lifeways and promote food sovereignty within the urban Native American community.  

Greater Minnesota Worker Center 

Founded in 2013, Greater Minnesota Worker Center (GHWC) is a worker-led organizing hub based in St Cloud. They focus on building leadership within Stearns County workers at the Pilgrim’s Pride meatpacking plant, where immigrant workers have been exploited for years. For more than 10 years, GMWC has laid the groundwork for powerful, multi-racial worker organizing that raises wages, improves working conditions, and builds long-term systemic change. GMWC is building worker power outside of the Twin Cities Metro, which is critical for the worker justice movement ecosystem. 

Over the next four years, GMWC will be building out a new worker-led campaign that will break down the divide between Somali and Latinx workers, building a cross-racial solidarity movement for worker rights. 

InquilinXs UnidXs Por Justicia  

Since 2014, Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia/United Renters for Justice (IX) has been organizing low-income, BIPOC, and immigrant renters to create long-term housing solutions and build tenant leadership. Through the leadership of an of an organized base of renters, IX has made significant impacts on the lives of renters in Minneapolis, recovering rents, evicting exploitative landlords, and building political momentum for rent stabilization policies. By illuminating that housing is a symptom of systemic inequality and oppression and creating opportunities for their tenant members to boldly advocate for radical solutions, IX is playing a critical role in the housing justice movement ecosystem. 

Over the next four years, IX’s tenant leaders will be focused on a new campaign to organize tenant unions, challenge new large corporate landlords, and advocate for state-funded social housing.  

Like all Headwaters grantmaking funds, the 2023 Wellspring Fund grantees were selected by a group of community grantmakers. The committee brought care and dedication to the decision-making process, leaning into trust in each other and their shared values. 

“One of the commitments that the committee made was to give applicants the same level of effort and care that orgs put into applying,” says grantmaking committee member Takara Henegar, “These were grants made with love and care. As a committee, we held space for each other, challenged each other, learned from each other – it was a truly testament to the power of community-led grantmaking”   

This year’s grantmakers are excited to have played a role in funding these powerful grantees from across Minnesota, doing powerful work that builds movements and centers community. 

Please join us in celebrating the 2023 Wellspring Fund grantmakers: 

  • B.G.   
  • Takara Henegar  
  • Marco Hernandez 
  • Nausheena Hussain 
  • Thorne LaPointe 
  • Aimee Vue 
  • Alfred Walking Bull  

To learn more about each of the winners, please visit our Wellspring Fund webpage, and keep an eye out for upcoming features about their powerful work. Headwaters congratulates and thanks this year’s grantees and community grantmakers.