Pillsbury United Launches Justice Built Communities Initiative in Northside
Pillsbury United Communities announced the launch of Justice Built Communities, an economic development initiative that will strengthen land, labor, entrepreneurship and capital equity for Black Minnesotans, out of North Minneapolis. As a first step, JBC plans to buy vacant land and buildings – including properties that were damaged in last summer’s uprisings following the murder of George Floyd – for neighborhood redevelopment.
“Our mission is to create a just society where everyone has personal, social and economic power,” said Adair Mosley, President and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, in a press release. “The disruptive forces of 2020 have shown the iniquity of a system based on racist policies and practices as well as the need to act urgently to rebuild fairly. JBC will prioritize strategies that ensure that the people who have been part of the history of our communities are also part of the future. We envision thriving business nodes anchored by local businesses and green spaces, safe and stable neighborhoods, and meaningful work and wealth creation opportunities that reduce racial disparities.
Minnesota has some of the worst economic disparities between black and white residents in the country. But northern Minneapolis in particular has been subjected to decades of what the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs calls a strategic divestment – meaning Northside’s economic decline has been catalyzed by a shift in power. public and private investment in white middle class suburbs. As more recent threats of gentrification creep into the Northside neighborhoods, Pillsbury United plans to put land ownership and economic power back into the hands of black residents.
“Today we see the impact of unfair development in North Loop, an area of Northside adjacent to the city center,” said Jimmy Loyd, senior director of community development at Pillsbury United, in a press release. “While real estate activity in the North has largely stagnated, North Loop has seen $ 1.2 billion in real estate sales since 2015. This has created rapid gentrification on the edges of the North, and now this boom is encroaching deeper into the neighborhood. As properties along Plymouth Avenue and other major corridors are redeemed, vulnerable residents are threatened with displacement for the benefit of outsiders. JBC aims to reverse this disturbing trend and support Northside neighborhoods’ vision for their own future.
Justice Built Communities closed its first property earlier this month: the former O’Reilly Auto Parts property on West Broadway, plus an adjacent site. Pillsbury United has already raised $ 6 million for the initiative and plans to raise an additional $ 14 million by the end of the year.
JBC will use a community-centered design approach in its redevelopment plans: local artists will be invited to beautify the areas, and as properties are redeveloped, local black contractors will step in and take over with advice and support. financial. Pillsbury United’s goals are many: to build generational wealth and family prosperity, to create opportunities for young people and to bring goods and services to the neighbors of Northside.
Pillsbury United has partnered with Northside business and neighborhood associations including the Folwell Neighborhood Association, Jordan Area Community Council, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council and West Broadway Business and Area Coalition for the Justice Built Communities initiative.