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RCFL Practices What It Preaches about Equity and Inclusion

February 24, 2021

Redeemer Center for Life’s mission is to help members of the community attain financial stability and to support the needs of young people that ultimately lead to a promising career path. In its pursuit of these goals, RCFL maintains a strong commitment to equity and inclusion; it strives for social equity for people of all backgrounds and emphasizes a proud African American identity in its work to achieve racial justice in North Minneapolis.

Community engagement is a strong part of RCFL’s effort to lift the youth of North Minneapolis. RCFL’s Venture North program is attempting to reduce the economic disadvantage for North Minneapolis residents through workforce development, youth leadership and community reinvestment initiatives, which includes owning and operating the only Northside bike shop! The program’s focus on racial, economic and gender equity is helping residents retake control of development in their community.

RCFL’s efforts to expand inclusion is no more evident than within its own ranks. Veronica Hawman, who became the RCFL executive director in July 2020, recently spoke about the significance of helming an organization in a city where a woman of color assuming the role of chief executive is still a rarity. “When you have Black leaders, that means there’s that trust there. That means you’re allowing us to make the decisions . . . I would like to be an example for other organizations who want to move in this direction.”

Board chair Dawn Johnson seconded the importance of leadership development for Black women, saying, “We can shift that narrative . . . We need the support of others, of everyone, to embrace this and not just be performative allies. We need folks who really get it and believe in this work, and truly believe that Black women can get this done. Embrace the uniqueness of this opportunity.”

Redeemer Center for Life is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a network of more than 300 health and human service organizations providing services in more than 1,400 communities across the United States. Together, the network makes a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year.

Learn more about Redeemer Center for Life at www.RedeemerCenter.org.

By Christopher Findlay, Senior Marketing Manager