The Context for PSP’s Work

Minneapolis Green Zones

North Minneapolis is a locally designated Green Zone:

Low-income communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color in Minneapolis experience unequal health, wealth, employment, and education outcomes, and also are overburdened by environmental conditions such as traffic and stationary pollution sources, brownfield sites, blight and substandard housing.

The idea for developing a Minneapolis Green Zones initiative came from the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan Environmental Justice Working Group. A Green Zone is a place-based policy initiative aimed at improving health and supporting economic development using environmentally conscious efforts in communities that face the cumulative effects of environmental pollution, as well as social, political and economic vulnerability.

Federally Designated Promise Zones

Project Sweetie Operates within a Promise Zone:

A child’s zip code should never determine her destiny; but today, the community she grows up in impacts her odds of graduating high school, her health outcomes, and her lifetime economic opportunities. It will take a collaborative effort – between private business and federal, state, and local officials; faith-based and non-profit organizations; and striving kids and parents – to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American in every community. Building on those efforts, in his 2013 State of the Union Address, Former President Obama laid out an initiative to designate a number of urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones

Minnesota Urban Agriculture Grant


MDA will award up to $280,500 to eligible applicants serving communities within cities with a population over 10,000 or cities with population of at least 5,000 where at least 10% of the population is living at or below 200% of the poverty line or comprised of people of color/Native American tribal community members. Tribal communities are also eligible, regardless of population size.


Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD) is a development strategy that uses food and agriculture to create economic opportunities, healthy neighborhoods, and explicitly seeks to build community assets, pride, and power by and with historically marginalized communities.

Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact is an international agreement of Mayors. It is more than a declaration, it is a concrete working tool for cities. It is composed by a preamble and a Framework for Action listing 37 recommended actions, clustered in 6 categories. For each recommended action there are specific indicators to monitor progresses in implementing the Pact. The Milan Pact Awards offer concrete examples of the food policies that cities are implementing in each of the 6 Pact categories.

Minneapolis 2040 Climate Plan

 In 2040, Minneapolis will be resilient to the effects of climate change and diminishing natural resources, and will be on track to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

University of Minnesota Grand Challenges

The Provost’s Grand Challenges Research Initiative is a campus wide effort to advance the research goals of the Twin Cities campus Strategic Plan. It builds on the recommendations of the Provost’s Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team, which engaged the campus community in identifying five Grand Challenges research areas where the University is especially positioned for great impact.

The McKnight Grant for Vibrant and Equitable Communities

“McKnight developed this program because we see equity as a powerful force multiplier that enriches the quality of life for all Minnesotans. We all benefit when we promote equitable opportunity and access for residents across Minnesota, especially those who have historically not fully shared in our state’s storied economic, educational, and civic success—such as Black Minnesotans, Indigenous communities, Minnesotans of color, and low-income Minnesotans.”

Minnesota Tree Canopy Map

From cleaner air to flourishing habitats, tree canopies are extremely important for our health. Learn more about the benefits of trees from Family of Trees.

Local News:

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder is the oldest African American newspaper in the state.

North News is a news source for North Minneapolis

Additional Context: Food Sovereignty, Climate Justice, Racial Justice


Michael Chaney

(763) 227-4881