Mission, Values, What We Believe & How We Work


To build more engaged and powerful communities of color by supporting community-building initiatives that expand community wealth and foster social and human capital.


Learning: We lead with questions, not answers. While the staff are highly skilled and knowledgeable, they maintain a curious and open approach to the work. This allows Nexus to see possibilities and lead innovation

Culture: Culture is a resource for new and creative ideas. Our deep respect for and understanding of culture allows for new practices and cultural ways of knowing to emerge and be recognized.

Partnership: The work is bigger than any one of us and therefore requires many of us working together. Authentic relationships – when people come together to share themselves and their knowledge – creates space for mutual learning and transformative action.

Reflection: The work cannot be sustained if we are always on the move. It is the quieter moments that allow for deeper and more strategic thinking to emerge. Nexus intentionally creates space for reflection as a way of doing business.

What we Believe

Nexus supports strong, equitable and just communities in which all residents are engaged, are recognized as leaders and have pathways to opportunities. The key to building more engaged and powerful communities of color lies in the connections between authorship, leadership and ownership.

Authorship: Engaging Community

In a strong, equitable and just community, all members are engaged in and have authorship of their lives and their future. Nexus builds infrastructure for stronger community engagement learning and practice.

Leadership: Cultivating Power

In a strong, equitable and just community, all members are seen as leaders, are given ample opportunities to grow in their leadership, and are able to represent their communities in multiple spaces. Nexus invests in and cultivates leaders of color who are working to advance a broader agenda for equity.

Ownership: Building Community Wealth

In a strong, equitable and just community, all members are afforded ample access points to generate wealth and to own the wealth they have helped to generate. Nexus challenges practitioners, community leaders and investors to use a community wealth building framework to think and act differently about community revitalization in ways that are culturally relevant and promote economic justice.

How we Work

Utilizing this framework, Nexus engages in 3 primary activities:

Strengthen Organizations. Through funding and capacity-building support, Nexus builds the capacity of community-based organizations to promote equitable and sustainable community change.

Develop Innovative Initiatives. Nexus leads creative initiatives, such as the Twin Cities Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute and the Community Engagement Institute, that advance equity, build community leadership and create the infrastructure for community wealth-building.

Align and amplify resources. Nexus intentionally connects local wealth-building and community engagement efforts to broader regional and national initiatives. This amplifies investments and creates leadership and economic opportunities in historically disinvested communities.