Vision, Mission, History, Values

Vision                                                                                                                                                                               A strong, healthy, equitable, and sustainable region

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

History                                                                                                                                                                           Our organization began as Payne-Lake Community Partners in late 2003, a community development initiative created to connect communities of color and immigrant communities to economic, political and educational systems of power along a geographic corridor in St. Paul.

In 2009, we shifted to a community-building approach and expanded the geographies we worked in. This work strengthens residents’ social, cultural and human capital so they can more fully participate in creating positive change in their neighborhoods. We create places of opportunity, so that all individuals and families who live there can participate and prosper together.

All of this work is driven by our Core Values:

  • 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.

Guiding Principles

  • We believe the engagement of communities of color and underrepresented communities is essential to equitable community revitalization.
  • We honor the knowledge and capacity that exist within communities and the intrinsic value of differing cultures and backgrounds.
  • We recognize respectful working partnerships as a powerful context for mutual learning and transformative action.
  • We strive for authentic community engagement in all of our strategies and activities.