Nexus Community Partners seeks a full time Director of Strategic Development (40 hours a week, Monday-Friday), to join a dynamic staff of thoughtful, equity-driven individuals who are deeply committed to the organization’s values.

Nexus Community Partners is a community-building intermediary whose mission is to “build more engaged and powerful communities of color by supporting community-building initiatives and foster social and human capital.” Nexus addresses the deep isolation within communities of color and Indigenous communities caused by personal, institutional and structural racism by promoting an equity centered engagement model; supporting the development of leaders; democratizing wealth; and by reclaiming culture as an asset.

We are looking for a creative and strategic individual who can grow with the position and the organization. The Director of Strategic Development will be an integral part of Nexus’ leadership team and work in partnership with the staff and the Board to meet annual and long-range strategic development goals. This position will work to ensure the organization has the resources it needs to remain strong, impactful and sustainable through programmatic and organizational growth. This position will work closely with and report directly to the President and CEO.

Click here for the full job description and to apply

Hiring – Leadership Intern

  • April 4, 2018
  • By: Lynette LaFontaine
  • In: General

Are you interested in building leadership capacity for people of color in the Twin Cities? Come join our team as a part-time, paid intern for the Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute this summer!

Apply here!

Are you interested in building power in Black communities through cooperative economics? Love research? Come join our team as a part-time, paid intern for the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship this summer!

Apply here!

Elaine Rasmussen Featured on Fast Forward Podcast

  • February 7, 2018
  • By: Lynette LaFontaine
  • In: General

Nexus Board of Directors member Elaine Rasmussen was recently featured in the Minnesota Council on Foundations’  Fast Forward podcast. In the interview, Elaine discusses the upcoming ConnectUp! event coinciding with the MCF Annual Conference. ConnectUp! will provide space for investors and socially responsible entrepreneurs to connect, learn, share, partner, and catalyze investments to actively create a more inclusive Minnesota economy.

 

 

We are honored to announce the  North Star Black Cooperative Fall 2017-Spring 2018 Fellows;

Amoke Kubat, Carl Crawford, Harrison Bullard, Jolene Mason, Lashunda Roberts, Lavasha Smith, Nicque Mabrey, Selah Michele, Sheronda Orridge, Sylvia Williams and Tonya Draughn.

The North Star Black Cooperative Fellows are working on diverse cooperative initiatives that include: food, housing, natural body & hair care products and services, artist cooperatives, and worker cooperatives. Please do support, congratulate and cooperate with these Black Cooperators!

photo credit: adja gildersleve (photo of a the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship Session; Rethinking Capitalism with Dr. Rose Brewer.)

Nexus is seeking a full-time Administrative Specialist to be an integral part of Nexus’ administrative team. The Administrative Specialist will take the lead in coordinating and supporting programs such as the Community Engagement Institute, Community Wealth Building programming, the North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship, the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, as well as supporting Nexus’ internal office management.

For information about the position and instructions for applying, please visit: http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/job-details?id=145429 

Now Hiring: North Star Black Cooperative Fellowship Intern

  • January 10, 2018
  • By: Lynette LaFontaine
  • In: General

Nexus is hiring a part-time, paid intern for our North Star Cooperative Fellowship. For information about the position and instructions for applying, please visit:

http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/job-details?id=145275

To answer this question, we turn to the story of the Blue Line Coalition:

With the landscape of our cities ever-changing, the Metro Blue Line light rail extension is planned to connect North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park, running through neighborhoods with a majority population of people of color and immigrants. Major infrastructural investments like the light rail extension will impact our communities for decades to come, with economic impacts in the billions.

There is a long and damaging history in this country of transit planning and development negatively impacting communities of color, especially historically African American communities.  We need look no further than the Rondo Community  in St. Paul, decimated by the construction of Interstate 94 in the 1950’s and 60’s when highway planners failed to engage and listen to the concerns of the community. To ensure that this damaging pattern was not repeated, several community organizations came together in 2012 to form the Blue Line Coalition to advocate for community engagement in the planning process of the Blue Line light rail extension.

Today, Blue Line Coalition members have seen their impact on the policies and structure of the light rail plans, and in building community capacity. The Blue Line Coalition has created a couple of videos that demonstrate the power of community engagement as a key strategy to advance equity in our communities.

Check out the below video for a message to our partners in philanthropy about resourcing community engagement.

Watch the below video for a perspective from BLC member organizations on their experience organizing community.

Growing Our Team — New Board Members!

  • December 18, 2017
  • By: Lynette LaFontaine
  • In: General

Nexus proudly welcomes three new members to our Board of Directors: Elaine Rasmussen, Gordon Goodwin, and Jodi Bantley.

Elaine is the CEO of Social Impact Strategies Group, a start-up venture whose mission is to democratize access to capital by and for women and communities of color as well as mainstream impact investing for accredited and non-accredited investors. Elaine has also participated in Nexus’ Community Wealth Building Culturally-Based Cooperative Development Technical Assistance Cohort.

Gordon is the Midwest Region Project Manager of Race Forward for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, which is a national network of jurisdictions committed to advancing racial equity by transforming government’s role into being an effective and inclusive democracy.

Jodi is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Civic and Community-Based Learning at Metropolitan State University, and has been a long-time partner of Nexus in Community Wealth Building.

We are thrilled to bring these leaders’ voices to our Board as we head into a year full of exciting work in 2018!

“At Nexus we think it’s very important for people to take vacations to get away, spend time with family or to concentrate on things outside of work. However, you shouldn’t have to vacate your job or the work experience in order to relax and experience a sense of wellness.  We believe that wellness should be integrated into the work environment and that people should be able to engage in wellness in addition to any vacation they take.”- Repa Mekha, President & CEO, Nexus Community Partners.

A little over a year ago, Nexus Community Partners’ President and CEO, Repa Mekha, took a three-month sabbatical. He spent this time traveling, learning, and reflecting on his ten years of leadership at Nexus. The time away was invaluable for Repa and the organization, and both were stronger when he returned. While on sabbatical, Repa reflected on the importance of wellness, and how too often our organizational structures and cultures discourage staff from taking care of themselves. “I think we often think that not being able to keep on pushing means there is something less about us when in reality, we’re just human and we can only drive for so long without our minds, our bodies, and our spirits needing rest”. Upon his return, Repa and staff began articulating what it would look like if we integrated personal and collective wellness into our work – what would it look like if we made an organizational commitment to the nourishment of our whole selves.

Nexus’ Wellness Program is a collective experience that promotes valuing individuals and the work they engage in. We believe this should be the way forward for the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Valuing the wellness of your staff; valuing the whole person, changes the way they approach the work and the way they show up.  It allows those who wish to dedicate their life to social justice, to do so and to do so in such a way that doesn’t sacrifice their minds, bodies, and spirits.

Nexus staff enjoying a wellness cruise on the St. Croix River.

Nexus’ Wellness Program is unique in its approach, being both flexible and responsive to the personal wellness practices of the staff. Nexus’ Wellness Program is a human based approach that reinforces the importance of self-care. Since wellness practices look different for everyone, Nexus staff decide the activities that are suitable to their mental, physical and/or spiritual needs and interests. Nexus’ Wellness Program includes a $250 wellness stipend every six months and two paid wellness hours per week which are blocked off on calendars and used for activities defined by individual staff. In addition, Nexus staff participates in a collective wellness activity such as group meditation instruction, a boat cruise, a trip to the Como Conservatory, and a self-defense class led by a Nexus staff member. The group time provides a space for Nexus staff to engage and experience each other while strengthening relationships.

We believe that our wellness practices are necessary. As an organization led by people of color and working in communities of color, we know the toll this work can take on our minds, bodies, and spirits. At Nexus, we welcome the whole person into the work and believe that our passion and dedication to the work should be valued. We believe a person can step away from their work to take care of them self and their work is better for it when they return. Allocating financial resources for wellness reinforces the value we place on the mental, physical, and spiritual wellness of the staff.

Unfortunately, too many nonprofits overwork their staff and send the message that taking time off, taking care of oneself and/or your family, means you’re not fully committed to the work. Foundations, too, can create and/or perpetuate this culture by refusing to pay adequate overhead, asking for “efficiencies” in staffing, and looking for long-term change in short-term grant cycles. The result? Burnout – a loss of dedicated, passionate and compassionate individuals who are no longer able to contribute their skills and expertise to the work.

Repa’s sabbatical was an important time for the organization and a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on how we are sustaining ourselves in this work. We encourage other organizations to think deeply about how they’re taking care of themselves while working to advance social justice throughout our communities.

To learn more about Nexus’ Wellness Program, contact Theresa Gardella  at tgardella@nexuscp.org or Felicia Ring at fring@nexuscp.org.