Ownership
Open Road Fund

The Open Road Fund returns money directly to Black folks so they can build something long-lasting for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The Fund

Open Road Fund is a community fund granting $50 million to Black folks in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in order to create tangible pathways to liberation, prosperity, and healing on our own terms. Our goal is to enable Black individuals, families, and communities across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota to build long lasting, intergenerational wealth.

Funding Categories

Financial Wellbeing

Applicants to this category may use the funds to increase their ability to afford basic needs, pay off debts, and contribute to their family and other community member’s well-being. They may also use these funds to grow their wealth for the future through savings, investments, and more. 

Economic Power

 This category is for applicants who want to use their awards to support ownership, entrepreneurship, or a project that stimulates economic power in Black communities. For some people, owning a vehicle could help them build wealth. Other people might purchase equipment, software, or patents to technology. People interested in business may start their own, or work with the community to launch a cooperatively-owned enterprise.

Education

This category is for applicants who want to build wealth for themselves through increasing their knowledge. By acquiring degrees, certifications, licenses, and new skills, they are able to earn more money and pursue new opportunities.

Housing

This category is for people who want to use their award to gain access to housing for themselves and their family. They also could use these funds to create more affordable and sustainable housing options for themselves, their families, and/or their community. People who already own a home may invest this award in projects to increase the comfort, size, or value of their home. These are just some of the possibilities.

Health and Healing

This category is for people who want to use their award to access care. Funds could be used to get medical care and address health issues. Funds could also be used to gain healing from trauma (including historical and generational trauma). Some people may use this fund to make time for rest by taking a sabbatical. Other people may choose to explore opportunities to express their creativity by producing arts or crafts. Some may even  travel around the Black world and learn about their heritage

What is the Open Road Fund?

The Open Road fund is a unique grant designed for individuals. It is not available to nonprofit organizations.

Eligibility for the fund is restricted based on ancestry, geography, and age. To be eligible for the Open Road Fund, you must be:

  1. Black
  2. A Descendent of enslaved African people of the Atlantic slave trade
  3. Over the age of 14
  4. A resident of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or within any of the 23 Native nations whose territories are occupied by those states

The Open Road Fund uses an equitable random selection process. We designed and built a custom computer program to randomly select from the pool of eligible and complete Phase 1 applications.

Because of the purpose of the Open Road Fund to invest in Black people’s wealth, we decided that using a randomized selection would be the most equitable way to make our selection of awardees. Unlike grant programs that make selections based upon years of leadership, or expertise in a field this program seeks to recognize and repair some of the harm that has occurred to Black people living in our region and are descendants of African people that were enslaved in the Atlantic slave trade.

The selection process is witnessed by Open Road Fund Advisory Members and Nexus Black Staff assembly members.

What is the Open Road Fund?

The primary goal of the Open Road Fund is to enable Black individuals, their families, and communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota to build community and intergenerational wealth.

The Open Road Fund is a unique grant designed for Individuals. Nonprofit organizations may not apply. Individuals may invest their grant award funds into a business. Grant award funds from the Open Road Fund may not be used to establish or fund nonprofit organizations.

Eligibility for the Fund is restricted based on ancestry, geography, and age. 

An eligible applicant must be: 1) a Black person who is a descendant of African people who were kidnapped and subjected to chattel enslavement in the Americas; 2) age 14 or older; 3) A resident of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or any of the 23 Native nations whose territories are occupied by those states.

To register for the Open Road Fund, applicants must submit Identifying Documents to verify their identity. Access the list of accepted documents here. Previous Open Road Fund Awardees will not be eligible for the Open Road Fund and may not apply again.

The Open Road Fund uses an equitable random selection process to choose applicants for award. We developed a computer program that randomly selects finalists from the pool of eligible applications who have completed registration.

The selection process is observed by Open Road Fund Advisory Members and Nexus Black Staff members. After applicants are selected, their responses are reviewed by our selection committee for eligibility, completeness, and alignment with our funding criteria. Only eligible, complete, and aligned applicants are invited to participate in the second round of our application process. In cases where selected applicants do not advance, withdraw, or otherwise drop out of the process, we select another finalist from the eligible applicant pool using the random selection tool.