Capacity Building Institute

Increase the capacity of community to respond to stress and trauma.

Capacity Building Institute Storytelling

We interviewed key people in the past five years of the Capacity Building Institute (CBI) to tell the story of this work.

  1. Learn how the ReCAST work started
  2. Learn about our capacity building for staff and community
  3. Learn about our vision for where we go next

History of the Capacity Building Institute

In 2016, the Division of Race and Equity was awarded a $5 million grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Called Resiliency in Community After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST), this grant was designed to address stress and trauma in communities that had been adversely affected by a history of racialized oppression and violence. In Minneapolis, the impetus of the work was the shooting death of Jamar Clark in 2015 by Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers.

One of the first things that ReCAST and its community-led advisory team was charged to do was to put together a community needs and resource assessment to identify areas that we needed to prioritize in the work. Similarly, a strategic plan was put in place that highlighted three main goals for ReCAST to work on over the next five years: building greater trust and understanding between City of Minneapolis staff, electeds, MPD and residents; increase community and City capacity in such a way that is multi-faceted, multi-layered, and is authentic community response to trauma; and promote shared decision making through participatory budgeting.

The Capacity Building Institute (CBI) was conceived as a way to address the second goal of increasing the capacity of residents. Formally launched in November 2017, CBI was formed to increase awareness around stress and trauma, promote healing and resiliency, and advance systems change work, specifically for communities that had been adversely affected by a history of racialized oppression. Initially advisory team members and ReCAST program staff envisioned CBI functioning more like a  cohort-based model that would allow participants to have richer experiences and build community with each other. After the initial set of offerings through CBI, program staff were encouraged to change the cohort model to allow for greater participation and less management of the program.

On a parallel track, the Division of Race and Equity also focused on increasing the capacity of City staff to understand and work through their own trauma. In the first year of this work, the Division of Race and Equity contracted with Justice Leadership Solutions executive director Resmaa Menakem and Rachel Martin of Cultural Coherence to offer Psychological First Aid and Cultural Somatics (PFACS) to City staff. These two day trainings were offered to staff across the enterprise over the course of a year. After the first year, a community of practice was formed to support deeper development of City staff in what was being offered, with spaces held specifically for Black, Indigenous, LatinX, and API staff and white bodied staff.  

Between the Capacity Building Institute and the PSFACS/embodied anti-racist communities of practice, the Division of Race and Equity was able to offer dozens of training opportunities to our diverse communities over the last four years. We have contracted with 25 organizations who have been able to provide City staff and residents with tangible skills to help them respond to trauma in their workplaces and communities.  

As ReCAST draws to a close in September with the completion of our 5 years of programming coming to an end, we have contracted with Free Truth Media, videographers Ryan Stopera and Adja Gildersleve to help tell the experiences of program staff, contractors, and participants over the duration of our capacity building efforts. The three videos by Free Truth Media tells a three part story, illustrating how we got here, what is currently happening, and how we move forward to ensure that the needs of Black communities – those most directly impacted by police violence – as well as Indigenous, LatinX, and API communities are centered in the way that the City addresses its longstanding history of violence and structural racism.

2021 Capacity Building Institute

The CBI awardees for 2021 are:

  • Hersiliency
  • Abdi Ali, LLC
  • Tene Wells Coaching
  • Samuel Simmons Consulting
  • Kente Circle Training Institute
  • People Serving People Charities, Inc.
  • WE WIN Institute, Inc.(WE WIN)
  • Living Naturally Abundant

Trainings will take place May onward. The best way to stay connected with our work is to sign up for our newsletters & emails and like us on Facebook!

Past vendors for capacity building

We would like to thank all of the vendors who have worked with the Division of Race and Equity over the last 5 years to provide capacity building opportunities to Minneapolis City staff and residents:

Abdi Ali, LLC
Abdur Razzaq Counseling and Social Architecture
Bridges of Hope Leadership Academy
Cultural Coherence
Darris Consulting Group
Inspire to Change
Irreducible Grace Foundation
Justice Leadership Solutions
Kente Circle Training Institute
Liberty Community Church
Living Naturally Abundant
Mary Winston
Minnesota Peacebuilding Institute
People Serving People
Phoenix Rising Collective
Roxanne Anderson
Simmons Consulting
Tene Wells Coaching
Voices for Effective Change
Voices for Racial Justice
We Win Institute
Wilder Foundation

Contact us

Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging




City Hall
350 S. 5th St, Room 223
Minneapolis, MN 55415