Minneapolis hires equity and inclusion manager to lead the City’s Promise Zone efforts
The City of Minneapolis has hired Julianne Leerssen as an equity and inclusion manager to lead the City’s Promise Zone work. In her new role, Julianne will work closely with the City’s community partners to identify and create lasting solutions using a collective impact approach within the designated Promise Zone.
Minneapolis has one of 20 Promise Zones nationwide. The goal of the Promise Zone in Minneapolis is to revitalize high-poverty communities by reducing racial inequities in public services and institutions, reducing serious and violent crime, reducing the racial achievement gap, building a more inclusive economy, creating jobs and promoting stable housing.
Julianne has 15 years of combined volunteer and professional experience working in north Minneapolis. As the founding director of the Neighborhood Hub, she comes with a background in social service as well as community education, advocacy and organizing around livability issues in north Minneapolis communities. Having grown up on the Northside, she is a product of the Hawthorne neighborhood and the Minneapolis Public Schools. She has a degree in speech communication from Augsburg College and a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. She is a licensed attorney who has put those skills to work assisting community members in the areas of family law, housing law, nonprofit development and small-business development. Julianne brings a passion for improving the lives of all residents of Minneapolis, but in particular, the residents of north Minneapolis who are suffering the weight of disparities.
What is the Promise Zone?
In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced that he would designate 20 Promise Zones nationwide. This initiative recognizes and rewards cities that develop innovative approaches and aligned programming that will revitalize high-poverty communities across the country. The Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) plan is a comprehensive, community-driven revitalization strategy that builds on and aligns numerous initiatives to address the persistent unemployment, crime, housing blight, and poor educational outcomes that plague the area.
Minneapolis’ community-driven plan includes six goals:
- Reduce racial inequities in public services and institutions that contribute to the ongoing economic exclusion of the MPZ residents and meaningfully engage residents in the decisions affecting their community.
- Reduce serious and violent crime by curtailing gun violence, strengthening community-law enforcement relationships, and addressing youth and domestic violence.
- Improve cradle-to-career outcomes for MPZ students, thereby reducing the racial achievement gap.
- Build a more inclusive economy in the MPZ, ensuring dollars are reinvested in the community and that goods, arts, and services are available to MPZ residents and visitors.
- Create jobs for MPZ residents through transit development and business growth incentives and craft specific strategies for youth employment.
- Promote stable housing for all MPZ residents by increasing the availability, affordability, and quality of housing stock and better coordinating support services.
For more information about the Minneapolis Promise Zone visit, www.minneapolismn.gov/promisezone.
Last updated Nov 29, 2015