ASI Community Fund
Learn / Blog / Press Release / ASI Announces Winter Community Fund Recipients
Press Release

ASI Announces Winter Community Fund Recipients

October 18, 2023 By Darby Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS – The American Swedish Institute announced its latest winter round of awards made through the ASI Community Fund, which offers short-term aid to service-oriented organizations primarily in the Phillips and adjacent Minneapolis neighborhoods. Award amounts ranged from $1,000 to $2,500, for a total of $5,500 awarded to the following: Bilingual Education Collective, MN Urban Debate League, and Semilla Center for Healing. 

ASI Community Fund recipients for Winter 2023: 

Bilingual Education Collective

The Bilingual Education Collective connects the five Spanish dual language schools as one community in Minneapolis. They promote and advocate for dual language programming, fundraise for international teaching assistants, celebrate students, and coordinate community-building events. The group plans to use support of the community fund to direct mutual aid through the Newcomer Buddy Family Program, which pairs recently arrived families to the U.S. with established families within the Collective network.  

MN Urban Debate League 

The mission of the MNUDL is to empower Twin Cities middle and high school-aged students to become engaged learners, critical thinkers, and active global citizens who are effective advocates for themselves and their communities. The group plans to use support of the community fund to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Spanish Debate League initiative, their championship tournament, and the East African Debate Championship. 

Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts

The Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts works to build community through quality arts programming that integrates arts with leadership and youth development, greening, and holistic health initiatives. They have especially tried to reach people who do not receive quality arts programming, including people with limited English language skills and with mental health issues. The group plans to use support of the community fund to build a traveling exhibit of 15 years’ worth of photos. 

The next ASI Community Fund submission deadline is Friday, March 1st 2024, with twice-yearly deadlines. The Winter 2024 Community Fund submission deadline will be Mid-August. For more information, including granting criteria and a link to the online application, please visit   

The ASI Community Fund was founded in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and seeks to help respond to emerging needs and support ASI neighbors to build, invigorate, and reimagine our shared community. More than $45,000 in awards have been given since the Fund’s establishment in June 2020. Donations are intended to support organizations and initiatives aligned with ASI’s general mission and vision.    

The Fund was established with independent donations, mostly by individuals, with an ASI staff committee selecting recipients. It is rooted in ASI’s founding by Swedish immigrants and reflects a commitment to sharing stories of migration among many immigrant-based organizations in the Phillips neighborhood, celebrating mutual support and collective well-being. ASI has built longstanding community relationships during the past 15 years through collaborative programs including the Pippi Project at Andersen and Bancroft elementary schools, PICA Head Start graduations and the Story Swap program with Wellstone International High School. ASI also hosts scheduled U.S. naturalization ceremonies and National Night Out, always recognizing that there is more we can do to build bridges for cross-cultural understanding. Future gifts will allow the Fund to grow and continue to serve the community. To contribute to the Fund, please visit