Target Makes Another Social Justice Move

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Target Makes Another Social Justice Move
Summit Academy trains nearly 1,000 adults each year with skills in health care, construction trades and information technology, alongside a 10-week GED program.

Target is expanding its efforts to advance social justice and promote racial equity by offering business support to a job-training nonprofit.

The retailer announced it will give Summit Academy OIC space in the Regional Acceleration Center (RAC) in North Minneapolis to help Summit Academy establish the North Star Innovation Center (NSIC).

Summit Academy trains nearly 1,000 adults each year with skills in health care, construction trades and information technology, alongside a 10-week GED program. Students attend without paying any out-of-pocket tuition or student loans, and the NSIC will be a training center specifically for careers in IT and new technologies.

“We’ve invested in North Minneapolis to support a strong quality of life for families in the neighborhood, and the Regional Acceleration Center is an important part of that investment,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “With its expertise in helping Black families and other residents overcome social and racial inequities, Summit Academy is an excellent community resource. We’re proud to welcome them to the RAC and to work together to advance racial equity in our hometown.”     

The NSIC aims to serve as a cornerstone of the Northside STEM District, which Summit Academy and other Northside organizations created, offering early learning and after-school programming. The Northside STEM District provides access to equipment and STEM experiences, in addition to increasing job opportunities and business connections for Black STEM professionals.

"The North Star Innovation Center will be an inspiring and transformative place where Black men and women will build new opportunities for themselves and their families," said Summit Academy OIC President and CEO Louis King. "Alongside Target and the Northside community, we're taking action against racial inequity. Thousands will have their lives changed at the North Star Innovation Center, as it's a tangible, real, concrete way for us to create a better future, where people of all races can do something to help themselves and to help others. This space will be a place where people demonstrate that the best social service program is a job."

This partnership is the latest step in Target’s longstanding commitment to its hometown and communities nationwide to address systemic issues.

Target recently announced $10 million to advance social justice and support recovery efforts, and also pledged 10,000 hours of pro-bono consulting services for Black-, Indigenous- and people-of-color-owned small businesses in the Twin Cities to help them rebuild. In North Minneapolis specifically, Target has invested more than $11 million over the last decade, working with nearly 20 partners such as the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) and Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) that work to create opportunities for the community and increase its economic vitality.

Target operates more than 1,800 stores, 39 distribution centers and The Minneapolis-based company is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America.

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