Now is a pivotal time in American history. We have the opportunity and obligation to end social, racial and human rights inequities that have failed to be fully addressed for centuries.
Our communities are hurting and in need, with many wondering what they can do to support the greater movement. While reversing generations of injustice will take great time and discipline, there are concrete steps that can be taken in the short-term.
I’m proud to work for a company that is jumping in and rolling up its sleeves. Bremer’s purpose is to cultivate thriving communities, and we know our communities cannot thrive unless all our neighbors have a chance to succeed, regardless of their background.
As a start, Bremer has donated more than $50,000 to organizations working to help communities rebuild, including:
- The St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. In partnership with the Midway Chamber and Downtown Alliance, they have created We Love Saint Paul to provide small businesses and nonprofits affected with direct financial support ($15,000).
- The Lake Street Council. Their We Love Lake Street campaign provides direct financial support to small businesses and nonprofits aiming to rebuild Lake Street ($15,000).
- Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) is assisting minority businesses most affected by the recent destruction by assisting with relocation and remote operation needs, insurance claims, legal assistance, insurance deductible assistance and the continuation of health benefits ($15,000).
- The Greater Twin Cities United Way’s (GTCUW) Twin Cities Rebuild for the Future Fund is a collaboration between GTCUW, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and the Minneapolis Foundation. Funds help small businesses with building repairs, furniture, equipment, technology and relocation expenses. Our financial support is an extension of our strong partnership with United Way, in which we recently donated $100,000 to local United Ways across our footprint as part of the GTCUW Response and Recovery Fund. ($10,000)
Bremer is also renewing its commitment to providing specific financial support for Black-owned businesses and the Black community. Being an intentional, purposeful and a proactive partner in this area is one way we can begin to combat structural racism.
These are short-term commitments, and we are poised to do more. We are assessing how Bremer Bank can take purposeful and deliberate action to address the systemic racism and social and economic inequities in the communities we support while we continue to listen and learn about the needs of our community members.
I am proud to work at an organization that takes an active role in moving our community forward. We’re in this for the long haul.