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Community Nonprofits Awarded $2.35M to Advance Digital Equity for Students

Partnership for a ConnectedMN and the Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity (MBCRE), two organizations Best Buy is proud to support, have collaborated to award $2.35 million in grants to local nonprofits committed to advancing digital equity for Minnesota students.

The 29 organizations selected are focused on enhancing digital learning for K-12 students who are Black, Indigenous or people of color by providing devices, connectivity and other support services. A full list of grant recipients and more information on the grant process can be found here

The latest round of grants was supported by 36 local companies and foundations through MBCRE and ConnectedMN. These organizations include Best Buy, Bush Foundation, Cargill Foundation, Target and The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

Best Buy’s involvement in ConnectedMN and MBCRE is part of our commitment to improving tech equity in our communities and helping students build brighter futures. This mission is now more important than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the existing digital inequities that affect many Minnesota students, has left communities in crucial need of technology, reliable internet and culturally responsive wrap-around services.

Investing in digital equity in our communities

ConnectedMN is a public-private partnership that was launched in 2020 by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and several founding members. It focuses on addressing digital inequities facing Minnesota students by helping them meet their technology and connectivity needs.

Last year, ConnectedMN awarded $2.1 million in grants to 23 organizations, which reached an estimated 68,000 students in the state.

MBCRE, meanwhile, has a mission to build an equitable, inclusive and prosperous state for Black Minnesotans. Developed in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, MBCRE is made up of more than 80 businesses and community organizations focused on efforts that address systemic racism.

In addition to our support of these organizations, we’ve also built a network of 35 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers. They are safe after-school spaces where teens can get hands-on experience with technology, training and mentorship that will prepare them for jobs of the careers of the future.

Click here to learn more about this latest round of grants.