MAU Emergency Funds
On March 30, 2020, the Minnesota Africans United hosted their second online video call with the African immigrant community, African nonprofits, African businesses and African country affiliated organizations from throughout Minnesota. Joined by friends and supporters of Minnesota Africans United from around the nation and internationally in Africa, participants shared the situations facing their families, neighbors and the small and micro businesses in their communities that have lost their revenue during this crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many shared their concerns about losing their businesses, jobs, homes, ability to pay for high education and healthcare, while others expressed an inability to currently afford basic necessities such as food, housing, rents, transportation and other emergency needs.
Immigrants in the state of Minnesota make up a large number of the frontline workers in healthcare are immigrants, running high risks for themselves and putting their families at a risk of exposure as well. Many are now working 7 days a week and long hours each day, caring for the sick and elderly. There is a feeling among these dedicated healthcare professionals that they are seen as servants and laborers who are often neither seen or nor heard. Because of a fear of ICE, changing immigration and asylum laws, and stereotyping, our African immigrant community often avoids the system, and when we need help from the system, we do not know how to navigate it. In the time of COVID-19, these issues have become even more prevalent. Our community urgently needs resources. It is a tragedy for the state of Minnesota that our intelligent and resourceful African immigrant population is not part of our economic and social network.
The pandemic has affected all communities, but according to the most recent research published by the New York Times, people of color have been affected at a greater rate than white communities. African immigrant families, their small and micro businesses and nonprofits, form the back-bone of our neighborhood and help to fuel Minnesota’s economy. COVID-19 has disrupted and dislocated this backbone and causing our communities to lose revenue and economic instability. These small and micro businesses make our community unique and help us to maintain our cultural identities. Because of our lack of economic security, many families are struggling right now.
In order to address this severe calamity facing our micro and small businesses, nonprofits, and country-affiliated organizations, the coalition agreed that the Minnesota Africans United would establish a COVID-19 emergency response fund that will serve those who have been most affected by COVID-19 within the African community.
This fund will allow us to continue to support and be a voice for many African immigrants who are in desperate need of resources:
This funding will make sure that African immigrants working in the health field have the protection they need by purchasing personal protective equipment that is necessary for our African immigrants working in all areas of healthcare;
Provide grant support to local micro and small businesses;
Provide direct financial support to African immigrant families to cover the cost of food, rent, utilities, other urgent needs and businesses irrespective of their immigration status;
Provide direct financial support and personal protective equipment to our members, and country-affiliated organizations.
Now we turn to you to help us fulfill this commitment to our community. Please consider making a donation in any amount to the MAU COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to support the heart and soul of your community, the people who are running small and micro businesses, the most vulnerable including children. We need your help and financial and material contributions will make all the difference for our friends in need. What’s more, as a nonprofit organization, your donation can be considered tax-deductible.
Please follow this link to donate