We’ve had a steady course from the beginning: Unceasing work toward equal opportunities for all Minnesota children.
Our Key Priorities
Eliminate the misconception that Minnesota has great schools for all children and raise awareness of our status as the worst state in the nation for educating students of color.
Expand the number and capacity of high-performing schools serving students of color.
Support parent and family engagement in schools and their demands for high-performing schools for all students.
Support college students of color with scholarships that include financial aid as well as mentoring and leadership programs.
Promote efforts to diversify Minnesota’s educator workforce and equip teachers with the cultural intelligence and skills needed to support and educate all students.
Promote efforts to make Minnesota a state where all children and youth can achieve their full potential.
What We Do and Don’t Do
The Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children seeks to partner with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions and K-12 schools that support children and families in Minnesota.
We support efforts to eliminate inequities in the educational system. We’ve funded early learning programs, education policy and advocacy, programs that support educators, high performing K–12 schools, and wrap-around programs focused on children and families in high-needs neighborhoods. We also established a scholarship fund to help African-American males complete their undergraduate degrees and stride forward as tomorrow’s leaders.
We look forward to helping innovative, effective ideas gain traction and build momentum across the educational system.
What we won’t do: Wring our hands on the sidelines or accept a system that doesn’t provide all children the opportunity for the very best.
The Foundation was founded in 1998 with a $30 million commitment as a result of fees earned from the Minnesota Tobacco Litigation. As the litigation aimed to protect our state’s children, the Foundation focuses its giving on improving the lives of all Minnesota children. Originally named the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children, we changed our name in 2018 to honor the two veteran attorneys who spearheaded the tobacco litigation: Michael V. Ciresi and Roberta B. Walburn.
To date, the Foundation has granted more than $23 million to further its mission.
The Foundation is an independent private foundation. For staffing and operating support, the Foundation contracts with The Minneapolis Foundation.