Bar Foundation 2019-2020 Impact Report

Hennepin County Bar Foundation. Est. 1968

Rising to the Challenge in Hennepin County

Download the 2019-2020 Impact Report


We begin this Hennepin County Bar Foundation year facing a very different landscape. Our community is grappling with the devastating impacts of a global pandemic and economic recession. We are also struggling with grief and anger over widespread and systemic racial injustice. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has sparked a nationwide reckoning that continues today.

In this urgent moment, the legal community in Hennepin County has a unique role to play. The Foundation’s mission to increase access to justice must be more than a platitude. We believe that justice should not be limited to those who can afford it or those with the privileges of race, gender, or creed. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting the ideal that access to the courts and ultimately, to justice, should be available to everyone.

I believe our community is made stronger when we take care of each other. I want to share with you a couple of stories from our grantees that highlight the lives changed when we reach out in times of crisis.

The ICWA Law Center told us of a young Native American mother experiencing domestic violence. Child protection became involved when police were called to the home after a violent incident. Determined to create space to heal herself and her children, she reached out to her mother who lived out of state. Together, they created a plan where her mother was able to temporarily move to Minnesota to care for the children, while she engaged in therapeutic services and accessed other supports. With legal representation through the ICWA Law Center, the young mother eventually obtained an Order for Protection, and long-term supportive housing. She obtained her driver's license, obtained employment, and purchased a car. Today, the young woman and her mother are continuing to work together to ensure her children are best cared for and protected. 

Discapacitados Abriendose Caminos (d.a.c.) told us of an undocumented mother of four who fought to keep her teenage daughter safe from sexual abuse by a relative. With the support of a d.a.c. attorney, she was able to present video evidence to the police and court. d.a.c. staff continues to assist the mother as she prepares divorce papers and applies for a U Visa from a shelter.  

These stories of hope and connection are possible in part because of your generous contributions. Your charitable dollars allow the Foundation to support nonprofit organizations and help strengthen our community. As you can see from this impact report, our Foundation has had a real and direct impact on minority communities suffering the most. Your generosity has allowed the Foundation to provide grants to 28 nonprofit organizations totaling $277,250. These organizations provide various services supporting Hennepin County residents.

Two years ago, the Fellows program was founded, which has had a significant positive impact on our fundraising efforts. The Fellows is an honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated exemplary dedication to upholding the standard of the legal profession and commitment to increasing access to justice. In the first year, we had 15 Founding Fellows and 60 Fellows who were nominated and initiated into the program. We look forward to initiating a new class of Fellows this year as the program continues to grow.

Alecia-Anderson-300As we look forward to this Foundation year, I am honored to work with the tireless and talented staff and gracious volunteers who make this Foundation successful. In these unprecedented times, we will need your dedication more than ever. Thank you for your continued support!

Alecia Anderson
2020-2021 HCBF President