Growth and Justice merges with larger Center for Economic Inclusion

Growth & Justice, the think tank and racial equity advocacy organization for 20 years, is merging with the larger Center for Economic Inclusion.

Growth and Justice President Jane Leonard, who is retiring, said the combination would magnify the work of both groups to advance racial and economic justice and “community vitality.”

“We are delighted that the Center for Economic Inclusion can use our Minnesota Action Plan and Minnesota Stock Map to bring special attention to successful efforts in rural and Greater Minnesota areas, complementing the Center’s focus on the Twin Cities metropolitan area,’ Leonard said in a prepared statement.

Growth and Justice has a budget of approximately $200,000 and three staff. The Center for Economic Inclusion, which has 22 employees, expects revenue to approach $10 million this year, with growing corporate and foundation support for its programs and advisory services.

CEO Tawanna Black said Minnesota needs to increase its commitment to inclusion at all levels of the company — from hourly workers to the boardroom — to thrive. She expressed her gratitude to the leaders of Growth & Justice “for taking advantage of this opportunity to build on their legacy and assets by investing in the future impact of the Center for Economic Inclusion for the benefit of all Minnesotans.” .

Leonard said she approached Black last fall about an alliance “enthusiastically” backed by Growth & Justice’s board.

Growth & Justice was founded in 2002 by Joel Kramer, former editor and CEO of Star Tribune. He focused on research on equity and inclusion, its role in healthy and sustainable economic growth, and how to create broader prosperity for more Minnesotans.

The organization has raised more than $6 million since 2002 through support from foundations and individuals for research and advocacy on tax policy and advocacy.