Hamse Warfa and Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood named 2017 Facing Race Award Recipients by The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations

For Immediate Release

August 30, 2017

(Saint Paul, Minn.) The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations today announced Hamse Warfa and the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood as recipients of the 2017 Facing Race Awards. The awardees will be recognized at a public ceremony held on September 18 at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

Hamse Warfa is the founder and principal of Tayo Consulting Group as well as co-founder and executive vice president of BanQu. The award recognizes Warfa’s contributions to racial equity through Tayo Consulting group and his leadership role with the Coalition of Somali-American Leaders – an organization that supports Somali nonprofit leaders and organizations that serve the Somali community.

Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN) is a transformative education initiative that brings together families, schools, public agencies and other community members to change the odds for a generation of children. The award recognizes SPPN’s use of education as a tool to end multi-generational poverty in the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods and its efforts to address disparities and opportunity gaps for neighborhood residents.

Dr. Eric J. Jolly, president & CEO of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations offers, “Dismantling the racial hierarchy is necessary work and The Foundations are wholly supportive of any community efforts that intentionally and purposefully seek to do so. Because of our unwavering commitment to racial equity and social justice, we play an active role in identifying and fostering a community of committed change agents that are effectively executing solutions for the challenges that plague our communities. We thank both Hamse Warfa and the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood for being an integral part of this work and look forward to celebrating them in September.”

“I'm deeply honored to receive this award and appreciate The Foundations for recognizing the important work of changing the social and economic 'rules' of our current systems to tackle the deep inequalities that hinder our collective future,” notes Warfa. “At a time when increased racism and xenophobia exert significant pressures on our social fabric, this award could not have come at a more opportune time. With every challenge comes reward at the end, and I believe that with our collective effort to dismantle human hierarchy and racism, our union will, in the end, reap rewards from it.”

Muneer Karcher-Ramos, director of the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood says, “We are thrilled to accept this award on behalf of children and families, as well as partners and staff, in the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. This award affirms SPPN’s community-led, culturally-responsive, racially equitable approach to issues facing our families. By tackling the issues of systemic isolation (“siloing”) and cultural underrepresentation, SPPN is pushing the field to think and act differently. We hope that more organizations adopt this approach to do the “work” through this lens.”

The Facing Race Awards, now in its eleventh year, honors individuals and organizations working to eliminate racism and its effects throughout the state of Minnesota. The Awards are part of the Foundations' ongoing commitment to racial equity and offer the opportunity to recognize community members who are courageously transforming the region and state.

The awardees were selected by a panel of community judges and each awardee will receive a $15,000 grant to designate to a nonprofit of their choosing. The Foundations previously announced noted civil rights leader and nonprofit executive speaker Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change as the keynote speaker for the Awards.


About Hamse Warfa:

Hamse Warfa is an author, social entrepreneur and systems leader. Through civic leadership and cross sector innovations, Hamse works with public and private sector leaders to positively impact the lives of millions locally and globally. Hamse is the founder and Principal of Tayo Consulting Group LLC, a professional services firm comprised of cross-sector experts with broad and deep experience in human development and poverty solutions. Hamse is also the co-founder and Executive Vice President of BanQu, a software technology company on a mission to eradicate poverty by connecting the unbanked to the global economy through a secure, portable digital economic identity platform. The BanQu solution gives refugees a portable and secured economic identity so they can get reintegrated into host communities or repatriate to their home countries and resume a normal life.

About Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood:

The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN) is a transformative racial justice initiative that puts children on the pathway to college and career success. We bring together families, schools, and the community to change the odds for children in the Frogtown, Rondo, and Summit-University neighborhoods of Saint Paul.

SPPN uses education, advocacy, and family stability to ensure that neighborhood children can achieve college and career success. SPPN is a community initiative housed at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

About the Foundations

For more information, contact:

Seena Hodges, associate vice president of Strategy and Communications




About The Saint Paul Foundation

Since 1940, thousands of generous individuals committed to the Saint Paul area have made charitable gifts to The Saint Paul Foundation. Today, the Foundation is the state’s largest community foundation. Guided by the legacy of its earliest donors, the Foundation today helps donors achieve their charitable giving goals and have long-lasting impact in the community. Learn more at saintpaulfoundation.org.

About Minnesota Community Foundation

Founded in 1949, Minnesota Community Foundation is an innovative leader in philanthropy. Recent creative ventures include GiveMN.org and the Minnesota Idea Open. The Foundation helps Minnesota donors support the causes and communities that matter most to them. Learn more at mncommunityfoundation.org.