George Floyd Fellowship: Employing Youth Development Strategies

Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, the three recipients of the St. Olaf College George Floyd Fellowship for Social Change developed a project focused on advancing racial justice, social justice, and equity. Each of these students — AD Banse ’23, Jordan Embry ’23, and Ruhama Solomon ’24 — share what inspired their project and the impact they hope it has had.

AD Banse ‘23 used his George Floyd Fellowship to create a project titled “Employing Youth Development Strategies” in North Minneapolis. His goal was to use a research-based approach to highlight the voices and needs of marginalized youth with the goal of developing effective programs for underrepresented youth that bridge mentorship and support.

Prior to applying for the fellowship, Banse connected with the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement (CLNE) in North Minneapolis to express his interest in the organization and youth development within the community. Once Banse received the fellowship, he decided to focus his work on conducting research with CLNE, and the organization tasked him with exploring structures that exist in the community. 

“There was a learning curve,” Banse says about getting his work with CLNE off the ground. One of his biggest issues was the lack of literature on North Minneapolis and merging what he learned to focus only on that community. One of his biggest takeaways was the need to start documenting and amplifying the news and history of different communities around Minneapolis. Banse wants to strengthen his research and make it more applicable to other communities throughout the Twin Cities.

He would like to continue working with CLNE, even beyond his fellowship. “I want to understand and discover the politics that exist in marginalized communities,” he says.