The family that owns the Twins has long donated money to fight homelessness in the Twin Cities. But in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer, the Pohlads realized they could and should also be battling one of the root causes of that condition: Racism.
“Black people have experienced oppression and racism for far too long in this country,” Bill Pohlad said Wednesday in a statement announcing the family’s commitment of an additional $25 million through its foundation to seek racial justice. “We condemn racism in all its forms, and we are firmly committed to this work beyond this seminal moment in our country’s history.”
It’s too early to say exactly how the money will be used, said Joe Pohlad, nephew of Twins’ chairman Jim Pohlad, because they want to hear from the community what is needed. “Our plan is to listen, learn from and better understand those people who are directly impacted by racial injustice. It’s their experiences that will inform our efforts,” he said. “And from there, we’ll partner with the right organizations that can help find solutions.”
The Pohlad Family Foundation will first work to rebuild businesses damaged in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, will match donations to the cause and support volunteerism by their employees. After that initial work, the foundation intends to partner with other organizations to “help change the systems that create racial inequities and marginalize people of color.”
Floyd’s death and the protests that followed galvanized the family, Pohlad said, from a human standpoint. But they also sensed that action now could have an especially effective impact. “It’s the moment. There is momentum building now, and we wanted to seize that moment and help keep that momentum going,” Pohlad said. “But we don’t view this as a short-term thing. This is a commitment to an ongoing effort.”