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We’re experiencing a full-circle moment today at the Cultural Wellness Centerand on Give to the Max Day!

 In 1996, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) honored me with a RWJF Community Health Leadership Award that we used to create and operate the Cultural Wellness Center.

Now, 27 years later, RWJF is recognizing our work with Ramsey County.

We are thrilled to share that Ramsey County — through its partnership with the Cultural Wellness Center — has won the 2023 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize! We could not be prouder of our collective efforts and the partnership that has gotten us here today.

Why were we selected? The prize announcement said, “Located in the heart of Saint Paul’s Twin Cities region, Ramsey County is home to communities that are proactive in building their own future to heal the wrongs of the past. The strong foundation of on-the-ground community partnerships was built out of a desire to regain Kujichagulia (self-determination). Kujichagulia 2.0 is a unique effort between the community-based nonprofit Cultural Wellness Center, Ramsey County, and the Black Community Commission on Health. Making Black community members integral to county decision-making—while keeping the responsibility to policymakers—is central to their goal of eliminating systematized racist practices related to health, housing, education, career opportunities, and other issues that disproportionately affect the Black community. 

 The RWJF Culture of Health Prize includes:

  • A $250,000 prize. ​ 
  • National and local promotion of communities’ stories to inspire other communities and policymakers across the country to take action to create a healthier future for all.  
  • Opportunities to expand networks by connecting with other Prize communities as well as national and local leaders working to improve health equity. 
  • Access to technical assistance, coaching, and workshops to enable us to accelerate our progress.  


In the 10 years since it was launched, the RWJF Culture of Health Prize has celebrated more than 50 communities across the country that are at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. The 2023 Prize celebrates solutions led by communities like ours that are breaking down the barriers to health and well-being caused by structural racism and other forms of systemic discrimination. We are proud, along with the eight other winning communities, to join the ranks of Prize alumni who are improving health equity across the country. 

Our work has always been by us and for us. This is our win, and we cannot wait for what lies ahead. Thank you for being a part of this journey! 


 In community,

Elder Atum

Cultural Wellness Center 


Statement From the Executive Director

The Cultural Wellness Center and Pohlad Family Foundation’s

The Cultural Wellness Center & Pohlad Family Foundation are launching an Initiative ( Black Legacy & Leadership Enrichment Initiative) to Recognize and Support Black Community Members who are Advocates, Activists, Leaders, Healers, Artists, and Agents of Change.

Each initiate/recipient (7 people) will receive $55,000 in unrestricted funds for one year which can be used to refresh and recover.

⏳️Submissions closed at 11:59 p.m. Central Time on January 30, 2023.

Visit the following website for more information:

Cultural Wellness Center

Community Health

The Health Institute helps residents interact more knowledgeably with biomedical practitioners, provides referrals, assists in bridging cultural traditions, and provides quality assurance and accreditation for cultural health practices. We serve our community through classes, coaching, consulting, and certifications for people, for families, for communities, and for organizations and institutions.

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Cultural Solutions

The Invisible College provides consultation and educational services on the impact of culture on health as well as ways to interface with the constituent cultures of the community.  The students of the college will learn how to make use of the continuum of medicine in their choices of healing.

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About the Center

Claiming African Systems of Thought

The Cultural Wellness Center is a transformative space that incubates culturally-based solutions to real world problems. Our work at the Cultural Wellness Center is to move from race to culture. By engaging the generative practice of moving from race to culture, one engages the transformative process of being and becoming oneself through the lens of culture. The knowledge produced from this process creates the space for one to heal themselves and build community.

Our Process



Through the stories of our elders and our heritage, we can learn the lessons necessary for a modern life.



The observation of ones-self, and the collective, we can determine the faltering points in our health.



Transform your preconceptions, your understandings, and yourself.



Through these lessons we can learn to contribute to the greater health of the collective.

Community Health Club

The Cultural Wellness Center is a transformative space that engages the process of a healthy lifestyle.

The Invisible College

The Cultural Wellness Center provides cultural immersion experiences for public health and social science researchers who want to strengthen their ability to conduct research alongside cultural communities. We call this cultural approach to knowledge production our Invisible University.

Dreamland on 38th

Dreamland Café Reimagined: The vision is to create a flexible, supportive work space for African-American entrepreneurs to start and expand small businesses focused on the intersection of food and heritage— and to offer a dynamic space to host community gatherings and events.

Culturally Based Economic Development

The Cultural Wellness Center is one of the original partners of the Midtown Global Market, an initiative that gives new and emerging entrepreneurs, many of them low income and recent immigrants, a prime location and support to build a business and a future.

Our Partners

Want to get involved?

Office : 612-721-5745

The Cultural Wellness Center
2025 Portland Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404