Mission & Values

NAZ Mission

Our mission is to end generational poverty and build a culture of achievement in North Minneapolis where all low-income children of color graduate from high school college- and career-ready. We accomplish this through collaboration with parents, community organizations, and schools.

NAZ Vision

We envision a prosperous North Minneapolis — where all children of color are healthy, secure, and academically successful, ultimately realizing their unlimited potential.

NAZ F.A.C.T. (Core Values)

Focusing on Success for Our Children and Families

We commit to doing whatever it takes so that Northside children of color realize their unlimited potential academically and in life. We do this by partnering with schools demonstrating an ability to accelerate academic outcomes and community-based organizations that effectively provide whole family wrap-around supports. Parents support their children and actualize their families’ dreams by receiving partner services in addition to NAZ coaching, parenting education, and leadership training. 

Advancing Racial Equity for All

We commit to ending all forms of race-based disparities by first healing our own racialized trauma, understanding the impact of this type of trauma on others, ensuring equitable policies & practices, dismantling systems of oppression and privilege, and working towards wellness in our own minds and bodies alongside our families, schools and community.

Creating A Trusting Village

We commit to creating trusting relationships with all our parents, scholars, co-workers, and collaborative partners as a key means of removing barriers and identifying opportunities for families and children to end multi-generational poverty. We earn trust by having integrity in all we do, being reliable in our follow-through, and exhibiting competency in the tasks at hand. In addition, we commit to breaking down silos, having transparent communications, resolving conflicts, fostering fun, giving grace to others, and striving for excellence in all we do.

Transforming Our Community Using Data and Learning

We commit to hold each other accountable as team players to achieve breakthrough performance and results with children and families using data, innovation, compelling storytelling, on-going learning, and continuous improvement strategies–  measuring our shared success by the achievements and well-being of Northside children and families.

Guiding Beliefs

These values are the foundation of our work with families across the collaborative:

  1. Our Children Will Succeed: We believe that all children in North Minneapolis can and will succeed in school, in college, and in life—regardless of family background or past performance in school. Our actions with NAZ children match this belief.
  2. Families are Leaders: Every Northside family has assets and strengths. We believe a culture of achievement can only be built from within the community—one family at a time. We partner with families to set and achieve their goals, and bolster their belief in themselves and the expectation that their children will go to college.
  3. High Expectations with High Supports: Extremely ambitious expectations are set for NAZ students, families, partner organizations, and staff. The accountability for these outcomes is rigorous—but so are our supports. Every parent and student receives one-on-one support through our “high-touch” process, connecting them with programs and services across our partner organizations. All NAZ partners will support each other in an ongoing continuous improvement process.
  4. Driven by Data: Our resources are dedicated toward measurable outcomes for children and families. Success is gauged by results for children and families, not programs and organizations. NAZ partners work together to build evidence-based solutions that drive measurable improvements with NAZ families. We track the progress of each child toward kindergarten-readiness, grade-level achievement, and college readiness. If the data shows that we are not effective, we will revise our plans until we get it right.
  5. Relationships are the “Work”: We are creating transformative change built on strong relationships. We first work to change ourselves. Then, through our relationships, we invite change among organizations, families, children, and systems. Together we increase expectations, break down silos, and build accountability and alignment. We operate under the assumption of good intent in our interactions with each other, especially as we work through difficult issues together.
  6. Collaboration Creates Prosperity: NAZ partners built one system of support for families. This system is made up of many equal partners who are committed to working together for the success of NAZ children, including: parents, organizations, schools, funders, government, and faith institutions. We believe that our collaboration will have more than enough momentum to reach a tipping point of sustainable community transformation and prosperity.
  7. Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness: As we scale up to partner with more than 1,000 families with 2,500 children, we will be reflective of the diversity in our community—while targeting resources where the achievement gap is greatest. The rich diversity of our families is an asset to be woven into our processes and systems of support/service. NAZ staff and partners will embed cultural responsiveness within our work.
  8. Starting Early and Staying Long-Term: We work side by side with families from before birth through college, providing comprehensive support designed to impact a child’s education and life trajectory. We support the success of the whole family.