Minnesota

Children’s Defense Fund envisions a nation committed to equity and justice where children and youth live with dignity, hope, and joy.

Our Focus

Established in 1985, Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) is dedicated to addressing the specific needs of Minnesota’s children, youth, and families. We advocate at the local, state, and federal levels, amplifying young voices and driving positive change. Our efforts encompass extensive research, community engagement, and youth development programs, paving the way for a better future for Minnesota’s children and youth. 

Policy Priorities in Minnesota

Young woman claps her hands together and looks up to the sky in peace

Learn more about Minnesota’s policy priorities

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Updates in Minnesota

CDF Beat the Odds Program is Sunsetting

Since 1990, the Beat the Odds program has transformed young lives and emboldened youth on their path into adulthood. We are grateful to all who have supported this program over the years and honored to have played a part in amplifying the strength and talent of our Beat the Odds honorees. While we are retiring the CDF Beat the Odds program and brand, a new program is coming that will provide more robust support for young people and we look forward to your continued support.

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Teenage boy dances and laughs at Harambee.

Share Your Story

Your story matters. Have you or your community been impacted by our programs or advocacy work? We want to hear from you.

Share Your Story

Programs in Minnesota

Young girl dancing and smiling during Harambee.

Freedom Schools

At CDF Freedom Schools®, we’re not just educating; we’re nurturing lifelong learners and advocates for progress. By empowering the youngest generation, we’re sculpting a brighter tomorrow where we celebrate every young person’s potential, and affirming their impact on the world is profound.

CDF Freedom Schools

Movement Building

Through collaborative action and community-centered initiatives, we seek to reduce child poverty, achieve education equity, improve child well-being, and more. Together, we’re shaping a world where every young person’s journey is marked by dignity, hope, and joy.

Building a Movement for Youth

News from Minnesota

  • Policy Agenda

    2024 Legislative and Administrative Advocacy Agenda

    In 2023, the state of Minnesota made unprecedented investments in children and their families—with particular attention to addressing longstanding opportunity gaps for children growing up in Black, Indigenous and communities of color. These investments reflected a shared commitment to making Minnesota the best state in the country to be a child and raise a family—regardless of race, income, or geography.…

  • Child Poverty

    Flexible Cash: The Tax Credit Opportunity

    Flexible cash is what families tell us they need to be able to create a nurturing, stable platform from which they and their children can successfully launch. The additional, flexible resources that come from tax credits would help families achieve economic stability and help children to have what they need to thrive.…

  • CDF State Office Reports

    Flexible Cash – The Tax Credit Opportunity

    Flexible cash is what families need to be able to create a nurturing, stable platform from which they and their children can successfully launch.  There are multiple ways to deliver flexible cash to families. CDF-MN is working on three: improving the cash assistance portion of the Minnesota Family Investment Program, guaranteed income pilots, and tax credits. In this brief we focus on tax credits.…

  • Child Poverty

    One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Addressing the Benefits Cliff Barrier to Family Economic Stability and Mobility

    Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota recommends a variety of approaches that could be taken to address the benefits cliff challenges faced by struggling families.…

Stay Connected with Minnesota

Contact Us

Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota

555 Park Street
Suite 410
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: 651-227-6121
Fax: 651-227-2553

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