Dameun Strange and Innovative Philanthropy

Dameun Strange holds a conductor's baton

Hopewell Music Cooperative North co-founder and Bush Foundation staffer Dameun Strange is passionate about community collaborations like UROC's TRP. Dameun Strange joined the Bush Foundation’s Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship in 2015 as part of an inaugural cohort of philanthropy leaders. A member of the foundation’s Community Innovation Program, Strange works to fund creative community problem-solving projects that drive collaborative, asset-based innovation in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and 23 Native nations. Before joining the foundation, Strange served as co-founder of the Hopewell Music Cooperative North, a non-profit agency that connects youth in North Minneapolis to the study of classical and contemporary music. He also leads his own project, the Strange New Music Experiment, which challenges archetypes in classical music and supports social justice efforts through the arts. Strange first connected with University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center during its application for a Community Innovation Grant to help fund the Trauma Recovery Project (TRP). The $187,530 award was used in part to create the TRP Community Innovation Grant Partnership Packet, a seed-grant program for the TRP’s four community-based workgroups to create toolkits, programs, and services that address mental and physical trauma in North Minneapolis neighborhoods. Other funding went to support University-based Youth-led Participatory Action Research projects and UROC-sponsored facilitator training sessions. An early supporter of the TRP, Strange continues to be impressed with UROC’s commitment to a community-based, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. “One of the strengths of the Trauma Recovery Project is the space the workgroups allow for community members to tell their stories; that type of engagement is necessary for these programs to be truly successful,” he says.