Principles of Engagement and Community Building

The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood and its partners have gathered to build a local movement for people of color in the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood to end multigenerational poverty, systemic racism, and poorly integrated systems, resources, and services.
Our focus will be on children’s academic and social development, birth through grade five, while dismantling the cradle-to-prison pipeline and promoting the much needed educational tools to end multi-generational poverty and contribute to the development of educating our youth and promoting career readiness. We do this to reclaim our power, our cultures, our schools, and our neighborhood.
SPPN demands an infusion of coordinated action that abides by the following values:

Children first

  • We put aside political or ideological differences in favor of doing what’s best for all children
  • We call for tools that support children and their families to succeed in school for the present and the future generations with emphasizes on college and career readiness.

Parent power

  • We believe parents as the first teachers and greatest assets in a child’s life. Our parents are the lead partner in the work to reclaim power, culture, schools, and the neighborhood.

Value all voices

  • We intentionally create space for diverse stakeholders to give input and contribute to the initiative in ways that give equitable power to voices that have been historically muted.
  • We prioritize listening to our community: youth, elders, teachers, parents on the impacts of communities’ experiences, stories, and histories.

Build community

  • We look to the assets of our youth, parents, community first to develop systems to building up their assets.
  • We keep opportunities and resources in the neighborhood.
  • We engage families and communities in their own solutions; this is not a community consumption model.
  • We organize with integrity, which requires SPPN and its partners to be accountable to children and families.


  • We are clear and open about our identity, intentions, practices, and processes.
  • Invest for results
    We use data to understand the impact of the initiative and make changes as needed to achieve targeted outcomes.
    We use results-based accountability. We know that if SPPN and its partners do not deliver, then children and families will not benefit.

Cultural responsiveness

  • We are committed to creating and promoting culture in our community.
  • We support systems, programs, services, and organizations that respond to cultural ways of knowing and doing of children and families.

Our inspiration

SPPN’s set of principles are inspired by the following sources:

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