For the nearly 20 years in the Hawthorne neighborhood of North Minneapolis and General Mills has supported the Hawthorne Huddle; a monthly meeting that brings together residents, elected officials, religious leaders, social service professionals, police officers and others to take on neighborhood issues that are important to them - ranging from affordable housing to crime to education to economic development to environmental issues.
The Huddle was the subject of a Harvard Business School Case Study. Below is an excerpt:
The Harvard Business School Examines the role of General Mills in the formation and leadership of the Hawthorne Huddle. The Huddle was in the Hawthorne neighborhood in Northern Minneapolis, which in 1997 was plagued with high crime and poverty. The Huddle served as a forum, held the first Thursday of every month. Its goal was to improve the livability of the Hawthorne neighborhood by pooling the resources, experiences, and perspectives of residents, educators, law enforcement, business and social service professionals, elected officials, and members of the faith community. It discussed, and focused on solving, problems affecting the community.
On Dec. 7, 2017 the Hawthorne Huddle celebrated its 20 years of success. As part of the celebration it honored community leaders Dave Ellis, Loretta Ellis, Hillary Freeman, Paula Haywood, Pastor Floyd Beecham Sr., Richard Spratt, Diana Hawkins and Dr. Reatha Clark King.