Brain Trust

Social Intelligence

Words and perspective from our orgainzational leaders.


James Trice, Founder and CEO of the Public Policy Project

Since moving to Minneapolis in 1990, James Trice’s career in public policy has included: organizer for the Whittier Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) (the first approved by the city of Minneapolis), consultant to various neighborhoods NRP plans, tenant’s rights organizer in Saint Paul, Executive Director of a north Minneapolis neighborhood organization, and a Public Policy Advocate for a cross-cultural adoption agency.

Lead Consultant

Sam Grant, of the Public Policy Project 

Sam Grant has been a leader in the fields of community organizing, community economic development, research and higher education for more than 20 years.  His life purpose revolves around organizing socially and economically marginalized constituencies as active agents promoting a better world for all.


His organizing background includes work with communities combating crime and livability issues, organizing tenants to take charge of their communities, helping communities organize for cultural, economic and environmental justice, and more. He is one of the founders of the successful Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Community Development Apprenticeship Program (Careership), Green Institute, and Wendell Phillips Community Development Federal Credit Union (now a chapter of City County Federal Credit Union). While leading efforts at the credit union, he was one of the originators of Minnesota’s Individual Development Account Program (FAIM).


His education background includes a brief stint at St. Cloud State University in the late 1980s. He has taught at Metropolitan State University since 1990 – teaching in Ethnic Studies, Social Science and Psychology Departments. Sam has elected to move out of the higher education arena in order to focus more concretely on community and social justice sector work.


Sam’s research background incorporates training received in MS, MA and PhD programs in both qualitative and quantitative methodology.  His preferred approach is a participatory mixed methodological approach, in which he works with community stakeholders to design, implement and evaluate research initiatives. His most recent research has been working counties and tribes to examine how to best quantify and address racial disparities facing American Indians and African Americans participants in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).


Over the last 3 years Sam has: a) co-founded Grassroots Public Policy Institute – promoting policy change capacity in the African American and other oppressed communities; b) co-founded  AfroEco – organizing black farmers and communities for food security and environmental justice; and c) continued the evolution of his international consulting work with initiatives in design stage in Africa and South America.



Team writings

Contracted Staff

DeVon Nolan, UHT Community Engagement Facilitator




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“Don’t count the days, make the days count”

Muhammad Ali

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Minneapolis, MN 55404