Our vision is to be a vibrant leader with strong
partnerships in a community where people of all ages
and cultures are able to live, learn, work and play in a
healthy and safe environment.
Sabathani Community Center was founded in 1966 by concerned residents and members of Sabathani Baptist Church in South Minneapolis. These were caring folks who wanted to provide recreation for kids in the neighborhood. The youngsters were well-meaning but restless. At the time, there were few and inadequate facilities to serve their needs.
Sabathani Community Center Announces New Executive Director
Sabathani Community Center is pleased to announce Tanessa Greene as its new Executive Director. Sabathani, a well-known African American legacy organization, was established 52 years ago by Sabathani Baptist Church. By design its mission and vision was to mobilize caring people to effectively address issues of systemic racism, poverty, housing and a severe lack of programming for youth and seniors.
Over 50 years later, these issues persist. The Covid-19 pandemic and social unrest resulting from the nearby murder of George Floyd have further marginalized communities of color, creating a greater need for cultural institutions like Sabathani to provide stabilizing community resources during these unprecedented times.
Greene brings to the Sabathani community 20 years of turnaround leadership experience guiding mission-driven organizations through challenging periods of change and growth. She is a transformational leader known for driving ground-breaking efforts in workforce development, equity and inclusion programs and public-private partnerships that increase program relevancy, investment and community impact.
During Greene’s most recent tenure at Hennepin County, she led the planning, design and countywide implementation of Hennepin County’s Small Business Program for goods and services, a procurement area with an annual spend of $600M. She developed innovative procurement models, small business sourcing strategies and best practices that significantly increased the county’s spend with small minority-owned businesses.
Prior to Hennepin County, Greene served as principal consultant for Signature Solutions Consulting a company she founded and led for over 15 years. While at SSC, she led change management and program expansion initiatives that produced high-impact programs, grew revenues by millions and led to unprecedented public-private partnerships that reduced economic disparities in underserved communities.
Greene’s consulting achievements include the design of a workforce development model that led to over 600 living wage jobs for minority workers in the construction trades, including the largest infusion of women into the trades in over 20 years. Greene introduced community health worker training programs to two North Minneapolis nonprofits serving communities with the greatest health disparities in the state.
Before starting her consultancy, Greene served as Executive Director of Minneapolis Way to Grow where she grew revenues 30 percent during a statewide economic downturn and led a complex restructuring effort that stabilized the organization and positioned it for a successful turnaround.
When asked why she chose to lead Sabathani during these challenging times Greene stated, “I’ve often found myself leading during times of major change. I’m personally fueled by discovering the unique opportunities for growth that periods of crisis can bring. In Sabathani, I saw an opportunity to be of greater service at a critical time to a community I love and have passionately served for two decades. Since its humble beginnings, Sabathani has always been a trusted community resource and a beacon of hope during the best and worst of times. My plan is to build significantly on that rich legacy by strengthening program alignment with our community’s rapidly shifting needs while amplifying Sabathani’s voice as an advocate for our community’s most vulnerable populations.”
Outside of work, Greene serves on the board of AEON, a local nonprofit developer and on the Upper Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project’s City Planning Committee. She coaches small minority business owners and enjoys gardening, golfing, fishing, yoga, and cooking for family and friends.
The Sabathani Board looks forward to working in partnership with Greene to expand Sabathani’s supportive programming and advocacy efforts, while continuing to serve as a convener for a diverse community to work together on community-driven solutions.
Sincerely, Bill English
Sabathani: How We Operate
Sabathani is a non-profit multi-service organization serving a diverse community in four program areas:
- Building Strong Healthy Families
- Creating School Success for Children and Teens
- Keeping Seniors Active and Healthy
- Community-based Health Resources
- Advocacy – We champion and advance the best interests of community residents
- Civic Engagement – We encourage and support individual and collective actions
to identify and address issues of public concern
- Collaboration – We engage in innovative partnerships that promote community
- Diversity – We value all individuals, cultures and communities
- Empowerment – We provide programs and services that build upon people’s
assets and promote self-sufficiency
- Inclusive – We welcome everyone to Sabathani Community Center
- Leadership – We are dedicated to excellence, continuous improvement and
accountability in all that we do
- Stewardship – We deploy our resources efficiently, effectively and ethically
- Strong programs – We partner with others to deliver programs that fulfill our
mission and vision
- Trustworthiness – We conduct ourselves with integrity and expect the same
Sabathani programs serve 30,000 people a year with a food shelf, free clothing and household goods, after-school programming for
kids, a senior center and health and wellness services for all ages. Sabathani leverages resources with nonprofits and small
businesses in its building to serve even more needs.