Cornerstone was founded in 1983 to connect women in crisis due to domestic violence with support and safety. Since then, we’ve become a multifaceted nonprofit with accessible, innovative and comprehensive services for adults and youth of all genders who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking or crime.
We have locations in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis and partner with numerous organizations in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota to provide seamless advocacy for people seeking help.
Throughout our nearly 40-year history, Cornerstone has continued to evolve our programming to meet the needs of our community. Today is no different. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have consistently assessed and modified our programs to maintain crisis response and supportive services while taking steps to ensure that staff and participants are safe. Support groups have moved from in-person to online, we’ve increased our clinical therapy capacity to match demand, we’ve partnered with eight other domestic violence agencies to provide safe housing and advocacy at select motels and our youth advocates who work in the schools have pioneered an interactive violence prevention online module for students who are learning from home.
Cornerstone’s continuum of service helps to create communities where individuals and families are safe and children thrive. We advocate, educate and lead the way to social change.
Cornerstone’s ultimate goal is to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and general crime. Safe and stable futures are possible when we coordinate an effective crisis response, implement trauma-informed support services, mitigate the impact of violence on children and youth, and confront the roots of violence.
We are committed to a society in which violence in families and relationships no longer exists. Domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence and human trafficking are crimes. They are a violation of human rights. The use of violence is a choice and can be prevented. All community members have a responsibility to confront the roots of violence and eliminate oppression.
Cornerstone is defined by its core values:
- Survivor-Centered – We advocate a survivor-centered and empowerment approach.
- Child and Youth Focused – In all that we do, we ensure children and youth are validated, respected, and heard.
- Honor and Respect – We honor and respect differences in age, culture, experience, gender identity, abilities, immigration status, race, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.
- Understanding – We recognize and understand the traumatic impact violence has on adults, children, and communities. We meet those we serve where they are in terms of their lived experience, relationship with others and self-identity.
- Collaborative – We work cooperatively with individuals and organizations that share our philosophy.
- Voice for Change – We advocate and educate systems and institutions on issues of violence and oppression.
- Volunteerism – We believe in the value of volunteers and their ability to strengthen, support, and enhance our services.
- Teamwork – We celebrate our accomplishments and support each other as staff, volunteers, and board members.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
At Cornerstone, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.
To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, Cornerstone strives to:
- See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the participants we serve.
- Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
- Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
- Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
- Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
- Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
- Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committee and advisory bodies.
- Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.