The Givens Foundation for African American Literature remains the only organization in Minnesota exclusively dedicated to advancing and celebrating black literature and writers. Each year, we serve nearly 4,000 students, educators, readers, and writers.


Through programs and events such as the NOMMO African American Author series and the Givens Emerging Writers Showcase, writers and readers participate in the sharing of story in all its forms.

Givens Black Books

Our Givens Black Books community reading campaigns are designed to increase access to quality literature in the African American community and to encourage reading as an integral part of daily life.

Emerging Writers’ Mentor Program

The Givens Emerging Writers’ Mentor Program pairs national acclaimed mentoring authors with emerging Black writers to promote the “writing life” and to seed the future of the African American literary tradition.

K12 Education Partnerships

Our literary arts education residency program brings writers into the classroom. This innovative, culturally responsive program has supported the academic engagement of nearly 8,000 Twin Cities’ students, by using African American literature as a springboard for teaching reading and writing.

The mission and programs of the Givens Foundation draw inspiration from the Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota, a unique and growing collection of more than 18,000 African American literary works and cultural objects representing more than 230 years of African American literature and life.