Synergos Cultivate the Soul: Stories of Purpose-Driven PhilanthropySynergos Cultivate the Soul: Stories of Purpose-Driven Philanthropy

Healing Communities with Suzanne Koepplinger, Director, Catalyst Initiative

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Suzanne Koepplinger is the Director of the Catalyst Initiative at The Minneapolis Foundation.

Listen to hear how Suzanne she came to realize her purpose to help others by supporting their healing and growth. Through the work she is leading at the Catalyst Foundation, new pathways have been created to support culturally meaningful trauma healing practices.


Suzanne Koepplinger has led the Catalyst Initiative since its inception at the George Family Foundation in 2014. Catalyst’s purpose is to honor and foster culturally authentic self-care practices to advance health and well-being. Three years after launching this community informed philanthropic approach to addressing trauma and toxic stress, Catalyst was spun off to the Minneapolis Foundation in 2018 to bring promising practices to scale. Key accomplishments during this time include successfully advocating for public investment in non-narcotic pain management and integrative healing therapies as an addiction prevention strategy; raising and re-distributing over $5 million into community initiatives to build resilience and foster healing; and influencing shifts in philanthropy, healthcare, education and government.


Suzanne previously served for ten years as the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, leading the first research and community response in the country to address sex trafficking of American Indian women and girls. In that role she twice testified before U.S. Senate Congressional Committees on sexual exploitation. She is a certified trainer with the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) and the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVCTTAC) and has extensive international experience as a trainer and public speaker. Topic examples include Reflective Leadership, Collective Action for Advancing Health Equity, Fostering Healing Centered Organizational Cultures, and Mind Body Medicine in Indian Country: Interrupting Historic Trauma.


Suzanne holds a M.A. in the Art of Leadership from Augsburg University.  She lives in Minneapolis and serves on the Board for Artspace Projects, where she leads the Board Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Task Force. She is happiest when on a remote river or hiking trail.

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Synergos Cultivate the Soul: Stories of Purpose-Driven Philanthropy

Cultivate The Soul explores the intersection of philanthropy, contemplative practices, self-reflecti 
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