University of Minnesota Foundation


The circumstances leading to Julia’s death had a profound impact on those involved and on the wider medical community.  We trust that future lives will be saved as a result of lessons learned and procedures changed.


     A financial settlement related to Julia’s death has allowed us to create two Funds at the University of Minnesota Foundation to support Pediatric Residency Education. The primary objective is to impress upon pediatric residents and current practitioners the importance of patient safety protocols and strategies for avoiding medical error. 

  • The Julia Berg Memorial Fund for Patient Safety  supports the University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics’ Resident Education Program Grand Rounds, by providing a source of funds for renowned speakers whose specialty is in patient safety with a focus in communications between families and medical staff or hospital systems.

  • The Julia Berg Memorial Lectureship will provide an endowed source of funding for lectures open to the medical community through conferences, teleconferences, etc. from renowned speakers whose specialty is in adolescent mental health.

Here is a link to additional information about our work with the University of Minnesota Medical School...

Memorial Fund --What the Fund Does

How It Started



The Julia Berg Memorial Fund was established at The Minneapolis Foundation to support organizations and issues that were important to Julia, and to preserve her legacy as an outspoken, passionate and liberal young woman. We’re grateful to the hundreds of friends who have contributed generously to the Fund.

     A major addition to the Fund came as a result of BLAST Day (Be Loving And Sharing Together) at Southwest High School on June 2, 2006.  Proceeds from this school-wide fundraising effort were given to the Sierra Club-North Star Chapter, the Minnesota Chapter of the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill and to the Minneapolis Parks to dedicate a bench by Lake Harriet.

     Additional contributions to the Fund can be made online through The Minneapolis Foundation. Please click below if you’re inspired to give. 

Note--Simply click on the Credit Card button on The Minneapolis Foundation page to make a contribution.

Note--Simply click on the Credit Card button on The Minneapolis Foundation page to make a contribution.

Julia Berg Award at Southwest High School



The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort
and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

     Our daughter, Julia Berg, died at fifteen in the summer of 2005. She was a typical teenager in many ways and extraordinary in others—which is the same as saying that she was a typical teenager. She did lots of things well and made her share of mistakes. She drove us crazy and we loved her more than she will ever know.

     Julia was passionate about justice, peace and the environment. She walked on stilts in the Gay Pride Parade in support of her friends and their families. She was an intern at the Sierra Club when she died, working for clean water and environmental justice. From her friends we have learned of her daily acts of kindness and support for classmates who struggled with their own issues of self-esteem, peer pressure and alienation. She told them that they didn’t have to follow the crowd; that it was okay to be different. And that she was their friend.

     We established the Julia Berg Memorial Award to recognize students at Southwest High School who distinguish themselves by standing up and speaking out on issues that are important to them and their community. It is not an award for community service, as important as that may be. It is not an award for academic leadership or involvement in student organizations, although such leaders may well be candidates for the award. It is an award for a student who has stepped out of the mainstream and has acted in support of a principle, the underdog, or the disadvantaged. It is an award for a student who walks the talk and who expresses his or her ideals in acts of courage and conscience.