Justice Oregon for Black Lives FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Justice Oregon for Black Lives?

    Justice Oregon for Black Lives is an initiative launched by Meyer Memorial Trust on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. This is a $25 million commitment over five years to invest in Black-led and Black-serving organizations, reimagine public safety and support large scale systems change projects.

    1. Is Meyer accepting funding applications or Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for Justice Oregon for Black Lives? 
      Currently, we are waiting to hire a Program Director to help shape the initiative’s strategies and approach to grantmaking and not considering specific funding requests at this time. We hope to share more information about funding opportunities in late 2020.

      How will the strategy for Justice Oregon be set?

      The initiative will be a long term effort, co-created with Black communities to understand how we can show up as the best possible partners in the work to advance racial justice and equity in Oregon. We know we need to move at the speed of trust and balance the desire to respond to the urgency of the moment with the intentionality of setting a strong foundation for the work ahead. We are excited to share the first round of grantmaking and ask for guidance and support as we co-create what comes next.

      Meyer launched a search for a director of the initiative on Sept. 14. The Justice Director will oversee this additional line of work which will be done in close collaboration with the Black communities in Oregon. Our hope is to build new relationships with individuals and organizations, think creatively and holistically about how to be in partnership, and be transformational and impactful with our grants.

    2. How were the first grantees selected for funding?

      The first round of grants made by Justice Oregon will go to Black-led and Black-serving organizations in Portland with whom Meyer is well aligned and has long-standing relationships. We know organizations working on these issues need money right now and we have awarded $1 million in initial grants to these organizations.

      An additional $290,000 will go to organizations engaging in different elements of mobilization happening now in the Metro region—organizing direct action, channeling community demands, pursuing legal strategies—to increase public safety and curtail police violence. We recognize that this list is very incomplete right now and that movements are a dynamic mix of many groups and individuals that play different and important roles. We are working to connect with and support emerging and established efforts where we have not had prior relationships, prioritizing Black-led work. 

  2. Will grantmaking through Justice Oregon reduce funding available through Meyer’s four portfolios?

    No. Funding for this five-year commitment will complement portfolio grantmaking. 

    1. Where can I find more information about Justice Oregon?

      Information about Justice Oregon is available on Meyer’s website at mmt.org/justiceoregon. You can also learn more by reading statements from Meyer’s board of trustees, President and CEO Michelle J. DePass and Director of Program and Strategy Kaberi Banerjee Murthy.

      1. Where should I send my question about Justice Oregon for Black Lives?
        Please direct inquiries to question [at] mmt.org.

        How can I stay up to date on Justice Oregon?

        We will share information at mmt.org/justiceoregon and through our newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. You can also follow Meyer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.