It is with mixed emotions that I announce the departure of D’Artagnan Caliman, director of the Justice Oregon for Black Lives initiative. His last day at Meyer will be February 1.
D’Artagnan joined us in 2020 as the director of Justice Oregon for Black Lives, Meyer’s largest single initiative in history. We are incredibly grateful for his efforts to connect and deepen Meyer’s relationships in the community, his leadership in expanding participatory processes in our grantmaking and for all he has done to ensure that Black-led and Black-serving organizations in Oregon are empowered and resourced to do their vital work. With his departure, we lose one of Meyer’s most authentic voices; a colleague who took the work seriously, but never himself.
Under his leadership, Meyer has distributed nearly $9 million to dozens of organizations through Justice Oregon and brought a significant number of first-time awardees to the mix. A sixth-generation Oregonian, D’Artagnan’s lived experience in the historically Black neighborhoods of Portland have helped to inform his efforts and approach, including the early and important work of convening dozens of community leaders to develop the initiative’s main funding priorities. In addition, all grants made through the initiative have benefited from community input and review. D’Artagnan’s leadership has ensured that Justice Oregon is truly an initiative by and for the Black community.
We wish D’Artagnan all the best as he takes a well-deserved moment to breathe and decide on what his next chapter will look like.
I also want to assure our grantees and partners that Meyer remains committed to Justice Oregon. As we enter its third year, we are excited to continue funding excellent work and sharing more about our learnings through the initiative.