April 8, 2017

ICYMI: Why a foundation is joining the movement to defend immigrants

A recent interview with Hispanics in Philanthropy shone a spotlight on Affordable Housing Initiative program officer Elisa Harrigan and the work Meyer has been doing around defending the rights and safety of immigrants.

The dialogue with Elisa begins with grantmaking sparked by immigration executive orders in early 2017:

After the recent immigration executive orders by the U.S. president, Meyer’s CEO Doug Stamm responded swiftly. In a post, Stamm called the orders “hateful and inexcusable and counter to the principles of our republic,” and said the foundation group “must stand for the rights of all people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.” As a symbol matching its pocketbook to its principles, the trust has announced $190,000 in grants to organizations on the front lines of immigration battles.This included $20,000 each to the American Civil Liberties Foundation of Oregon and Unite Oregon, a local organization focused on racial justice.

The grants are only the latest Meyer moves dedicated to improving cultural outreach. According to Elisa Harrigan, a Latina leader and officer at Meyer’s Affordable Housing Initiative, the organization has worked hard to become more responsive to the needs of underserved Oregonians. Her presence is one example of that change.

Read more about Elisa in this revealing conversation with Jose Fermoso.