Justice Oregon grants highlight innovation, exploration through partnership


This post has been updated to reflect the total funding amount for the planning phase of these collaborative grants: $2.6 million.

To achieve Black liberation, we must build power within Black communities; calling on one another to form interdependent networks of nourishment and celebration. We’ve heard this often from our conversations with folks on the frontlines: our impact could be so much larger if we had the time and resources to collaborate with one another. Some groups have found innovative ways to make this happen, but many still need dedicated space, staff and funding to fully realize goals.

In our latest round of funding for Justice Oregon for Black Lives, we’ve reimagined our approach, asking organizations to form collaboratives that will sustain thriving Black ecosystems in Oregon. By removing barriers to maintain long-term partnerships, collaborative funding enables groups to bring their breadth of expertise to tackle systemic issues. These partnerships will allow organizations to learn from one another, share data and strategize, building upon the momentum set forth by those who came before us.

We believe in the strength of the collective. Social justice movements of the past and present knew this to be true as well.

The “Big Five” civil rights groups worked together to bring tens of thousands to the March on Washington, advocating for desegregation and voting rights. The Chicago Black Panther Party joined ranks with the Young Lords and Young Patriots, forming the cross-cultural group, Rainbow Coalition, to combat police brutality and substandard housing. Today, the Black Lives Matter movement utilizes a “leaderful” model where grassroots organizations and those at the forefront of injustice collectively lead this ongoing pursuit.

I believe that if there can be some form of reparative action for the Black community here, then it can happen across the United States. And that can benefit all communities, not just ours. If we can start here.

Since 2020, 133 groups across the state have been funded through Justice Oregon for Black Lives, totaling $21.4 million. Now, we seek to deepen our impact by creating space for organizations — that are already doing vital work — to dream big and create lasting, systemic change together.

We are excited to announce the following 14 collaboratives that will receive a total of $2.6 million for the planning phase of these transformational projects.

HOLLA School joins Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators and Warner Pacific University to create a Black teacher recruitment and retainment pipeline.

Building Blocks 2 Success alongside McDaniel High School, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Oregon State University and National Society of Black Engineers Portland Chapter will establish a comprehensive and impactful STEM education ecosystem in Portland with a focus on Black students.

Black Educational Achievement Movement (BEAM)The Blueprint Foundation, Play Grow Learn and other community partners will form an integrated network of community-based organizing to support Black youth in East Multnomah County.

KairosPDX is partnering with Black Parent Initiative, Albina Vision Trust and BEAM to transform the former Portland Public School property in Albina into a Center for Black Student Excellence by forming a youth council to garner input from impacted students on the Center’s function and processes.

A Black Art Ecology of Portland will collaborate with community partners to identify and prepare for a range of long term activities that support the creation and preservation of Black art in all mediums throughout Portland and beyond.

Ori Gallery joins Black & Beyond the Binary Collective, Liberation Medicine School and West Coast Black Circus to create a safety network for Black Trans folks in the Pacific Northwest.

Equitable Giving Circle, The Numberz.fm and AfroVillage will map out the feasibility of building a network of buildings owned by Black-serving nonprofits.

Imagine Black Futures is partnering with The Rosewood Initiative and Black Community of Portland to establish a Black worker center in East Multnomah County.

Leaders Become Legends alongside Constructing Hope and NWXcelerator will establish a green technology pathway center in Gresham.

Feed'em Freedom Foundation joins Black Food Fund, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition/Black Futures Farm and Black Oregon Land Trust to establish a collective thriving of Black food systems.

Unite Oregon is partnering with Black Economic Collective, Keep Growing Seeds and The BIPOC Rise Moor Healing Center to create a Black wellness center in East Portland.

Black Parent Initiative alongside Black Men's Wellness and Be the Healing will plan a 2025 healing symposium on Black trauma and wellness.

African American Alliance for Homeownership (AAAH), Taking Ownership and Constructing Hope will expand access and increase efficiency for clients, support a burgeoning Black workforce in the green technology industry and build awareness around the opportunities for homeowners and contractors.

POIC+RAHS will collaborate with Be the Healing and Journeys Oregon to develop a community safety worker (CSW) model to combat violence in the Black community.