Late last spring, MRG announced the launch of the Capacity Building Initiative, an exciting new partnership with the Meyer Memorial Trust focused on building the financial and organizational capacity of grassroots social justice groups across Oregon.
Since then, MRG staff and our CBI selection committee have been hard at work reviewing applications and meeting potential participants and I’m excited to announce the ten groups who will be participating in MRG’s Capacity Building Initiative (CBI)! All of the CBI participants will receive $90,000 over the next three years, along with intensive technical assistance and unique peer-learning opportunities.
“We are so excited to be a part of a learning community with other grassroots groups from around the state,” says Kathy Coleman with the Disability Art and Culture Project. At MRG, we’re equally excited to work with these groups and help them overcome barriers to growth, whether those barriers are rooted in fundraising, financial management, grantseeking, communications, or elsewhere.
This is a big moment in MRG’s history, as we increase grantmaking to $825,000 per year, expand long-standing technical assistance efforts into deep organizational development work, and pilot multi-year grants. These big steps are thanks to an incredible partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, the support of donors across Oregon, and amazing on-the-ground activists! Without any further delay…
Meet the Capacity Building Initiative participants!
Beyond Toxics, Eugene
In Oregon, we value our ecosystem and our great outdoors, but all too often, pesticides are threatening our drinking water, salmon habitats, air quality, and health — and the threat is even more real for farmworkers, communities of color, and low-income communities. But Beyond Toxics is working to protect community health and ensure Oregon’s ecological treasures are here for generations to come!
Disability Art and Culture Project, Portland
Disability is a natural and valuable variation of the human form and affirmative disability identity is intertwined with racial, gender, and economic justice. Disability Art and Culture Project furthers the artistic expression of people with disabilities and utilizes the performing arts as a method of developing disability culture and pride.
Latinos Unidos Siempre, Salem
LUS is working toward the educational, cultural, social, and political development of Latino youth by empowering youth to take leadership roles in the community, advocating for social and political change, and combating racist stereotyping and discrimination through grassroots organizing.
Lotus Rising Project, Medford
Lotus Rising Project supports, organizes, and builds the leadership of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) youth and young adults in Southern Oregon. Their mission is to create an inclusive, affirming, and safe community for LGBTQ youth and to combat intolerance in all forms.
Eugene/Springfield NAACP, Eugene
The Eugene/Springfield NAACP is multi-faceted and focuses on creating solutions that will ensure equality of all people by working to eliminate race-based discrimination throughout Lane County. Their chapter primarily focuses on dismantling oppression through their youth programs and eliminating barriers to success for students of color in local schools.
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, Portland
PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Portland Black Chapter promotes the health and well-being of Black LGBTQ Portlanders. The first African American chapter of PFLAG in the nation, the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter organizes and engages the LGBTQ community and allies in organizing, education, and advocacy.
Right 2 Survive, Portland
Right 2 Survive is an organization powered by unhoused people, the formerly unhoused, and their allies. Right 2 Survive advocates for the safety and dignity of unhoused people and confronts the root causes of homelessness. They work to protect everyone’s right to sleep, right to shelter, right to safety, and right to simple living.
Rogue Climate, Phoenix
Rogue Climate is Millennial-led and envisions a bold and diverse climate movement that empowers those most affected by environmental degradation. They’re empowering emerging leaders, building collective power, and working to advance creative solutions to climate change and dismantle exploitative energy systems in Southern Oregon.
Rogue Valley Oregon Action, Medford
RVOA organizes low and moderate income people in Jackson County to develop effective leadership skills and tackle the root causes of critical social and economic justice issues. With a current focus on health care and housing, RVOA is building the broad community base needed to restructure these systems and institutions.
Unidos Bridging Community, McMinnville
Unidos is the leading community organizing group focused on Latino and immigrant issues in rural Yamhill County. An intentionally multi-racial organization, Unidos is composed of both Latino and non-Latino leaders working to build bridges of support and understanding through education, policy advocacy, solidarity, and civic engagement.
The CBI Selection Committee
This work wouldn’t be possible without the help of the CBI selection committee, community leaders with a range of backgrounds and expertise who helped us identify the ten groups that would most benefit from the unique support of the Capacity Building Initiative. A big thank you to each of them!
- Lesley Adams, Ashland, WaterKeeper Alliance
- Sirius Bonner, Portland, MRG Foundation Board of Directors
- Jessica Campbell, Cottage Grove, Rural Organizing Project
- Kayse Jama, Portland, Center for Intercultural Organizing
- Jen Lleras van der Haeghen, Eugene, City of Eugene’s Office of Equity & Human Rights
- Dianne Riley, Portland, Social Justice Fund NW
- Sally Yee, Portland, Meyer Memorial Trust