The General Fund Grantmaking Committee evaluate proposals for the two General Fund cycles each year. This committee is responsible for the majority of our grassroots grantmaking, distributing $450,000 each year.
Chris Baker does community engagement, organizing and advocacy work at Hunger-Free Oregon. She holds two degrees in Gender, Race and Nations with emphasis on Community Health Equity from Portland State University. Chris has 10 years of lived experience of poverty and food insecurity and is dedicated to surrounding herself in work that supports grassroots social change, women’s empowerment and advocacy, and policy changes that reduce racial, social and gendered disparities. Outside of work, Chris lives in the suburbs of Portland with her two boys, a chocolate lab named Lucy and a wacky great dane mix named Luna, all of which are the center of her universe.
Alessandra de la Torre
Alessandra de la Torre is the Bilingual Organizer for Unite Oregon, Rogue Valley Chapter. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she grew up among many shades and types of people, which instilled in her the beauty of differences. This has prompted her goal to increase diverse representation and education in Southern Oregon, where she currently resides. Alessandra is proud of being a Xicana from immigrant parents and a first-generation high school and college graduate. She disseminates important and empowering information to those who have been historically marginalized and, through political advocacy, civic engagement, grassroots organizing and community building, she believes we can make systematic change, positive cultural shifts, and individual and social healing.
Bruce has worked for the Central Oregon community and social justice groups as an organizer, executive, and developer since 2002. He has served as Executive Director for Human Dignity Coalition, coordinator at the Central Oregon Social Justice Center, and currently as Development and Programming Director at KPOV in Central Oregon. He has a law degree and practiced law for many years. After 15 years as a corporate attorney the injustice he was facilitating became unbearable. He decided to devote his life to working for justice and supporting the inspiring people who have dedicated their careers to furthering community.
“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.” Rumi
Kathy is a disabled cultural activist and social worker. She works as the Artistic Director of the Disability Art and Culture Project (DACP), where she works for inclusion and equity in the arts and fosters disability culture and pride. She first started dancing with the New Dance Company in Stockton, California. When she moved to Portland, she had trouble finding accessible and welcoming places to dance, which motivated her, along with other Portland area disabled dancers to found the DACP. Prior to DACP, she worked for over 20 years in the area of non-profit and social services in variety of roles that provided her with a rich set of experiences and skills.
Shaun works in sales and marketing for True South Solar. He graduated from Southern Oregon University where he studied business, environmental studies, and corporate sustainability. In 2011, he studied renewable energy in Germany. In 2012, while director of sustainability for student government, he led the establishment of the SOU Green Fund to invest student dollars into local energy, water, and campus sustainability projects. The fund has helped establish three new solar installations on campus and launched the SOU Center for Sustainability.
“I’m looking forward to supporting grassroots leadership in our communities that will work together to create systematic change.”
Lisa is a second generation Jewish Immigrant whose ancestors escaped Russia in fear of prosecution and genocide. Grounded in her roots, Lisa took her first public risk for human rights when, as a university professor, she challenged the unequal treatment of women faculty in the tenure and promotion process. That challenge resulted in significant change to ensure gender fairness. This passion continued over time and is the driver in her current work as the Executive Director at Beyond Toxics, in Eugene Oregon. At Beyond Toxics, Lisa is working to grow the environmental justice movement in Oregon and embed human rights and social justice in all environmental laws.
“Each time I read through a grant submitted to MRG, I feel honored to be a witness to the sweeping vision and revitalizing work that is the progressive force for Oregon’s future!”