MRG Foundation just awarded $225,000 to nineteen amazing groups across Oregon. Including five emerging groups who just received their first MRG Foundation grant! Both established and emerging groups are working throughout Oregon on a wide variety of intersecting issues and they each have tremendous potential to create long-term systemic change in their communities. And check out the groups that are on the front lines of building a just and joyful Oregon:
350PDX, Portland: $9,000 350PDX is building a diverse grassroots movement to help solve the climate crisis. 350PDX envisions a future where greenhouse gas emissions fall to safe levels. Where social, political, and economic systems have shifted to prioritizing just jobs within a fossil-free economy. Where low-income and disadvantages communities are no longer disproportionately affected by the effects of climate change. Where sustaining life takes precedence over corporate profits, leading to healthy, thriving, and resilient communities.
Beyond Toxics, Eugene: $8,000 Exposure to toxins can cause irreparable damage to human health. Beyond Toxics challenges the widespread practice of spraying pesticides on forests, farms, and public areas. They champion the right of everyone to live free from unwanted chemical exposure. Beyond Toxics, partnering with Centro Latino Americano empowers Latino residents in West Eugene to take leadership in organizing for environmental justice.
COFA Alliance National Network, Portland: $9,000 COFA Alliance National Network (CANN) is working for social and economic justice for all Compact of Free Association (COFA) residents in Oregon and beyond. Due to a unique relationship with the US, COFA members cannot attain basic social services like Medicaid or SNAP. CANN’s work ensures that COFA communities are counted, heard, and included in policy making and public discourse. Additionally, they focus on educating the public about the issues facing COFA residents. COFA communities include immigrants and residents from the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Community Alliance of Lane County, Eugene: $12,000 The Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) educates and mobilizes for peace, human dignity, and social, racial and economic justice. CALC fights discrimination against the LGBTQ community and people of color. CALC also provides young people with accurate information about military service and conscientious objector counseling, and advocates for international cooperation and diplomatic efforts to bring about world peace.
Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rogue, Coos Bay: $8,000 The Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rogue was founded in 1996 to reclaim local Native people’s history, language, culture, and sovereignty. Since then they have revived the Tututni Language, begun the long process to regain tribal recognition from the federal government, and established the annual Gathering of the People, held each September in Southern Oregon.
Groundwork Portland, Portland: $14,500 Groundwork Portland is a network of organizations and individuals focused on the principles of environmental, social, and economic justice. They organize in low-income communities to improve the physical environment, enhance quality of life, and increase economic stability through local action by getting local residents, youth, businesses, government, and other organizations involved in practical projects.
Komemma Cultural Protection Association, Yoncalla: $9,000 KCPA preserves the culture, history and traditions of the Kalapuya Indians of Western Oregon. They promote Kalapuya culture and engage American Indian youth in leadership opportunities while dismantling entrenched anti-Indian beliefs, attitudes, and practices in Douglas County.
Lakota Oyate Ki, Salem: $10,000 Lakota Oyate Ki is a Native American culture club located within the walls of the Oregon State Penitentiary. The Lakota Club is organized by Native inmates to provide quality programs and support to address the unique social, cultural, and economic needs of Native inmates. The Lakota Club is led by Native inmates and through their organizing the, Lakota Club is preserving, restoring and sustaining their Indian heritage and connection with the broader Native community.
Northwest Workers’ Justice Project, Portland: $14,500 The Northwest Workers’ Justice Project believes that all workers share a fundamental human right to live and labor with dignity, safety, and hope. NWJP provides legal and strategic support to low-wage workers and their organizations to protect the right to organize, secure the rights of contingent workers and immigrants, and mitigate the negative effects of free trade policies.
Oregon Rural Action, La Grande: $18,000 Based in Eastern Oregon, Oregon Rural Action organizes a wide range of people including immigrants, farmers, ranchers, and loggers to unite around issues such as toxic pesticide exposure in Ontario, food insecurity in Malheur County, and renewable energy development in Union County.
PassinArt: A Theater Company, Portland: $8,000 PassinArt: A Theatre Company is an African American theater company whose mission is to entertain, educate, and inspire artists and audiences while addressing critical issues facing our community. The organizations goal is to present quality yet affordable theatrical productions, staged readings, and educational workshops for African American and multi-racial youth and community members in the Portland Metropolitan area.
Portland Parent Union, Portland: $10,000 Race and income are key indicators of student achievement. PPS Parent Union is organizing poor families and families of color to advocate for policy changes in Portland Public Schools that will address persistent gaps in achievement and opportunity between white students and students of color and lead to greater educational success for all students.
Right 2 Dream Too, Portland: $9,000 If you’re sleep deprived or worried about where you’re going to rest your head tonight, it becomes much harder to organize and advocate for your rights. This is why Right 2 Dream Too (R2D2) provides a safe place where unhoused Portlanders can rest and build community without being under the constant threat of violence from police and private security.
Rogue Climate, Phoenix: $10,000 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: $20,000 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.
Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality, Salem: $18,000 Students of color are being left far behind according to every indicator of academic achievement, when compared to white students. The Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality is a multi-racial community organization that promotes equality in the education system. They have organized hundreds of mostly Spanish-speaking parents to be strong community leaders for education reform in order to eliminate the student achievement gap.
Spect-Actors Collective, Gresham: $8,000 Spect-Actors Collective was founded in 2006 by a group of Latinas envisioning a just society where power is exercised collectively and where the root causes of social and economic injustice are eliminated. Spect-Actors Collective works with immigrant, Latina/o, and Black communities to build collective cultural and organizing capacity in Multnomah, Hood River, Marion, and Washington Counties.
Unidos Bridging Community, McMinnville: $10,000 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.
Voz Workers’ Rights, Education Project Portland: $20,000 Voz Worker’s Rights empowers day laborers to gain control over their working conditions and to exercise their power to address the social and economic injustices that immigrant workers face. Voz also educates the community about the complex forces that have pushed immigrants to come to the U.S. and the need to overcome anti-immigrant sentiment.