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When Giving Back is not enough…creating community in a vacuum

I think about the time before I met Valaida Fullwood, the creative genius behind the book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists. This was a time before I knew someone had attempted to quantify and qualify the phenomenal giving of people of African descent. A time before what I have always […] More »

Connecting Identity, Art, and Activism: Introducing MRG’s 2017 Lilla Jewel Awardees

As our leaders and institutions attempt to silence women, activists, and especially women activists, now more than ever, we need to lift each other up. MRG is celebrating, elevating, and sharing women’s voices through our Lilla Jewel Fund. Women tell their own stories: the stories of their friends, families, and neighbors, and allow us to […] More »

Building partnerships through challenging conversations: MRG and Concordia University

As a grant-making  foundation focused on racial and social justice, we have a unique responsibility rooted in our privilege and power. We engage in challenging conversations and build partnerships that confront institutional oppression to build communities where people, cultures, and ecosystems thrive. A little over a year ago, we started the journey of bringing Giving […] More »

The Power of Design at The Soul of Philanthropy

Dimeji Onafuwa is the Portland Exhibit Designer of Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy, Reframed and Exhibited. He also serves as the Communications Designer for the national exhibit and his company designed the book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists by Valaida Fullwood and Charles W. Thomas, Jr. He sat down […] More »

A Conversation about Giving Back with Romaine Harris and Stephan Herrera

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down over lunch with my long-time friend, community elder, and MRG volunteer and long time supporter, Romaine Harris. We talked about giving back and her experience visiting Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy, Reframed and Exhibited. Stephan Herrera: What does giving back mean to you? Romaine Harris: Giving […] More »

Our Actions in Response to Inauguration Day and the Work Ahead

MRG’s Reaction to Inauguration Day and Our Work Ahead  On Friday January 20, 2017 the 45th President of the United States was inaugurated and our country entered into a political era rooted in hate and fear that is trying to silence and divide us. Each of us at MRG Foundation marked this transition by choosing […] More »

Building Collective Power by Coming Together

MRG’s mission is to inspire people to work together for justice and mobilize resources for Oregon communities as they work to change the world. As we enter into a new political climate rooted in hate and injustice, it is more important than ever to come together and build collective power. Over the next couple of weeks […] More »

Transforming Giving through Donor Advised Funds

Community organizing and social justice are what I do. I have spent much of my later life volunteering with community organizing non-profits and organizing with those who are marginalized. This commitment to social justice pushed me to think about the best ways to support the movement and share my passion with my family. Philanthropy is […] More »

Transforming …. grassroots groups through the Capacity Building Initiative

As a social justice funder,  our position in the community is unique. MRG’s activist-led grantmaking funds Oregon’s social justice movement in partnership with our grantees. This year the Capacity Building Initiative (CBI), a joint project of MRG and Meyer Memorial Trust, was established to work with both our grantees and philanthropic partners in new ways. […] More »

Transforming…Organizing through Seed Funding

It started at the intersection of respect and dignity in the streets of Portland. Ibrahim Mubarak, other houseless community leaders, and I came together to organize for the rights of the houseless in Portland as we faced discrimination and unfair city practices. Many felt voiceless and powerless, but there was resolve to work for change. […] More »