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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 12 May 2022

The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has announced it will reinvest in 24 community-based, culturally-led organizations with $480,000 to support their success and further their positive impact throughout the state. The organizations have been part of a pilot advisory think tank developed in 2020 called the Oregon Black Student Success Network (OBSSN).

“Black people are resilient, we are smart, talented, brave, and beautiful; and our Black children, our Black students, need to know that,” said Tai Harden-Moore, JD, MBA, program officer, Black Student Success, Oregon Community Foundation. “I am hopeful because of the investments that Oregon Community Foundation has made and will continue to make in Black Student Success.”

OBSSN's impact

Since the start of the OBSSN, membership has expanded to five regions across the state. Members support the work of Black Student Success from various perspectives including teacher education in K-12 systems to educational access in postsecondary spaces. Likewise, the OBSSN has been able collaborate on specialized programs and policy advocacy to work with the Oregon Department of Education on statewide reform.

“Black Student Success is about Black students thriving in a system that has historically failed them and their families,” said Vvdaul Holloway, associate program officer, Black Student Success, Oregon Community Foundation. “Our work at Oregon Community Foundation combines community-centered leadership with philanthropic investments in service of system change and true equity for all Oregonians,” Holloway continued.

ocf blk student hallway med(Photo/ Oregon Community Foundation)

Following are some of the community-based organizations that OCF is supporting through Black Student Success:

Elevate Oregon $20,000

To build relationships with urban youth to promote education, self-reliance,and leadership.

“Oregon Community Foundation’s Black Student Success initiative funding is fueling Elevate Oregon's work to close the achievement gap and create educational equity for Black students,” said Donell Morgan, executive director. “The positive impact of culturally responsive in-school and out-of-school mentoring support is empowering Black students to graduate high school with a plan in place for the future and has a ripple effect throughout the community.”

Black Southern Oregon Alliance $20,000

To foster talents and interests of Black students to reach their unlimited potential.

“Black Southern Oregon Alliance is an organization that strives to promote and encourage the Black community in southern Oregon through advocacy, student and parent support, and Equity training,” said D.L. Richardson, president, Black Southern Oregon Alliance and Equity Specialist, Southern Oregon Education Service District. “Without the support of the Oregon Community Foundation and the Black Student Success Network, our organization would never have been able to help the many families we have. The BSSN, is everything to our success.”

 Eugene Springfield NAACP (Unit 1119) $20,000

To pursue educational equality and eliminate race-based discrimination.

“As an organization charged with serving marginalized communities throughout Lane County and —at times— the counties to our east and south, the funds, support structures, and overall community that the Oregon Black Student Success Network endows us are instrumental towards our branch rising to the full potential of our current and future opportunity,” said Miles Pendleton, branch president and executive committee chair, Eugene Springfield NAACP (Unit 1119). “More than a financial support or economic stimulus, Oregon Community Foundation’ Black Student Success initiative is an investment in minoritized students and some organizations striving in their service. This renewal grant will bring new life and energy to our work with the Black youth we serve as we hope to support them towards lifting their full voice, and raising to their full height, despite being systemically taught to do otherwise.”

ocf blk student cards med(Photo/ Oregon Community Foundation)

Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center + Rosemary Anderson High School (POIC + RAHS) $20,000

To reconnect alienated at-risk youth with an education.

“This renewal of funding for Black Student Success confirms Oregon Community Foundation’s commitment and the importance of providing support to students that have historically been an afterthought,” says Joe McFerrin II, president and CEO of POIC + RAHS. “Rosemary Anderson Schools continue to purposefully and actively engage with Black students to rewrite life stories, so students achieve their educational goals.”

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