MRG Foundation has a long history of funding new, radical, and risky groups that other foundations, and many donors, won’t fund. Before they gained recognition, we funded groups like Cascade AIDS Project, Street Roots, Causa, and UNITE Oregon. This spring we continued this important work by providing $162,000 to 14 grassroots groups across Oregon.

These groups are: organizing survivors of intimate cultural violence, providing culturally specific gathering spaces within the Oregon State Penitentiary, organizing against police brutality, and more. Learn more about the important work of our spring 2017 grantees:

350Deschutes Bend– $9,000

350Deschutes, an ardent advocate for climate policy locally and statewide, advocates for Oregon state carbon pricing, transitioning from coal to clean energy, and the elimination of fossil fuel projects. They work primarily in Central Oregon to provide educational opportunities to raise awareness, build power within their community, and effect policy change in the region and across the state in hopes of having climate justice for all.

Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rogue Coos Bay- $9,000

The Confederated Tribes of the Lower Rogue was founded in 1996 to reclaim local Native people’s history, language, culture, and sovereignty. They have worked to revive the Tututni Language, begun the long process to regain tribal recognition from the federal government, and established the annual Gathering of the People, which is held each September in Southern Oregon.

Don’t Shoot Portland Portland– $10,000

Don’t Shoot Portland was founded in August of 2014 after Michael Brown was fatally shot by a member of the Ferguson, MO Police Department. Their mission is to function as community advocates, engaging in and organizing community dialogue, and participating in non-violent direct actions in order to bring attention to the important issues of race, poverty, police accountability, and violence.

Komemma Cultural Protection Association Yoncalla- $8,000

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. Native inmates lead the Lakota Club, and through their organizing, the Lakota Club is preserving, restoring, and sustaining their Indian heritage and connection with the broader Native community.

Latino Club Salem- $6,000
Located in the Oregon State Penitentiary, the Latino Club’s vision is to create an environment within the prison that ensures everyone has the same access to education and work opportunities, regardless of race or ability to speak English. By tackling issues of racism and discrimination, the Latino Club helps their members successfully transition back into their communities.

Lower Columbia Hispanic Council Astoria– $8,000

The Lower Columbia Hispanic Council is a community based organization that provides specific services to the Latinx community in Clatsop, Columbia, and Tillamook counties. As the only Latinx focused and led organization on the North Coast, LCHC works to assist their community in issues around immigration, racism, and civic engagement.

Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas Woodburn– $9,000

Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas is a group of women farmworkers who are organizing to promote long-term social change by fostering women farmworker’s skills and self-confidence. MLP organizes to overcome exploitation and injustice and improve living and working conditions for all farmworkers.

Oregon Rural Action La Grande– $15,000

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.

Portland Parent Union Portland– $9,000

Race and income are key indicators of student achievement. PPS Parent Union is organizing low-income families and families of color to advocate for policy changes in the Portland Public Schools, specifically focusing on persistent gaps in achievement and opportunity between white students and students of color.

Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality Salem– $15,000

According to every indicator of academic achievement, students of color are being left far behind 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.

Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project Portland– $18,000

Voz 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.

Welcome Home Coalition Portland– $9,000

The Welcome Home Coalition (WHC) believes in a community that invests in safe, stable, affordable homes for everyone. Since August of 2014, WHC has been dedicated to building a movement to identify a solution to the affordable housing crisis with new, dedicated revenue to adequately fund critical housing programs, affordable housing development, and homeownership opportunities.

KPOV High Desert Community Radio Bend– $14,000
KPOV is radio by the people and for the people of Central Oregon. KPOV strengthens community and democracy by providing quality programming on topics of local interest and giving a voice to local communities through grassroots participation in independent, non-commercial radio.


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