Cherry blossom photo

Equity and justice. Working powerfully across differences. Reaching for our dreams. Recognizing interdependence.

These are MRG’s values that drive our work whether through grantmaking, bringing donors and organizers into community, or supporting critical community conversations. MRG Foundation is moving into 2018 strengthening its internal capacity to meet the important needs of our communities rooted in these values.

Transition is often both challenge and opportunity.   We appreciate the notes that community members have shared stressing the need for a strong MRG Foundation. On behalf of the Board and staff, we want you to know we are working hard to make sure MRG’s best work lies ahead, and we know we can get there by working together.

Welcome Cliff Jones and Kelley Weigel.

To support and guide MRG Foundation through this transition process, the Board has contracted with Cliff Jones of Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and Kelley Weigel, former Executive Director of Western States Center. Cliff is taking the lead on organizational assessment, Board leadership and staff structure. Kelley will head up the day to day operations including finance and staff support and work with Cliff to accomplish organizational objectives. Both Cliff and Kelley have longtime connections to MRG having served on the Board and grantmaking committees at different times, as well as having worked in Oregon for social change for several decades. “I’m excited and honored to help MRG at this critical moment to be the resilient organization our times demand for advancing social justice,” shared Cliff. “MRG has always been dear to my heart and instructive to my own political development, I look forward to working with the staff and board.” said Kelley.  You can reach Cliff at [email protected] and Kelley at [email protected].   Staff bios for Cliff and Kelley will be on the website soon.

Thank you Brooks Nelson and best wishes for your new work!

In the midst of transition, we celebrate the contributions that Brooks has made to MRG Foundation over the last few years. Brooks is excited to move on to his new position as Housing Director for Relay Resources in early March. “I feel very strongly about housing, and I am excited to work with this important organization. I’ve been a part of MRG as an activist and donor since the 1990s and while I am leaving staff, I will continue to be a part of MRG’s community.”

Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) cohort kicks off 2018 work together.  

On January 19 and 20, representatives from the 10 CBI groups, grassroots capacity builders, and MRG staff gathered in Eugene for their semi-annual movement building convening.  This meeting focused on political education, strengthening relationships between CBI participants and opportunities for groups to learn from each other.

CBI Director Stephan Herrera reflected, “In this year, I am looking forward working more closely with Grassroots Capacity Builders and MRG Staff to create more opportunities to support cohort participants to build a strong social justice movement in Oregon.” The Capacity Building Initiative (CBI) began in January 2016 to provide multi-year funding, individualized technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities to ten grassroots social change organizations across the state. This project is a partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust.