Dozens of local businesses support pilot program during Juneteenth weekend
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A local organization is rallying support for their Black Resilience Fund in honor of Juneteenth.
Dozens of businesses have committed to supporting a unique pilot program this holiday weekend - to help transform lives right here in the Portland metro area.
“Our mission is to inspire racial healing,” Cameron Whitten, Founder and CEO of Brown Hope, said.
Whitten said adjusting to life in Portland has had its challenges, but instead of losing hope, he decided to create it. He founded the non-profit organization Brown Hope in 2018.
In 2020, the Black Resilience Fund was born.
“To provide immediate financial assistance to Black Oregonians in need,” Whitten said.
The mission resonated - and they’ve been able to distribute thousands of micro-grants. Now – a new village-building program – is in the works.
“We have 25 Black families in Multnomah County who are part of BRF’s new income-guarantee pilot, receiving up to $2,000/month in guaranteed income,” Whitten said.
And Whitten said the fund’s Juneteenth Campaign featured more than 50 local businesses participating this holiday weekend.
“Donating a percentage of sales of profits that will go directly to the 25 families,” Whitten said.
Flutter, a gift shop in Portland, is one of those businesses.
“We sell a little bit of everything – vintage stuff, new stuff,” Cristin Hinesley, of Flutter, said.
Flutter has been a staple on North Mississippi Avenue for 17 years, and Hinesley believes connecting and giving back to the community they serve is important.
“More than business. They’re about places where people connect with each other and care about each other and look out for each other,” Hinesley said.
It’s these connections that moves the hope the organization was founded on forward.
“Together, we can heal and be a city and a community that bridges the racial divide,” Whitten said.
Those families selected to be a part of the pilot program were a part of an open application process with over 11,000 applicants. The 25 families were selected based on essays about their challenges and goals for the community.
Learn more about the organization at brownhope.org.
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