Start Date: 08/24/2020
End Date: 12/30/2020
Applications for COVID-19 Black Relief Fund Open Now!
Across the country, the Black community has faced greater harm from the pandemic. The same is true in Oregon. Black Oregonians are approximately four times more likely to contract COVID-19 than white people, according to the Oregon Health Authority (1). The global pandemic has widened and exacerbated the longstanding inequities that existed before the virus, hitting Black Americans harder than whites in terms of job and wage loss, the number of financial reserves on hand and the ability to pay monthly bills (2). Black leaders in Oregon suggest this gap can begin to narrow through targeted economic investments in Black people, Black-owned businesses, and Black community-based organizations.
A convening of Black Community leaders met, over the course of six weeks, to discuss the ways the Black community was being left out of coronavirus funding efforts as well as craft remedial action to address those concerns. The Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency was born with a request for disaggregated data, targeted universalism, and a $62 million fund for Black people and families, Black-owned businesses, and Black-led community-based organizations. The Oregon Cares Fund highlights the strength of a diverse leadership coalition aligned on behalf of the Black community’s interests.
In July, the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board voted to allocate $62 million for The Oregon Cares Fund, a targeted cash investment in the Black Community to weather the global health pandemic and ensuing recession. In addition, the Emergency Board allocated another ~$140 million from the federally funded CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund toward other specific communities and sectors.
About the Fund
The Fund provides cash relief to qualifying Black families, Black-owned businesses, and Black-led nonprofits using grants. The Council of Trust, composed of eleven Black leaders from across the state of Oregon, is charged with guiding the Fund. Two nonprofits, The Black United Fund and The Contingent, were selected by the larger Black convening group to administer the grant application and disbursement process. Applications will be reviewed in three application periods. Due to the high volume, it will take a few weeks after submission for applicants to receive funding notifications. Applicants can apply to the fund beginning August 24, 2020, at thecontingent.org/oregon-cares.
In making this targeted investment, Black leaders and the Oregon Legislature have made sure we lift up our most vulnerable communities, not leave them behind. This investment is a small step toward helping a community that would be otherwise devastated by this global health and economic pandemic and struggle to remain afloat.
About The Contingent
The Contingent (previously Portland Leadership Foundation) has been in operation in the state of Oregon since 2008. Key facts about The Contingent:
● The Contingent serves all 36 counties in Oregon.
● Currently, The Contingent partners with the Department of Human Services to oversee the responsibility for Oregon’s foster family recruitment through Every Child (www.everychildoregon.org).
● The Contingent also partners with the Department of Corrections to facilitate Know Me Now.
● The Contingent has a rich history serving the Black community through a wide range of programs.
About The Black United Fund of Oregon
The Black United Fund has been in operation in the state of Oregon since 1983.
● For over 35 years, Black United Fund of Oregon has been committed to providing financial support and life-changing programs for low-income communities and communities of color in Oregon.
● The Black United Fund provides a range of educational programs designed to help advance students of color. These include: scholarships, mentorship programs and networking events.
● The Black United Fund supports nonprofits through their Nonprofit Mentorship
1.) Oregon Health Authority weekly reports June 17 through August 12, 2020,https://www.oregon.gov/oha/erd/pages/covid-19-news.aspx
2.) Financial and health impacts of COVID-19 vary widely by race and ethnicity (Pew Research Center)
Registration details: https://thecontingent.org/oregon-cares/application/