Portland, OR— One of the oldest civil rights organizations in the state is turning to the hippest and freshest fundraising platform to tell the story of Oregon’s Black community. Today we are launching our first ever crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo.com to fund the latest version of their eminent State of Black Oregon report, due to be published in the fall of 2014.
The State of Black Oregon crowdfunding campaign will launch at 2pm on Indiegogo, featuring a one-minute video called “I See You” by Portland filmmaker Dawn Jones of Hearts & Sparks productions. The film, with music by the Cabin Project, seeks to affirm the visibility of a community that is often marginalized and invisible to many Oregonians. We hope to raise $35,000 toward the cost of production. Individuals can join backers such as the United Way of Columbia-Willamette and Portland State University to support the seminal report. Although the Urban League will continue to seek funding to cover the more than $100,000 price tag from conventional funders, the “I See You” campaign marks a milestone for the organization’s grassroots fund raising.
“We want the Black community, our members, and champions of justice everywhere to feel ownership of this State of Black Oregon report,” said Michael Alexander, President and CEO of the Urban League of Portland. “It is a way that everyone can be a part of and contribute to our movement for equity and justice. Our first State of Black Oregon had a profound impact in the State, but there is so much more to do. We believe that the State of Black Oregon 2014 will highlight the creativity and innovation that Oregon has to gain from its Black communities and show how marginalization and underinvestment have diminished the impact of one of Oregon’s greatest assets.”
Through the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, people can donate as little as $5 dollars and as much as $5000 to cover the cost of outreach, research, design and printing. This crowdfunding campaign is an opportunity for individuals to support a project owned by, written by and for the community, covering the places in urban and rural Oregon, where the presence of the Black community is often overlooked. These Oregonians will be paramount in telling their own story. The report will illuminate the experiences of Black Oregonians all over the state, including Eugene, Bend, Coos Bay, Eastern and rural Oregon. The State of Black Oregon 2014 will provide an opportunity for many to tell their story for the first time.
The last State of Black Oregon was released in 2009. As the first major snapshot of one of Oregon’s growing communities of color, it was a significant event in the State. It was a groundbreaking report, combining data, narrative and African American’s lived experience to illustrate the social and economic reality of Black Oregonians. It told the story of Oregon’s Black community and illustrated its humanity and resilience, providing a human face to the issues of poverty, gentrification, educational achievement and entrepreneurship. The State of Black Oregon also set out solutions and issued a call to action.
Update: Feb 8, 2014: The Indiegogo campaign is now closed. Thank you so much to all of our funders for your support!