Each year, NECN awards grant monies to projects in inner N/NE neighborhoods. The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) provides funding for the grants program to the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, along with Portland’s six other Neighborhood Coalitions. The purpose of the grants program is to provide neighborhood and community organizations with the opportunity to improve the quality of life for residents of inner North/Northeast Portland. For 2017, eight grants of $1,500 – $2,000 each were awarded to collaborative, community-based projects in the Coalition’s 11 Inner N/NE Portland neighborhoods.
NECN’s 2017 grantees represent a diverse groups of participants, with projects that range from minority focused community health services to youth environmental education to food insecurity. The awards will go to:
- Health on the Corner – Health Fair: A partnership between North by Northeast Community Health Clinic, CareOregon and OHSU’s Casey Eye Center to provide health screenings, patient education, assistance with health plans navigation, sign up and apt. setting for community residents.
- The Vanport Mosaic Reunion Dinner and Oral History Screening: A collective of diverse artists, storytellers, educators, and historians will capture, honor and preserve the experiences of those who lived in the city of Vanport, through a 4 day festival, starting on May 26, 2017. Festival activities include: screenings of oral histories, theatre, poetry, music and tours of historical sites and a Reunion Dinner.
- Boise Bulletin: The Boise Bulletin Youth Empowerment Program is a collaboration between Know Your City and various, local artists and educators; working with students from Boise-Eliot School to produce a community newspaper that features profiles on “food justice” issues surrounding Boise-Eliot School.
- Racing to Change: Oregon’s Civil Rights Years: Sponsored by the Oregon Black Pioneers and the Oregon Historical Society; this project includes a 3,000 sq. foot, interactive exhibit that will feature programs about courage and struggle and progress of Oregon’s black residents during the 1960’s & 1970’s. On display at Oregon Historical Museum from Jan. 15 – June 28, 2018.
- Backpack Books: The Portland Backpack Lunch Program, which has provided week-end lunch sacks for eligible students at King and Woodlawn Schools for the past 9 years, will use NECN grant funds to include two, new books for each of the approximately 150 students participating in the program.
- Youth Community Organizing Camp: Create Plenty’s High School Environmental Leadership Project (HELP) engages Portland High School students to become climate justice advocates. NECN grant funds will foster partnership with Urban League of Portland, IRCO and other organizations to recruit and cultivate students of color to this effort.
- Young Artists of Color Become Community Leaders: A partnership between the Concordia Neighborhood Assoc., Northeast Portland Tool Library and Beaumont Middle School Art Program; this project will teach 8 youth of color to take on a community project from start to finish. The youth will rejuvenate the bathroom structure at Fernhill Park, including design and installation of a mural.
- Neighbors Cooking Together: This project is a partnership with Leaven Community and Woodlawn Farmers Market to establish two Community Kitchen cooking groups supporting people of color: One group will build a community dinner modeled after Mudbone Farm’s dinner which brought African American Farmers together around issues of Food sovereignty. The other group will engage members of Leaven’s bi-lingual community, focusing on buying, cooking and connecting across cultures.