Author Archive

June 5, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI, PDX Roots

PCRI is proud to present the 2nd annual Portland Roots Festival. Once again, we are coming together to promote healthy living through nutrition and exercise by tapping into the rich and ancient sustainable food practices of the African people. We will highlight the different yet similar avenues these cultures took through celebrating the food practices of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro- Latin, and African Diaspora populations of Portland, Oregon.

Roots Festival PosterThe celebration will feature some of Portland’s tastiest Afro-food vendors, a variety of fun and educational health-related activities for the whole family, and plentiful information from local health based organizations. PCRI residents will be there to share their healthy food access journey through community gardening, nutrition education, senior food bank, and youth summer health camp. We’re excited to have you and your organization participate in the event and help PCRI continue enriching our residents’ lives through the promotion of healthy life choices.

Event Details
Sunday, August 10, 2014
12PM – 8PM
Pioneer Courthouse Square
701 SW 6th Avenue Portland, OR

The event will feature local performers, a key-note speaker, African, African-American, Afro- Latin and Afro-Caribbean food vendors, local non-profits, and micro-entrepreneurs. We expect about 5,000 people to attend the festival and we invite you to join us.

Questions about Portland Roots Festival?
Contact Whitney Shaw or Melody Padilla by email (click a name to send an email message) or by phone: (503) 288-2923.

Interested in volunteering?  CLICK HERE to read about Roots Festival volunteer needs and opportunities.

June 5, 2014 · by Staff · PCRI, PDX Roots

girlspicturePCRI is proud to present the Second Annual Portland Roots Festival at Pioneer Courthouse Square–and we’re looking for volunteers to help make this year’s event even more fun and successful than last year!  Volunteers play a critical role to in the success of the event and will be provided with meal vouchers and pre-event orientation.  Will you join us?

Interested volunteers should download the Roots Festival Volunteer Packet (link HERE) or contact Jessie Blanchard via email or at (503) 287-4009.

The Portland Roots Festival (read more about the festival HERE) has specific needs for four volunteer roles. Please read more about volunteer needs below and note that we will do our best to match you with your desired volunteer role, but we appreciate your flexibility to fill other roles depending on needs the day of the event.  On-site event staff, in addition to the Volunteer Coordinator, will be available to assist you with any questions the day of the event.

Volunteer Positions

  • Information Team: This role involves welcoming attendees at one of our information tables. Volunteers who work in this role will greet people who arrive, check other volunteers in/out of the event, and provide people with information about the event. Most importantly they should be warm and friendly!
  • Production Team: This role involves assisting participants (vendors, artists, partners, etc.) with information about on-site loading/unloading, when and where to setup/takedown, and directing them to their PCRI staff contact.
  • Youth Activity Team: This role involves helping with PCRI’s youth activity booth. Volunteers will welcome kids and families to the booth and provide information about the day’s activities.
  • Peace Keeper Team: This role involves keeping the festival clean and maintained. Volunteers will be walking around to keep an eye on the appearance of the event and directing visitors to on-site facilities (water, recycling, composting, etc.).

Click HERE to download the Roots Festival Volunteer packet (including an information sheet to return with your contact information and preferred volunteer role).  For questions or more information about volunteering, please contact Jessie Blanchard at PCRI.

June 5, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

From July 14 to July 25, 2014, PCRI’s Park Terrace Community Center will be abuzz with the Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Camp.  The two-week camp teaches youth the importance of staying active and making healthy eating choices–and empowers them to put those lessons into practice.  The HEAL camp is free for PCRI residents, but is open to other youth with tuition based on a sliding scale based on family income.

Heal Camp 1The 2014 camp builds on the success of prior years.  Youth will learn dance from a variety of instructors–everything from Hip Hop to Belly Dancing (keeping it age-appropriate, of course).  Adding to their dance skills, camp participants will create an animated video Youth will also benefit from cooking classes and by making smoothies from berries they pick themselves. As with prior years, the food prepared by youth in the camp will be combined into a cookbook (check back for those recipes!). Adding to their dance and cooking skills, camp participants will also create an animated video about the camp’s activities.

Prior years’ participants have learned valuable skills in Ninja School, discovered new favorites visiting local farms, and had fun learning about food and gardening while making seed bombs.  Classes will be held at Park Terrace Community Center and Maya Angelou Community Center Monday through Friday from July 14-18 and July 21-25, 2014.

For more information, to register, or to learn more about sliding-scale tuition, please contact Jessie Blanchard, Resident Services Coordinator at PCRI, by e-mail or at (503) 287-4009.  Registration and consent forms must be received by PCRI no later than June 20, 2014 to confirm enrollment in the camp.

Want to Help?

Our camps depend on support and donations of the community!

We are specifically looking for gift cards for snacks, and donations of gardening supplies for the activities, as well as monetary donations to help cover the expense of professional staff members who will lead organized classes.  Donations can be made online HERE.

June 5, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

PCRI is excited to host the annual Maya Angelou Summer Youth Arts Camp for youth ages 5-18.  The two-week camp is a highly anticipated opportunity for youth to use their imaginations and express their creativity in a supportive environment that builds character and confidence.  The arts camp is free for PCRI residents, but is open to other youth with tuition based on a sliding scale based on family income.

Maya Arts Camp 2011For 2014, the Maya Angelou Arts Camp will give youth a chance to be their star of their own puppet play.  Instructors from Oregon Children’s Theater will guide youth through the process of creating the puppets and the play.  The camp will be held August 11-15 and August 18-22, 2014 and will culminate in a showcase performance on August 22, 2014.

In addition to the puppet play, the two-week camp will feature projects from different art disciplines involving various media.  Prior art camp projects included murals, painted chairs, mosaics and other activities.

The Maya Angelou Art Camp was started in 2004 by a community member as a free summer program for the children at the Maya Angelou Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood. After supporting the camp for several years, PCRI recently incorporated the camp into regular programming at the Maya Angelou Community Center.  The Maya Angelou Art Camp, as well as PCRI’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Camp provide opportunities for growth and development for youth residing in PCRI housing and the surrounding community who typically lack access to summer programs and healthy foods outside of school.

For more information, to register, or to learn more about sliding-scale tuition, please contact Jessie Blanchard, Resident Services Coordinator at PCRI by e-mail or at (503) 287-4009.  Registration and consent forms must be received by PCRI no later than July 5, 2014 to confirm enrollment in the camp.

Want to Help?

Our camps depend on support and donations of the community!

We are specifically looking for gift cards for snacks, and donations of art supplies for the activities, as well as monetary donations to go toward paying for professional staff members who will lead organized classes.  Donations can be made online HERE.

May 15, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

PCRI invites residents and community members to join Attorney J. Ashlee Albies for a “Know Your Rights” workshop to help stop workplace discrimination.  The interactive workshop will help participants learn more about:

  •  Protected classes
  •  Signs of discrimination
  •  How to take action!

Please mark your calendar join us on Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 11am-1pm at the Margaret Carter Neighborhood Network Center, 626 NE Brazee Street (entrance on NE 7th Avenue, between Brazee and Sacramento).

Have questions?  Want more information?  Contact Nuhamin at the Margaret Carter Neighborhood Network Center.

J. Ashlee AlbiesAbout the presenterJ. Ashlee Albies is an associate at Creighton and Rose, P.C.  Her legal practice focuses on civil rights and employee-side employment law. Ashlee also supports democratic workspaces and serves as an advisor to local consumer and worker cooperatives.  She is Co-chair of the Portland chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive bar association with nationwide membership, and periodically sits on its national executive board.  Ashlee currently serves on the steering committees of the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Committee and the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform.

Follow the link above for more details and her full profile.

May 9, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

PCRI celebrates all mothers for Mother’s Day, May 11!  Women head 92% of all households with children who receive Housing Choice Vouchers, so affordable housing isn’t just a Mother’s Day gift—it’s an important tool to empower mothers and to break the cycle of poverty for entire families. We’re proud to provide stable, affordable housing to all of the moms that are part of the PCRI family.  Happy Mother’s Day!


The attached photo is of Ameia Vaughn and her mom from the Community Cycling Center’s 2011 Bike Drive, fyi.  It’s also here:

May 5, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

You can help Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

Fred MeyerDid you know that when you and anyone you know shops at Fred Meyer, the Fred Meyer Rewards program will donate money to PCRI?

With the shopping at Fred Meyer you already do, you can help fund the work PCRI does to support Portland families!


Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give.

Here’s how the program works:

  • Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to PCRI at You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number (80010).
  • Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping PCRI earn a donation!
  • You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
  • If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.

Download the Rewards Program flyer for more information and to share the program information with your family and friends!

April 16, 2014 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI

The Urban League of Portland’s

2014 Summer Youth Employment Programs

Science camp at Gunderson


Applications for the Urban League of Portland’s 2014 Summer Youth Programs are available now online and at the Urban League offices at 10 N Russell Street.

The Urban League of Portland’s Youth Programs serve to shepherd the youth in our community and empower them to achieve. We foster interactive academic and real-world experiences that help students develop leadership, life and social skills, self-esteem, and cultural pride. Urban League Youth programs are designed to: prepare youth to be successful; encourage them to pursue post secondary education; and exposes them to career options.

Learn more about the Urban League of Portland’s Summer Youth Programs & download applications:


Thanks to the generosity of Comcast the Urban League of Portland is able to offer these programs free of charge to youth.

The Summer Youth Employment Programs for High School students and young adults ages 18-25 are four week summer programs designed to: prepare African American youth for entering the realm of employment; positively impact high school completion; encourage and prepare youth to pursue a college education, apprenticeship or career focused training.

Additionally, High School students and young adults ages 18-25 have the opportunity to volunteer as Camp Counselors at this year’s 4-H Summer Camp. This is a great opportunity to gain work experience, enjoy the outdoors, develop leadership skills, and give back to the community. Applications can be found online here, and at the Urban League of Portland offices at 10 N Russell.


Please contact Susan Johnson
503.280.2600 ext.620 


December 17, 2013 · by Staff · PCRI

Saturday, December 21,2013, Portland’s Black Parent Initiative (BPI) will hosting their annual Black Parent Initiative Holiday Parent Fair from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The event will showcase parent education workshops and will feature gifts, music, food and fun.

BPI Fair“It’s a great opportunity for parents who’ve been unable to join us to enjoy more of our weekly scheduled classes and get resources from our community partners,” says Charles McGee, President and CEO of the Black Parent Initiative.

Childcare will be provided for children ages 3-12.

The Black Parent Initiative Holiday Parent Fair
December 21, 2013 | 11am-2:00pm

McCoy Village Community Room
4430 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

For more information, visit The Black Parent Initiative website at  Workshops at the fair include:

Literacy Traditions in the Black Community:
“Literacy Advice for Adults Raising Black Children.”

This informative workshop focuses on the reading traditions in the Black Community. This workshop will also highlight the importance of African-American presence in our reading selections. Using Imagery of African Americans to not only inspire but to motivate Black children to read and become culturally responsive to literature.

Balancing Home, Life, Balance:

This workshop will highlight tools and strategies needed to help better balance our hectic lives. The discussion will give strategies as to highlight how to best navigate when facing the challenges of having a demanding job, kids and families. The facilitator will provide tangible tools that can be implemented for organizing and maintaining a healthy life, without having to do it all!

November 20, 2013 · by Staff · PCRI

giving tuesday logo white

#GivingTuesday is a national campaign on December 3, 2013, just following “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” that will create a day of giving to celebrate and encourage the community to participate in charitable activities.

This year, PCRI is thrilled to be a part of #GivingTuesday! It doesn’t take much to make a big difference and we appreciate giving on any level through donations, volunteering, or helping spread the word. Here are a few suggestions for your #GivingTuesday:

  • A donation of $20 will provide our community centers with art supplies, school supplies and tools for job seekers.
  • A donation of $50 will provide English language software, helping residents build valuable skills to break the cycle of poverty.
  • Catch up on what’s been happening at PCRI.  Read our latest Fall 2013 newsletter.
  • “Like” us on Facebook and follow us Twitter. Email your networks. Use social media to spread the word about #GivingTuesday – tell your friends, neighbors, and family about this special giving opportunity.

PCRI, the community and the world want to help make this giving season the biggest yet!

So, how will you give? 

Donate Here


For Questions, please contact Travis Phillips at 503-288-2891

“Do your little bit of good where you are. It is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
~Archbishop Desmond Tutu

About #GivingTuesday

A team of recognized experts and influencers, initially convened by leaders of 92nd Street Y and supported by a core group of founding partners, originally spearheaded this effort. Founding partners in 2012 included United Nations Foundation,, Mashable, Blackbaud, charity:water, GlobalGiving, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Kiva, Darden Restaurant Group, Groupon, Unilever and VentureThree Capital. Leaders in philanthropy, social media, innovative giving, grassroots organizing, marketing and communications are providing counsel and resources to help build this movement.

To learn more about #GivingTuesday plarticipants and acitivites or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:




#GivingTuesday is endorsed by Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Dorothy A. Johnson Center on Philanthropy, Giving Institute, Giving USA Foundation and InterAction. Charity Navigator, Givewell and GuideStar are serving as Charity Advisors. VolunteerMatch is a volunteer advisor to #GivingTuesday.

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