July’s Partner of the Month, Liz Fouther-Branch, is no stranger to the SVP world. She first joined us as an Encore Fellow in 2014, supporting Playworks with capacity building.
While Liz brings more than 30 years of experience in the areas of art, education, mentoring, volunteer recruitment, and sales, her true passion is working with progressive groups that seek to change institutional systems that are inefficient and unproductive toward solving social and economic problems in under-resourced communities across the state.
Currently, Liz brings her deep expertise to SVP’s Equity Committee, and is leading an Investment Team for Threads of Justice (an anti-bias training organization). Additionally, Liz can be found advocating on behalf of—and alongside—a number of SVP Community Partners, including KairosPDX and Black Parent Initiative. She recently went to Salem as an advocate for the Student Success Act, which was signed into law on May 20th. On top of all that, Liz has rejoined the Encore Fellows program team!
We are proud to have Liz as a member of the SVP Portland Partnership!
AN INTERVIEW WITH LIZ:
Why did you join SVP?
Originally, I wanted to continue to be at service to my community, learn about nonprofits that were providing services to children, and also learn and understand this new model called venture philanthropy.
What does your ideal Portland look like?
An ideal Portland would be a Portland willing to deal with dismantling insufficient systems while creating systems that benefit ALL children, from birth through adulthood, to believe in their dreams and turn those dreams into reality.
How does capacity building solve community problems?
My idea of capacity building is making the best use of time, energy, and people without burning myself or anyone else out. Internally, that means learning what we don’t know, not being afraid to dream and express those ideas with others, and externally to take that time, energy and positive self-expression by sharing your knowledge, common sense, and expertise in community.
What has been most rewarding thus far?
I was happy to see the Student Success Act pass! I would like to see other legislation that will help to level the playing field for Black, Brown and immigrant youth, and those living in poverty PreK–12 and beyond. After all, those young people will be the ones taking care of us some day. They will be our government officials, community leaders, business owners and taxpayers too and should be treated as such.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to do creative things like crochet or making organic skincare products. I like to travel, to read, and have recently fallen into the ancestry rabbit hole!