We are proud champions of our Community Partner, the Early Childhood Equity Collaborative, a group showing that collaborative advocacy efforts by communities of color can result in significant shifts toward greater equity in policy and access to resources. The Collaborative formed in 2018 to engage the voices of communities of color who were not being heard in critical discussions about funding and policies related to their families. In 2019, SVP stepped up to serve as the initial fiscal sponsor, lead fundraiser, and capacity builder for the effort. Since children of color are a priority population for SVP, this engagement aligned with what was then a new public commitment to advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The Collaborative builds awareness of the need for culturally-specific services and mobilizes advocacy for communities of color. It is composed of six organizations: Black Parent Initiative (BPI), Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), KairosPDX, Latino Network, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), and PCUN. According to Rose Rezai, SVP Portland Director of Community Impact, “We invested in this group because it is critical for culturally-specific organizations to self determine policies that impact their communities, and they need the funding and structural supports to make that possible.”
We are excited to share that SVP has helped secure $625,000 for the Collaborative over the next two years. Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, and Ford Family Foundation are major funders and partners in the Collaborative’s work. Their support will allow this collective project to grow its reach in 2022, with a priority for rural and tribal representation, and to build on the victory of the 2019 Early Childhood Equity Fund. The Collaborative plans to focus on policies to support a more diverse early childhood workforce, and will continue efforts to shift the public narrative to elevate strengths within communities of color and immigrant/refugee communities. They will enhance the capacity of culturally-specific organizations to self determine budget and policy priorities, and reimagine services from the perspective of those most impacted by racism and compounded forms of oppression.