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A TASTE for Equity

Posted by Social Venture Partners Portland

At SVP Portland, we are more than grantmakers. One reason is because we multiply our impact by engaging our networks, relationships, and influence to help attract additional financial resources for our Community Partners. An example is our role as fiscal coordinator of TASTE for Equity, a gala that celebrates the ongoing equity work in Portland. This year, the proceeds from the event will benefit KairosPDX, Latino Network, NAYA, and Seeding Justice (three of whom are current or former Community Partners). 

The Portland-metro community’s passion for supporting local culturally-specific nonprofits became quickly apparent when the 2022 Gala sold out in advance, and donations for the beneficiaries did not wane. The attendees were energized by the joyful gathering and inspired by being among others who were committed to advancing equity. TASTE Co-Founder and Children’s Institute CEO Kali Thorne Ladd said, “I love equity, food, and wine. I believe in community as catalytic to transformation. There is no event like it.”

Our Director of Community Impact, Carolina Castañeda del Río, adds, “To me, the TASTE event epitomizes how all spaces should look and feel – it was refreshing to experience true diversity and to see true allyship.”

TASTE also showcased the diversity, equity and inclusion work happening in the food and beverage industry by highlighting a group of local, BIPOC chefs, winemakers, brewers, spoken-word artists, musicians, and speakers. The Lead Chef for the 2022 TASTE Gala was Peter Cho, who crafted an exclusive five-course menu for the family-style dinner. A dessert and dance party followed the meal and featured music from the Christopher Brown Quartet, Tahirah Memory, and DJ Drae Slapz.

“TASTE was incredible!” reflects our Relationship Manager Dylan Hall. “It was a diverse community of people coming together to celebrate and inspire. The loving energy in the room was palpable, most notably on the dance floor at the end of the night! Can’t wait for the next one!” SVP Partner Steve Fields agrees, saying, “This event felt like a breath of fresh air–everyone was smiling, happy and having a good time.”

“As humans, when we’re doing something hard and progress takes time and heart, we have to have partners on the journey,” said SVP Partner and TASTE Steering Committee Chair Mark Holloway in the Portland Business Journal. “We have to stop and celebrate milestones. We have to maintain a shared hope. The Portland community is making progress on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Gala offers an elevated experience of this future we’re all working toward and the fuel we need to keep going.”

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