A Special Message from our Board President: Reflecting on Last Week’s Tragedy

The grantmaking community of Oregon and Southwest Washington was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the violent and tragic incident that occurred on a light rail train in Portland last Friday evening. 

Our hearts go out to the two young victims who were initially confronted due to their race and religion.

We admire and honor the Good Samaritans who had the courage to intervene, despite the violent threat that ultimately took two of their lives.  

Our Guiding Principles states: We value the diversity of the communities we serve and strive to reflect and engage this diversity in our roles as funders, employers, economic entities, and civic participants. We commit to learning, open dialogue, and reflection in an environment where all individuals have full voice and participation. This means that we condemn anyone who would prevent others from having a voice or from being included in our community.

This is not an isolated incident of hate. Many members of our community experience racism on a daily basis. A member of GRANTMAKERS was accosted and terrorized last night as he was entering a friend’s apartment complex in Southeast Portland – suspected of not belonging because of his race. It is critical for us to come together as a community, to acknowledge that racism exists, to stand up for and be allies to each other, and to advocate for the world we want to live in.

GRANTMAKERS of Oregon and Southwest Washington is a community of funders whose ultimate purpose is to make our communities safe, healthy, and nurturing. Our hearts are with our brave and beautiful community, and we wish you comfort in this trying time. 

– Von Summers, President