April 16, 2014 · by Whitney Shaw · Uncategorized

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


April 15, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

April is National Financial Literacy Month. PCRI is excited to celebrate with a new Financial Education Program in partnership with Banner Bank. Residents who complete the four-class program will earn $100 to open a new checking account or use in other ways. The program includes four 2-hour classes on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday, April 22, and will cover topics ranging from budgeting, balancing a checkbook, managing credit and avoiding identity theft.

Classes are limited to 35 participants and pre-registration is required, so residents are encouraged to RSVP as soon as possible to Amy Dang at PCRI.  The classes include:

  • Love MoneyClass 1 (Tuesday, April 22, 6-8 p.m.): “Bank on It” and “Borrowing Basics” topics include basics of banking and borrowing.
  • Class 2 (Tuesday, April 29, 6-8 p.m.): “Check it Out” and “Money Matters” topics include backing vs. check cashing services, and budgeting.
  • Class 3 (Tuesday, May 6, 6-8 p.m.): “Pay Yourself First” and “Keep it Safe” topics include the importance of saving and protecting your identity
  • Class 4 (Tuesday, May 13, 6-8 p.m.): “To Your Credit” and “Charge it Right” topics include financial scams, identity theft, and maintaining good credit.

Participants who attend and complete all four classes will earn $100 from Banner Bank.  Class sizes are limited and registration is required.  Contact Amy Dang, PCRI’s Financial Education Specialist, for more information or to register.

April 1, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

PCRI knows how important having good money management skills is to successfully navigating life. We want our children to grow up to be responsible with money … but how soon should we start teaching money management skills to our children?

Recent studies indicate that if we wait until children become teenagers, it might be too late to be most effective teaching these skills. According to a report by researchers at the University of Cambridge commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Money Advice Service, kids’ money habits are formed by age 7.

Chidren-and-savingsParents need to help children develop saving habits at an early age before they develop spending habits. Beth Kobliner, a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, says children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending.

As they get older, parents can help children distinguish between what we can and cannot live without. Understanding the difference between needs and wants is the first step in learning how to develop a budget. In addition to being able to navigate personal finances, financial education leads to other benefits. Teaching kids to save teaches self-control. Choosing to save, instead of spend, is an exercise in self-control. The famous 1927 Stanford Marshmallow Experiment showed that kids with self-control are psychologically better adjusted, more dependable and do better in school.

Kids who save are also more likely to go to college and graduate. The July, 2013 Biannual Report from the Assets and Education Initiative (AEDI) found that even with less than $500 in college savings, children from families with modest means are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than those without college savings. Children with a savings account also have lower stress and a greater sense of hope for the future, according to the Saving for Education Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) Initiative.TCTS Logo

So what if your children are older than age 7? Should we just give up? No. Parents can attest to how quickly children, even teenagers, can pick up new skills. That is why PCRI is participating in the national Teach Children to Save Program.

On Thursday, April 10th, a free children’s financial education workshop will be held at the Park Terrace Community Center. The workshop begins at 4:00 p.m. and we invite all PCRI residents to bring their children. If you would like to sign up your children for the workshop or if you have any questions, please contact Amy Dang, Financial Education Specialist.

March 21, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

PCRI’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala was successful and glamorous, raising over $70,000 to support the affordable housing and services PCRI residents depend on to achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

Starting off the evening’s program, Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and Metro Councilor Sam Chase captivated the audience with a graceful foxtrot and playful humor.

Smith-Chase at PCRI Gala

Following the Commissioner Smith and Councilor Chase’s dance performance (and a packed reception before that), last year’s champion dancer, Katherine Cook hosted the evening as Mistress of Ceremonies, introducing guests to Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick and Board of Directors President Preston Greene.  Kelly Russell of Kelly Russell Auctions motivated guests to get their bid numbers in the air for an exciting auction and successful special appeal, featuring the success story of the Orr family (pictured below).


Former PCRI Board Member Barbara B. Smith, presented her namesake Community Support Award to Gary Cunningham, whose efforts at the Northwest Area Foundation have been instrumental in enabling significant pre-development activity at PCRI.  Mr. Cunningham was not available to receive the award in person, but expressed his gratitude via video.  Maxine Fitzpatrick accepted the award in his honor at the gala.

IMG_0188The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was also a runaway success.  Five prominent local celebrities were each trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  Each dancing couple put on a spectacular show in the individual performance as well as the group waltz competition.  In between dances, the competition’s star judges (pictured below) kept the audience entertained with commentary about the dancers’ performances.


Pressed to crown a champion, the judges had their work cut out for them:  KGW NewsChannel 8 reporter Ashley Korslien, started the competition with a fast-paced Latin club mix.  She and dance partner Uriah Stockdale (pictured below) of Fred Astaire Dance Studio had guests cheering for more.

IMG_0223Oregon State Representative Jennifer Williamson danced an especially graceful Viennese Waltz with Fred Astaire Studio’s Alex Aillon(pictured below) and kept the crowd at the edge of their seats.

IMG_0259Charles McGee, CEO of The Black Parent Initiative took to the floor next, getting down to “Superstition” with a showdance.  McGee and his professional partner Sydney Weir from Fred Astaire Dance Studio (pictured below) had gala guests clapping and cheering for more.

IMG_0294Up next, benefit auctioneer Kelly Russell danced into her second role of the night, trading her auctioneer’s microphone for a pair of dance shoes and performing the rumba with Fred Astaire Studio partner Kacey Bicking (pictured below) to the song “Fly Love.”

IMG_0322Rounding out the first portion of the competition, Ifanyi Bell, digital producer for OPB, jumped, slid and danced around the floor for a crowd-pleasing showdance with Fred Astaire’s Jessi Aillon (pictured below).

IMG_0343The second portion of the competition featured all five dance couples performing the waltz, after which, the judges faced a difficult decision trying to choose a champion.


In the end, Ifanyi and Jessi’s graceful waltz and crowd-pleasing showdance trumped their competitors, capturing the evening’s championship trophy.


We extend a giant thank you to all our sponsors, contributors and guests as well as the fantastic volunteers who made the evening such an amazing success.  Be sure to check PCRI’s Gala Website as well as our Facebook page for more photos of the event!

March 18, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 18 is Diabetes Alert Day.  To improve awareness and share ways to manage diabetes, join Legacy Health and celebrated TV personality Curtis Aikens, host of Food Network’s Pick of the Day, for an educational workshop and cooking demonstration.

WHAT:         FREE educational workshop and cooking demonstration

WHEN:         Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:      Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Atrium, 501 N Graham Street, Portland

Diabetes Alert DayDiabetes Alert DayDiabetes AwarenessDiabetes AwarenessLegacyChef Curtis Aikens will show how to make a low-carb, full flavor dish and will share favorite recipes.  Healthy snacks will be provided.  A reception begins at 5:30; the program will begin at 6:00 p.m.

For more information on a variety of health issues, visit the Legacy Health website.

February 17, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

Living in Health TGWAfrican Americans are disproportionately impacted by diabetes, stroke, and heart disease, but healthy choices and early detection can help combat this statistic.  For Black History Month, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Legacy Health‘s Black Employee Resource Group and others are reaching out to the Portland community to provide FREE health information and wellness checks.

WHAT:         FREE health information and wellness checks

WHEN:         Saturday, March 1st, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:      TGW Faith Ministries, 126 NE Alberta, Portland, Oregon 97211

The FREE health clinic will offer:

  • Fall Prevention Information
  • Body Fat Check
  • Blood Pressure Check
  • Healthy Eating Choices
  • Diabetes Education
  • Risk Factor Education/Screening
  • African American Health Coalition
  • Information about Cover Oregon

For more information on a variety of health issues, visit the Legacy Health website.

February 7, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

PCRI offices and community centers will be closed Friday 2/7 due to inclement weather.  Our offices will re-open on Monday 2/10 at 12:00 noon, but clients with appointments are encouraged to call before arriving in case staff members are not able to safely travel to work.  We anticipate returning to regular office hours on Tuesday 2/11.

SnowmanDuring the unexpected closure, residents with emergency maintenance needs (no heat or water, no electricity, or no working toilets) should call PCRI’s after-hours maintenance line at 503-265-9634.

Residents in single-family homes are reminded that clearing snow from the sidewalks is the responsibility of the resident.  Please help us ensure your safety and that of your neighbors.  Residents who need assistance may request help using regular (non-emergency) maintenance office line.

For more information about closures, check the OregonLive website or KGW.com.  For individuals and families needing housing or shelter assistance (not currently living in a PCRI home), please visit 211Info.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

January 14, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

flu-shot-signPCRI shares a reminder from Legacy Health: the best way to avoid the flu — and avoid spreading it to vulnerable children and others — is to get the flu vaccine.  On Monday, January 20 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), Legacy is hosting a free flu vaccine clinic.  Vaccines will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.  No appointments are necessary.

The flu season is here and the number of patients testing positive for influenza is on the rise, according to Legacy Health. Many of the cases have been quite serious and even life threatening. Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in partnership with Immunize Oregon and the Multnomah County Immunization Program want to remind the public that flu season lasts for months, not weeks. There is still time to get vaccinated in order to help protect yourself and your loved ones.

WHAT:         Legacy Emanuel Medical Center is offering FREE flu shots to people age six months and older while supplies last.

WHEN:         Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 20 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:      Legacy Emanuel Medical Center – Lorenzen Conference Center

2801 N. Gantenbein

Portland, OR 97227

People age 12 and older may also receive a free tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccination. Pertussis commonly referred to as whooping cough, is very contagious. County health departments declared pertussis outbreaks in Oregon and Washington in 2012. Eighty three percent of people who die from pertussis in the U.S. are less than three months old and often catch it from adult family members.

For more information on the flu and other health issues, visit the Legacy Health website.

January 13, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

2014 PCRI Gala DancersPCRI’s third annual Dancing with the Stars benefit gala will feature five prominent Portland community members, each competing with their professional partner from Fred Astaire Dance Studio to earn the title of Gala Champion.  The dancers for the March 15, 2014 event include:  Ifanyi Bell, Emmy-nominated producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting; Ashley Korslien, reporter at KGW Newschannel 8; Charles McGee, CEO of The Black Parent Initiative; Kelly Russell, professional benefit auctioneer; and Jennifer Williamson, Oregon State Representative for District 36.

The gala will feature a reception, dinner, and live auction and will take place at the Portland Hilton and Executive Tower in downtown Portland.  All proceeds from the event will support the affordable housing and award-winning services PCRI provides to help low-income Portland families achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

Judges for the dance competition include: Samuel Brooks, founder and Chair of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs; Kristin Connor, Capital Pacific Bank; and Jill Nelson, founder and CEO of Ruby Receptionists (and a competitor at the 2013 gala).  The reigning gala champion, Katherine Cook, reporter for KGW Newschannel 8, will lead the event as Mistress of Ceremonies.

In addition to the dance competition, Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and Metro Councilor Sam Chase will open the event performing a featured dance.

Read more about the 2014 gala here or by joining the conversation on Twitter using #PCRIgala.  Tickets are on sale now for the event on March 15,2014.

December 26, 2013 · by Travis Phillips · Uncategorized

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives is proud to sponsor the Celebrating Black Pioneers luncheon, to be held on December 27, 2013 at the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME).

PCRI invites community members to join in honoring the lives and accomplishments of five people who made a difference for Portland’s Black community.  Please RSVP to PCRI by telephone at (503) 288-2923 or by email.

The luncheon will be held on Friday, December 27, 2013 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Please note a change of location from earlier announcements.  The luncheon will take place at OAME:  4134 N. Vancouver Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

The luncheon’s 2013 honorees include:

JordanCharlesCharles Jordan, Portland’s first African-American City Commissioner.  Mr. Jordan held the role of City Commissioner for 10 years and the role of Parks Director for 14 years.  In June, 2012, the University Park Community Center—a center Mr. Jordan was instrumental in revitalizing—was renamed in his honor.  Prior to the dedication of the newly-named Charles Jordan Community Center, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish commended Mr. Jordan’s work, saying, “Charles Jordan took Portland Parks and Recreation to the next level. His fingerprints are all over our system.”

pauline-at-duderanch-1Pauline Bradford, respected teacher, neighborhood advocate.  Mrs. Bradford was a teacher at Peninsula Elementary School until her retirement in 1989.  She has a strong connection to Albina and the Eliot neighborhood where she has lived for fifty years.  She is Past President of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods and she remains on the Board representing the Eliot Neighborhood Associations.  She has long been active in the Association of Colored Women’s Clubs & Youth Affiliates (the oldest African American women’s organization in the U.S., founded in 1896).  First elected President of the Oregon chapter in 1982 she served several subsequent terms and was also elected to a term as President of the Northwest Region of the Association. Currently, she is a member of the National Board of the Association.

harold-williams-500x415Harold Williams, Sr., member of Portland Community College’s Board of Directors from 1990 until 2012.  Mr. Williams continues to be remembered by his peers and community not only for his service to PCC, but also as a community leader for over 50 years, including work for Governor Bob Straub as affirmative action director and equal opportunity coordinator (a role he later filled at the Portland Development Commission as well), and as a consultant to the Oregon Youth Authority.  Mr. Williams was also president of the Portland African American Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Coalition of Black Men, among many other accomplishments.

evelyncollinsEvelyn Collins, daycare owner and community member.  Miss Collins, as she was commonly known, purchased in 1965 what is now the Wonder Ballroom.  There, she earned the respect of Eliot community members by caring for the neighborhood’s children.  “She cared about some kids that others threw away,” says Ralph Davis on the Eliot Neighborhood website. “Being a white person, it was unheard of what she did in the Black community.”  Miss Collins received numerous community service awards over the years, including KOIN-TV’s Jefferson Award, and the Humanitarian Award from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Dr. John Marshall (photo not available), one of Portland’s first black medical doctors.  Dr. Marshall was a prominent physician whose own practice mirrored the challenges of many black Portlanders.  Originally located near Memorial Coliseum, eminent domain forced him to relocate his practice to a new location on North Williams Avenue to make way for the construction of I-5 in the late 1940s.  Regardless of location, Dr. Marshall’s connection to the community went beyond that of a typical physician: he strengthened the community by stressing education as a means to better oneself, and he routinely wrote off 20% or more of potential income caring for patients who did not have the means to pay for his services.


All photographs and information are thanks to the sites to which they are linked.


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